When 17% of Twitter users admit to accessing the service from “a washroom or toilet,” it’s clear people have a craving for social media. The latest data released this week from Nielsen gives us an even better glimpse: 17 percent of all time spent on the internet in August 2009 was at social network sites, up from 6 percent in August 2008.

“This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,” said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen’s online division. “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”

This past Tuesday, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced a partnership with Nielsen during a speech at Advertising Week.