A new study has shown that British people spend almost as much time using Facebook on their mobile phones as they do watching television.

The average time spent using Facebook via web-capable smartphone handsets is one hour and 17 minutes per day in the UK, according to a survey by OnePoll, which revealed the average time spent watching television is just three minutes longer at two hours.

The survey of 3,000 people revealed that the enormous popularity of Facebook has, on the whole, exceeded that of television in the UK, with people spending an average of two-and-a-half hours a day on the social networking site, compared with the two hours they spend on average watching television.

Two of the most telling statistics to come from the survey showed that 70 per cent of Brits have a Facebook account, and 36 per cent own a smartphone. Of those smartphone owners surveyed, 91 per cent said they used their handset to access Facebook.

Mobile manufacturers have been following this trend and are seeking to capitalise on it with the launch of brand new smartphones like the HTC Sensation, which features a dedicated Facebook button below the keypad.

Other new smartphones, like the the hotly anticipated iPhone 5, feature large touchscreens, making life easier for the 15 per cent of Brits who log in to Facebook via their smartphones more than 20 times every day.

OnePoll’s survey was conducted on behalf of online consumer technology retailer EXPANSYS, whose CEO, Anthony Catterson, claimed the results, which also revealed that 49.15 per cent of people are constantly logged into Facebook at home, show a “major behavioural trend”.

He said: “This study shows that the TV is no longer the king of the living room. Even while the TV is on, it seems the nation is still logged on to Facebook and other social networks. People are now using Facebook on their smartphone ortablet computer whilst watching TV. And this major behaviouraltrend is being examined closely by the manufacturers.

“One response, for example, has been the installation of Facebook and Twitter directly onto web-enabled TVs by Manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung. We believe consumers will be the real winners, who will have greater choice, relevance and value”.

Close to a quarter (24.46 per cent) of respondents in the survey admitted to using Facebook via any media for between three and four hours each day, giving a true sense of the scale of the social networking site’s popularity.

Catterson also illustrated the importance of Facebook to people’s lives with another rather revealing piece of data.

He said: “Just to add weight to the argument, 62% also said they’d choose either a laptop or a smartphone as the one piece of technology to take on holiday. The TV only managed just over 4% of that vote”.

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