France Has The Third Largest Internet Population In Europe

    April 7, 2009

In February, more than 35 million people in France accessed the Internet from a home or work computer, up 19 percent over the previous year, according to comScore.

French Internet users spent a combined total of 932 million hours online in February, an average of 27 hours per person. Instant messaging was the most popular activity with total share of time spent at 14.3 percent, followed by social networking at 5.7 percent. Together the two categories accounted for one out of every five minutes spent online during the month.

Top 10 Site Categories in France

Online media also proved popular, with the entertainment category accounting for 8.6 percent of time spent and online gaming 2.9 percent share of total time spent online.

"The Internet audience in France is growing at a rapid rate, and with 35 million people online in February, France now ranks just below Germany and the U.K. as one of the largest online audiences in Europe," said Delphine Gatignol, comScore Business Development Manager for France.

"Much of the audience growth is coming from older Internet users who are using the Internet for the first time. Time spent online has also been on the rise, due in large part to the increasing popularity of entertainment and social media."

Google sites were the most popular property in February with 28.7 million visitors, followed by Microsoft sites (25.4 million visitors), and Orange sites (20.3 million visitors). Each of the top six properties saw consistent growth of between 30-35 percent over a year ago.

A number of French sites ranked among the top online properties, including Iliad (16.9 million visitors), Group Pages Jaunes (15.4 million visitors), and Groupe Lagardere, which grew 77 percent during the year to 13.7 million visitors.

Facebook grew 518 percent compared to a year ago to 13.7 million visitors, sending it in to the top 10 property rankings in France for the first time in February.