Surveys on internet use always fascinate me. UMR Research
released new research last week that said 76% of New
Zealanders who are online use Facebook, up 7% since 2011.
Linkedin is the next most popular on 29%, although this is
more than double what it was in 2011 when it was 12%. About
90% of people who are on Linkedin are also on Facebook.
Social media has become a way for not only keeping in touch
with family and friends, although that is still the
predominant use, but also for businesses, election campaigns
and all sorts of other campaigns to gain customers, voters or
Many "injustices" are openly campaigned against on Facebook.
I will confess that I had trouble setting up a second account
because it wanted to link my main account with the second
one, even though I used a completely different email. It was
frustrating for me but obviously others have mastered the
Anyway, the Online Omnibus survey also looked at Twitter - my
current favourite form of communication - and found that 19%
of New Zealanders who are online use Twitter, up 7% on 2011.
Several politicians are on Twitter and their interactions
with critics and opponents make fun reading. I have
colleagues on Twitter and also contacts.
Following news on Twitter, particularly breaking news from
the organisations like the Otago Daily Times, Reuters and the
BBC keep the juices flowing. The research showed that nearly
all of the people who are on Twitter are also on Facebook.
That cannot be a surprise. Once someone is online, they
usually want more, not less.
Those who are on both Facebook and Twitter generally use
Facebook more than they use Twitter, UMR said. More than 70%
of those who are on both use Facebook at least once a day
compared with 17% who use Twitter at least once a day. But
64% of those who are on both use Twitter less than once a
week, compared with only 12% using Facebook less than once a
Facebook users who are on Twitter use Facebook more often
than Facebook users who are not on Twitter. Here is where
Mackline disagrees with the research which says for New
Zealanders, Twitter is "clearly an addition to Facebook
rather than a replacement".
Twitter caters to people already "quite active" in using
The ease of putting up a photo instantly on Twitter puts
Facebook to shame, in my opinion. News photos are up
immediately. Last week, photos of missiles being launched
from Gaza were loaded on to Twitter in real time by Twitter
Facebook might be the world's largest social media outlet,
but of its one billion users, the company should check, and
so should UMR, on how many people have an account which lies
dormant for most of the time.
The research also showed the average New Zealand Facebook
user has 146 "friends", up 22 from last year.
Although under 30-year-olds have more "friends" than any
other age group (234 on average, up 21), the fastest growth
has been among 30- to 44-year-olds.
Nearly a quarter of New Zealanders have a Facebook friend
under the age of 13, supposedly the minimum age to have a
Facebook profile. Alarm bells, anyone?
UMR Research director Gavin White said that, as was the case
last year, if you were talking about social media you were
talking about Facebook.
"With almost two-thirds of Twitter users using it less than
once a week, we are clearly well behind the United States in
terms of the use of Twitter as a mass-communication tool."
The research was conducted over two weeks in October with a
national sample size of 1000 New Zealanders aged 18 and over.
To get a better indication of who was using Twitter,
researchers should possibly look at an older age bracket.
Anecdotal evidence suggests Twitter is used widely among
people aged 40 and over although there are users much younger
and older. And by the way, using Twitter once a day is not
helpful to users when feeds are constant.