Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
The majority (75%) of Australians aged 14+ years are now using some form of social media. Having monitored Facebook for over five years, Roy Morgan Research also reports that nearly 7 out of 10 Australians aged 14+ (67%) use Facebook in an average four weeks. These findings are from ‘The Digital Universe’ report, recently released by Roy Morgan.
Currently visited by 12.5 million Australians in an average four weeks, Facebook began as a messaging and photo sharing website.  It has since evolved into a full, multi-media environment for gaming, communication and information seeking and sharing, which dominates the social media sphere.

However social media is much more than just Facebook; there are a number of other fast-growing forms of social media that are rapidly catching up.

For example, Google+ currently has 2.9 million visitors (16% of Australians 14+) in an average four week period, which represents an increase of 47% over the last nine months.  Only 11% of Australians 14+ visit Twitter in an average four weeks, indicating that Twitter is still an ‘early adopter’ phenomenon.  Twitter’s growth, however, continues and has in fact doubled in the last two years.

Social Media Use: % of Australians 14+ who visit these websites in an average 4 week period

Source (Google+ growth): Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July – September 2011 (n = 4,912) & April – June 2012 (n = 5,440). Base: Australians aged 14+ years.  Source (% visit website): Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2011 – June 2012 (n = 53,511). Base: Australians aged 14+ years.

Roy Morgan Technology Adoption Segmentation

Another view of social media penetration in Australia can be seen through the Roy Morgan Technology Adoption Segmentation. The data indicates that users of most social media in Australia come from the ‘Early Adopters’ and ‘Digital Life’ segments. Twitter is still very much in the ‘Early Adopter’ stage, while professional networking site LinkedIn stands out as the clear choice among the ‘Professional Technology Mainstream’ segment.  Interestingly, among the ‘Early Adopters’ segment, Facebook seems to have reached saturation, having shown little growth over the past 18 months.

The Smartphone phenomenon

Although online social media or social networking is now mainstream, doing so on the mobile phone is actually still relatively new and largely the domain of ‘Early Adopters’. Currently, around 2.3 million (12%) Australians 14+ use their mobile phone for social networking in an average four week period.

It is also interesting to note that 46% of Australians aged 14+ years now have a Smartphone – and 25% of Smartphone owners use their mobile phone for social networking in an average four weeks. As Smartphone penetration increases all the evidence suggests that social networking on the mobile phone will follow suit.

Roy Morgan has been measuring Australians’ Internet activity for some years now.  The Digital Universe report showcases the breadth of data captured by Roy Morgan across the Digital Universe, to enable greater understanding of not only how the ‘Connected Consumer’ is shopping online, but also their banking habits and how they communicate with one another and consume media.

Andrew Braun, Mobile, Internet & Technology Industry Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Social media is now mainstream, with 75% of Australians now using some form of social media.

“Even though 67% of Australians are on Facebook in an average four weeks, it’s important to remember that social media is much more than just Facebook. Australians are using a variety of other social media platforms like YouTube (56%), Google+ (16%) and LinkedIn (12%).

“Australians are also using a variety of devices (other than just PCs) to access social media.  In fact, in an average 4 weeks 25% of Smartphone owners use their phone for social networking.

“Given this, it is important for Australian businesses to understand – at the very minimum – which social networks their customers are using and what they are doing on them.”

Contact Profile

Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com


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