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UK broadband consumers spent a combined 3.4 billion hours using the internet during August 2011, a new study has revealed.

Research conducted by Experian Hitwise offered insight into the usage habits of broadband subscribers, and the types of content they are accessing online.

The firm found that social media websites were the most popular among UK broadband users, with 14 minutes in every hour online being spent on a social networking site.

"Amongst these, Facebook is still the clear market leader with half of all social networking visits and an average visit time of 22 minutes," Experian Hitwise said.

Entertainment websites also proved to be a major draw, with users allocating nine minutes in every hour to gaming, music and video streaming.

TV catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and 4OD were included in this category.

Online shopping came next (five minutes), followed by news (three minutes), while business, adult, sports, email all claimed a share of two minutes per hour.

Experian Hitwise found that visits to travel websites accounted for one minute in every 60 online, with other online activity accounting for the final third of the hour.

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