One of every 20 US web users in September visited an online social networking site with leading the way. The site received 82 percent of all social networking visitors, according to a new report released on Wednesday.

Hitwise, an internet market research firm, said that visitors to the popular interactive site increased by 51 percent from March to September this year. According to the study, 2.4 percent of visits to Shopping & Classifieds websites came directly from MySpace, an increase of 83 percent since March.

“This report shows how influential the creation and consumption of user content has become as a web activity, and demonstrates its significance in driving web traffic to other categories,” said LeeAnn Prescott, director of research at Hitwise.

Visitors to the community-oriented photography website Flickr ( increased by 49 percent while visits to YouTube ( were up 249 percent in the same period. YouTube, which announced it was being purchased by Google early last month for $1.6 billion, ranked at number 26 among all US Internet domains in September 2006.

“The use of social networking, photo hosting, and online video websites represent a significant shift in online user behavior,” Prescott added.