The factor driving uptake of the mobile Internet in Europe is social networking, according to a new study by comScore.

The figures show a 152% year-on-year increase in the number of Europeans using mobile social networks such as Facebook and MySpace. Now, just over 12 million people in the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy are accessing social network sites from their mobile phones.

While the average mobile social networking penetration is 5%, the U.K. tops the charts with 9.2% of users accessing social sites from their mobile phones followed by Spain and Italy. Germany sits at the bottom with just 3.3%.

Almost a third of those using their mobiles to visit social networking sites (29.7%) don’t visit any other Internet sites other than the social networks. Women are heavier users of mobile social networks than men – 48% v. 32% – found the study.

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