About 6.5 million Australians belong to an online social network, and more than two-thirds of Internet users looked at other people’s content on social networking sites during 2008 according to Nielsen Online’s latest consumer generated media report. The most popular sites are Facebook – which showed 32 percent growth in 2008, MySpace, which recorded a 2 percent gain and Flickr, which grew by 14 percent. Among those who blog, MySpace was the favored vehicle, with almost one-third of users preferring it over any other site. Twitter penetration remains low – 7 percent – and about half of Australian Twitterers have been using it only since October 2008. That said, it is gaining popularity: users ranged it as the most stimulating social media activity.
Nielsen Online’s report found that multiple memberships were created by users because they have different uses for the various offerings. “For example, while Facebook users tell us they use it to stay in touch with their existing friends, MySpace users were more likely to use the site to search for new friends and entertainment information,” said Melanie Ingrey, Director, Market Research, Nielsen Online.
57 percent of Australian Internet users published their opinions online last year, while 41 percent published opinions specifically about products, services and brands. 86 percent of users said they read such content.
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