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America love their social media according to a survey by Nielsen

Americans spent 121.1 billion minutes logged onto social media sites in just one month this year according to the latest survey from Nielsen the kings of business number crunching.

In American billions, the figure for the time spent on social media in July 2012 equates to 230,000 years.

There isn’t a similar piece of data for the UK but it’s a fair bet that the exponential growth in social media use is being mirrored on this side of the Atlantic too.

In July 2011, Nielsen found Americans logged on to Facebook and the like for 88.1 billion minutes. That’s an increase in time spent on social media of 32.7 billion minutes.

Facebook is still the giant of the social media web despite a 4 per cent drop in unique visitors from the same time last year.

The second placed site might be a surprise: it’s Blogger, the Google blogging platform. That too has seen a small drop off in users, while WordPress its blogging rival is up 10% in unique users. Twitter shoots up by 13% and is the second most used site.

The big movers are relative newcomers. Google+ is up 80% and is the seventh most popular social media site. The bump in numbers looks impressive, but in July 2011 Google+ was fresh out of the box and open to the public for the first time, so it’s bound to have shot up from those invite-only beta testers who were its first users.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Pinterest. The site’s whole business model was questioned when it opened for business – would it breach copyright law – but people seem to like it. User numbers are up 1,047% in a year and those users are spending 1.25 billion minutes on the site, 720 million minutes accessing it from mobiles and 120 million minutes using its smart phone app.

Tumblr is growing fast too.

The growth of mobile phone and tablet browsing is another big story from the report. All the sites have seen a massive increase in the number of users accessing them from phones – Twitter, which could have been designed with smart phones in mind, has been particularly well served by the move to portable computers.

Social media sites are now the most used type of website in the USA.

There’s a host of other data in the report, and some of it is rather puzzling: American Asians are the ethnic group most likely to buy after seeing social media ads while Europeans web users are the least likely than most to talk about TV on social media while we’re watching it, for example. But any business user will be fascinated to learn that one in three social media users would rather talk to a company through their social media sites than by phone. And, Pinterest is proving to be the female social media site with a minimum 70/30 split in women’s favour depending on how the site is accessed.

You can see more of the report for free here. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/

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