MediaLife has a story about how people around the world use the Web. You’d think watching clips on YouTube and checking Facebook would be up there with reading the news.

Not so much, as TNS researchers found out:

Asked to relate how they’d used the internet over the last month, users most often cited utilitarian functions. The top three were using a search engine, 81 percent, looking up the news, 76 percent, and banking online, 74 percent. Next came checking on the weather and researching products.

In fact, it isn’t until No. 8 that we come to a leisure pursuit, watching video clips, at 51 percent.

The survey of 27,000 people in 16 countries found that people spend nearly one-third of their leisure time online. “The most interesting thing overall was how involved the internet was in our lives–not just how much time we spend on it but the all the very different uses we have for it,” says Dan Brilot, research manager at TNS Global.