More than 2.8 million New Zealanders spent an average eight hours each on social media sites in October, according to figures out today.

Nielsen's survey of 3000 people showed 80 per cent of the online kiwi population spent time on Facebook, higher then Australia (74 per cent), the US (69 per cent) and the UK (68 per cent).

New Zealanders spent an average 7 hours 43 minutes on Facebook alone last month, nearly the equivalent of a full working day.

The next highest ranked site was Blogger, with a monthly unique audience of 803,000. Twitter attracted 431,000 people, Tumblr drew in 428,000, and 394,000 visited WordPress.


In terms of time, Tumblr was next behind Facebook with users spending an average 52 minutes each on the site during October.

The main reason kiwis were using social media was to keep in touch with family and friends, the survey showed.

Nearly half of the online population was also engaging to learn more about brands, products and services, and hear about other consumers' experiences.

Social media was playing an increasingly large role in driving consumer decisions and behaviours, said Tony Boyte, Nielsen NZ associate director of research.

"The good news is that brands can now listen to conversations taking place, thereby putting them in a much better position to understand and meet customer requirements in the future," he said.

Most New Zealanders (96 per cent) accessed social media sites via their computer, 27 per cent also via smartphone, and 7 per cent via tablets.