Despite the number of people on social media slipping from 69 to 68 percent, Facebook users are now spending the equivalent of a full working day on the site each week, according to the latest Sensis Social Media Report.
The number of Australians accessing social media at the beginning of the day (up from 43% to 45%) and at work (up from 21% to 32%) has also risen this year. The most popular times to check in are first thing in the morning (45%) and just before bed (41%).
Sensis General Manager, Digital Evan Ravensdale said: “Social media is a great way for people to stay connected, but you also have to wonder if there is an impact on personal relationships and sleeping patterns when people are spending eight and a half hours on Facebook each week.”
The 2015 Sensis survey of 800 Australian consumers and 1,100 Australian businesses found that an increase in smartphone ownership has driven an upsurge in heavy usage among social media users, with one quarter of people now checking in more than five times each day. This is up from 19 percent last year.
The report found that the most widely used site by social media users is Facebook (93%), followed by LinkedIn (28%) and Instagram (26%).
“The various sites appeal differently to people. For example, LinkedIn usage is most popular among high income males while visual platforms such as Snapchat and Tumblr are most popular with 20-29 year olds,” said Mr Ravensdale.
“There is a big variation in how age groups are using social media. For one quarter of young people, accessing social media seems to have replaced reading the newspaper on the toilet. Whereas only three percent of over 65s are using social media in this way,” he said.
Key statistics from the report include:
- The proportion of social media users who log in during work rose from 21 percent in 2014 to 32 percent.
- The number of people accessing social media on the toilet rose from 10 percent in 2014 to 14 percent.
- Males (20%) are twice as likely as females (10%) to access social media on the toilet.
- The average Australian has 297 friends on social media, down from 328 friends last year
The number of businesses with a social media presence dropped from 37 percent to 31 percent for small and medium sized businesses and from 77 percent to 56 percent for large businesses.
“It is interesting to see the number of businesses with a social media presence dropping this year. Despite this, many small and medium sized businesses said they are planning on establishing a profile in the year ahead,” said Mr Ravensdale.
“Social media is a real opportunity for businesses to engage in a discussion where their customers are already talking,” he said.
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