84.2pc of Irish web users accessed social networks

24 Feb 2011

The reach of social networking impacted 84.2pc of all Irish internet users in 2010, growing from 8.1pc last year, said a ComScore report on European digital trends.

The report, titled The 2010 European Digital Year in Review, provides an overview of key trends in Europe’s digital media landscape, comparing figures from December 2010 to December 2009.

Throughout December 2010, Irish internet users spent an average of 19 hours and 12 minutes online. The European average was just over 24 hours, with the Netherlands leading at an average of 31 hours and 39 minutes.

Europeans spent more time on Facebook than on any other site, accounting for 11.7pc of time spent online. Google sites followed at 10.4pc.

Instant messaging declined in Europe, with users spending 39pc less time on this than they did in 2009.

In Ireland, 84.2pc of web users spent time social networking, a rise of 8.1pc from 2009. This was in line with the European average – 84.4pc – and the continent saw the biggest growth of social networking in the world at 10.2pc. Facebook accounted for 77pc of time spent on social networks in Ireland.

Use of coupon sites rose in 2010 as well, by a whopping 162pc. This was attributed to Groupon, which takes up one-third of the coupon site market.

The online video market saw a shift in trends, thanks to the longer length of videos being uploaded to the web. While the number of online videos viewed in the UK, Germany and France decreased, more time was spent watching them, growing 13pc since 2009.

2011 and social networking

ComScore believes social networking will see further growth this year.

“(The year) 2011 will likely see a continued growth in the use of such sites, as social networking continues to be an integral part of online life,” said the report.

“Marketing on these platforms will likely grow, as well, as social networking becomes more heavily integrated with publisher and advertiser sites.”

The report also predicted that 2011 will be a “transformative year” for the mobile market.

“We predict more than half of all mobile consumers will have access to mobile media, largely driven by growing adoption of smartphones,” said the report.

“Identifying the synergies that exist between all consumer touch points – traditional PC internet, mobile media via app and browser, tablets, etc – and understanding how consumers use these devices to fulfil different needs and convenience levels will be of critical importance to marketers.”