Friday, October 19th, 2012

TThe majority of New Zealanders aged 14+ years are now using some form of social media.  Having monitored Facebook for over five years, Roy Morgan Research also reports that over half of New Zealanders (56%) use Facebook in an average four weeks. These findings are from ‘The Digital Universe’ report, recently released by Roy Morgan Research.

Currently visited by 2 million New Zealanders 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 260,000 visitors (7% of New Zealanders 14+) in an average four week period, which represents an increase of 20% over the last six months.  Only 6% of New Zealanders 14+ visit Twitter in an average four weeks, indicating that Twitter is still an ‘early adopter’ phenomenon. Twitter’s growth, however, continues and has increased 31% in the last 12 months.

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

Source (Google+ growth): Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), September 2011 – February 2012 (n = 5,760) & March - August 2012 (n = 6,011). Base: New Zealanders aged 14+ years. Source (% visit website): Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), September 2011- August 2012 (n = 11,771). Base: New Zealanders aged 14+ years.

Roy Morgan Technology Adoption Segmentation

Another view of social media penetration in New Zealand can be seen through the Roy Morgan Technology Adoption Segmentation. The data indicates that users of most social media in New Zealand 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 12 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 260,000 New Zealanders 14+ use their mobile phone for social networking in an average four week period.

It is also interesting to note that 31% of New Zealanders aged 14+ years now have a Smartphone – and 27%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 New Zealanders’ 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.

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:
“Social media is now mainstream, with the majority of New Zealanders now using some form of social media.

“New Zealanders are also using a variety of devices (other than just PCs) to access social media.  In fact, in an average 4 weeks 27% of Smartphone owners use their phone for social networking.

“Given this, it is important for New Zealand businesses to understand – at the very minimum – which social networks their customers are using and what they are doing on them. Roy Morgan’s New Technology Adoption Segmentation can help marketers more accurately target New Zealanders with the highest propensity to purchase products in their category.”

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


social media, smartphone, Facebook, social networking



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