COLUMBIA: Smartphone owners in the UK spend over 13 hours a month using social networking sites on their handsets, a higher total than in countries including China, Japan and the US, research has revealed.

Figures from Arbitron Mobile, the measurement services firm, show that among its panel of smartphone owners in seven countries – the UK, US, Indonesia, Japan, France, Germany and China – members of the British panel spent 819 minutes a month on social media, 22% longer than those in the US, in second spot.

But both countries show similar access patterns in terms of using dedicated apps and mobile web browsers, with between 81% and 87% employing these channels to log on to social sites through their phones.

Smartphone owners in these markets also typically spend four times as long using social media sites through an app than a browser.

In Europe, German and French smartphone owners spent significantly less time on social media, at 445 minutes and 434 minutes respectively. Again, they were far more likely to use apps than browsers.

There was a wider divergence among the three Asian countries assessed. Japan was broadly like France, spending a total 496 minutes on social media, and with a similar split between usage of apps and browsers.

Indonesians spent almost as long as Americans on social media, at 667 minutes, but some 38% of this time was attributable to browsers, the highest figure for any country.

By contrast, China recorded the lowest browser usage, with only 11% of the time spent on mobile social media coming from this channel. China also showed the widest divide between apps and browsers, with 67.5% accessing social media via the former route and only 30.6% via the latter.

Moreover, Chinese smartphone owners registered the lowest time spent on social media, at just 271 minutes.

Data sourced from PR Newswire/Arbitron; additional content by Warc staff