Social Networking Audience in Australia Jumps 29 Percent in Past Year as Use of Facebook and Twitter Soars
Report Finds Social Networking Critical to Media Landscape in Australia
Sydney, Australia, August 14, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released a study on social networking usage in Australia, which found that more than 70 percent of Internet users in Australia visited a social networking site in June, up 29 percent from the previous year. Facebook continued to show significant growth, while Twitter came onto the social networking scene with a bang in 2009, quickly amassing a significant following. The study also found that social networking users are ubiquitous across the Web, comprising nearly 90 percent of the audience base of the top Internet properties in Australia in June.
“Social networking continues to grow in popularity both across Australia and throughout the world,” said Will Hodgman, Comscore executive vice president for the Asia-Pacific region. “Social networking is now an essential part of peoples’ daily online routine, providing a level of engagement and reach that far exceeds most other content categories. Understanding how to leverage this audience successfully is both a challenge and significant opportunity for most digital marketers today.”
3 out of 4 Australians Visited a Social Networking Site in June
Nearly 9 million Australians visited a social networking site in June, making it one of the most popular content categories on the Web. Facebook led as the most visited social networking destination with more than 6 million visitors and growing 95 percent from the previous year. MySpace Sites ranked second with 3.5 million visitors, up 5 percent, followed by Windows Live Profile with nearly 2 million visitors. Twitter witnessed the most substantial growth, surging to 800,000 visitors in June, up from just 13,000 visitors a year ago. Orkut also achieved significant growth reaching 252,000 visitors, up 607 percent.
*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.
Audience of Largest Online Properties are Heavy Social Networkers
According to Comscore Segment Metrix, a marketing segmentation tool, visitors to the top properties in Australia displayed a strong skew towards also visiting social networking sites. Though less than 72 percent of the total Internet audience in Australia visited social networking sites in June, approximately 90 percent of visitors to the top 20 most popular properties were among this group. Similarly, while 14 percent of the total Internet audience can be classified as “heavy social networkers” (i.e. the top 20 percent of visitors to the social networking category by time spent), approximately 25 percent of visitors to the top 20 properties were among this group.
Google Sites ranked as the most visited property in Australia in June with 10.7 million visitors, 78 percent of whom were visitors to social networking sites and 16 percent of whom were heavy social networkers. Microsoft Sites ranked as the second largest property with 9.5 million visitors, followed by Facebook.com at #3 with 6.1 million visitors.
Social networking users made up 83 percent of Telstra Corporation visitors, while other local sites also saw their audience base favor social networking, including Fairfax Media (88 percent social networkers) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (85 percent social networkers). Glam Media and WordPress had the highest composition of heavy social networkers at 35.4 percent each, followed by New York Times Digital (33.4 percent), Viacom Digital (32.0 percent), Amazon Sites (31.3 percent) and AOL LLC (31.1 percent).
“Knowing that the vast majority of a site’s visitors are social networking users should be a wakeup call to any marketer trying to understand its audience,” continued Mr. Hodgman. “Engaging your audience is not only about how you interact with them when they are on your site, but also about how you reach out and interact with them through other online channels, including social networks. As social networking sites increasingly become one of the Internet’s most popular destinations, it is especially critical for media companies to engage their audience where they are spending the majority of their time online.”
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. In an independent survey of 800 of the most influential publishers, advertising agencies and advertisers conducted by William Blair & Company in January 2009, Comscore was rated the 'most preferred online audience measurement service' by 50% of respondents, a full 25 points ahead of its nearest competitor. Comscore's capabilities are based on a massive, global cross-section of approximately 2 million Internet users who have given Comscore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that gathers and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Using its proprietary technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of digital behavior and attitudes, helping clients design more powerful marketing strategies that deliver superior ROI. With its acquisition of M:Metrics, Comscore is also a leading source of data on mobile usage. Comscore services are used by more than 1,100 clients, including global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, BBC, Carat, Cyworld, Deutsche Bank, France Telecom, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Financial Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestle, Starcom, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, the University of Chicago, Verizon Services Group and ViaMichelin. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.
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