Australians world’s biggest users of social media

Australians are the world’s most prolific users of social media according to new data from the Nielsen Company.

The firm carried out a global comparison which suggested that Australians spend an average of six hours and 52 minutes per month on social media sites – well ahead of the US, which has the next largest social media usage at six hours and nine minutes per month.  

The reach of social media in Australia is also large, with Nielsen estimating a unique reach of 9.9m Australians per month. Although that figure should be treated with caution as double counting of users at home and at work is a major issue, it still signals that a large proportion of the country’s 22m population is engaging with social media.

Average time spend (h:m:s) on social media each month:

  1. Australia – 6:52:28
  2. United States -6:09:13
  3. United Kingdom – 6:07:54
  4. Italy – 6:00:07
  5. Spain – 5:30:55
  6. Brazil – 4:33:10
  7. Germany – 4:11:45
  8. France – 4:04:39
  9. Switzerland – 3:54:34
  10. Japan – 2:50:21

According to Nielsen, in December 2009  the global average in the countries it surveyed was five and a half hours per consumer on social media, making it the single most consuming online category, followed by online games and instant messaging. Social media’s usage was up 82% on the same time a year previously, with more than 300m social media users worldwide. Facebook was the biggest driver, followed by Twitter, Nielsen said.

Despite the impact of social media, Australia’s marketing industry has mostly failed to capitalise on it.

Late last year, The Population, Photon’s attempt to commercialise social media closed its doors. And although there have been some minor success stories – usually driven by the PR component of social media, there have also been some local marketing disasters, such as Toyota/ Saatchi & Saatchi’s ill-fated Clever Film Competition.


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