This week I’ll be looking at some new data out by the Office for National Statistics about the use of social networks in the UK.
A new survey carried out by the Government showed 33 million current UK internet users log on to social network sites on a daily basis. That’s double the amount compared to just seven years ago, and represents 57% of the population.
Indeed, the UK was only beaten by the Netherlands (65%) in the proportion of people using social networks.
As well as tracking internet usage in general, the ONS survey looked at the age range of those using social networks. Around 48% of all adults in the UK use social networking sites. Two thirds (62%) of adults in the 35-55 years old age group regularly use social networks to communicate, the survey found, while 40% of those age 45-54 used them on a regular basis.
As part of the research, people surveyed were asked what they used the internet for in the previous thre months – with one of the options being social networks. The ONS found that there was little difference between the answers of men and women, but huge differences in age groups.
Nine in 10 (90% ) of 16-24 year old had logged into Twitter or Facebook in the previous three months, while just 19% of over-65’s had done the same.
Figure 1 The UK was second only to the Netherlands in proportion of internet users logging on to social networking sites
One of the factors for such a rapid rise in the use of social networking is the use of mobiles (mobile or smart phone, PDA, MP3 player, e-book reader or handheld game console). The ONS said more than half (52%) of adults in the UK accessed the intenet via the mobile device in 2012, with two thirds of those doing so to use social network sites.
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