Social media exploded in Australia in 2009, and steep upward growth trends have continued ever since. In 2009, I compiled my first social media statistics compendium to assist marketers and agencies convince key stakeholders that social media is not a fad and needs to be considered as part of the wider online strategy.
Over the past year a lot has changed in the social space, and thus I have again compiled an updated social media statistics file for some of the major networks and social media sites in Australia, as well as provided some insight on what we should expect from some of the major platforms in 2010.
Overall Australian Statistics & Usage Trends
Australia’s Social Media Audience; A recent Nielsen study found Australia’s social media audience is estimated at 9.9 million.
Social Media vs Search; According to Hitwise social media and search traffic is now neck and neck. In the week ending the 16th of January, social media was just .4% behind search as an online category in Australia.
Brand Interaction; According to Nielsen nearly 40% of online Australians are now interacting with companies via social networking sites, reinforcing notions that Australians are open to engaging with brands and companies online.
Mobile Social Media Nielsen’s social media 2010 report found that 26% of social networkers participated in mobile social networking in the past year. Younger consumers are the most likely to participate in social networking via mobile as 66% of mobile social networkers are under 35 years of age.
What Australian’s Are Doing In The Social Media Space
Photo Sharing; 78% of Australian internet users sent or shared a photo in the past year and 74% sent or shared a link.
Wiki Use; Close to three quarters of Australian internet users (73%) read a wiki in the past year compared to 61 percent in 2008 and just 37 percent in 2007.
Online Video Consumers; 41% of Australian internet users have streamed or downloaded videos and 21% are doing so on a regular basis.
Online Reviews & Opinions; 86% of Australian’s online are looking to fellow internet users for opinions and information about products, services and brands.
Individual Network Statistics
LinkedIn’s unique audience was approximately 970,000 in January, giving it an audience reach of 6.55%.
Time Spent Onsite
LinkedIn’s members spend about eight minutes onsite each month.
In 2009 LinkedIn had approximately 670,000 members and thus this network audience has grown by approximately 45% in Australia. I anticipate this audience to continue to grow as more and more professionals begin to network online to;
– Prospect for business
– Improve their career prospects and
– Seek professional advice and share knowledge.
75% of Australian Internet users (75%) have visited Facebook, whilst 59% have a Facebook profile.
In January 2010, Facebook achieved 8.6 million unique visitors
Time Spent Onsite
The average time spent on Facebook in a given month is 8:19 hours – seven and a half hours more than its closest rival site, YouTube.
Other Important Statistics 20% of Australians aged 55 or older had reported using Facebook. This trend is being driven by grandparents wishing to keep in touch with their grand children.
Over the past year Facebook has experienced phenomenal growth in Australia. In May 2009 Facebook had approximately 5 million users in Australia and a reach of 38% of online Australians. Growth and duration is difficult to forecast for the year ahead as it is difficult to determine how far we are away from reaching the social network ceiling in Australia. Over the coming year I anticipate monthly time on site may continue to increase as more and more people access Facebook via their smartphones (statistics show 36% of mobile users access Facebook daily via their phone). However one factor which may stunt monthly time on site growth is what I term “social fatigue”. I feel social fatigue is starting to emerge with longer term Facebook users. A good portion of the Australian Facebook audience who have had profiles for 3 – 4 years seem to be logging on very sporadically and keeping these users engaged is going to be one of the main factors which will impact further growth in both users and monthly site duration.
In September 2009, Twitter users in Australia peaked at 1.6 million unique users and in January 2010 this dropped back to 1.2 million users
Time Spent Onsite;
Twitter users spent an average of 19 minutes each month using the micro blogging site
Twitter’s audience levels grew by more than 400% in 2009
Other Important Information
23% of Australians online read ‘tweets’ in the past year whilst 14% ‘followed’ companies or organisations via Twitter (up from 5% in 2008)
Many experts believe Twitter has hit its peak and will plateau. It seems this could very much be the case in Australia with it stagnating user base in the past 4 – 5 months. Integration of Twitter results into SERPs may breathe some life / traffic into it, as may new innovation however new location based services such as Foursquare and Gowalla may drive users to these new social environments and result in abandonment of the micro-blogging site – particularly for those who access it for personal use.
2.1 million unique users in Australia in January 2010
In October 2009, MySpace users spent a total of 39 minutes online
Over the past year MySpace user base has flattened in the Australian market and across the world. In March 2010 MySpace has announced that it plans to invest in a major redevelopment of its platform to rekindle user interest. With 120 million users worldwide – MySpace aims to grow its user base to 200 – 300 million users. Despite this after losing ground on Facebook globally MySpace has cut out a new niche for itself in the music space and it is this that will probably ensure it maintains a strong following however is not likely to gain marketshare over Facebook in Australia any time soon.
Here’s a video discussing why Australia leads in social media usage: