Two-thirds of UK internet population on Facebook – on a par with TV

16 Jan 2013

Facebook says two-thirds of the UK’s internet population use the social network and 18 to 34-year-olds spend as much time on the social network as they would watching TV. The social network has created a new Retail Centre aimed at recession-weary UK retailers whom it is encouraging to adopt social media to boost revenues.

In recent months, Facebook has stepped up its efforts to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to engage on the social network and drum up business. Last month, Facebook’s global head of SMB Dan Levy said more small businesses are likely to launch their Facebook pages before they launch a website.

The new Retail Centre includes video tutorials, white papers, case studies and cheat sheets to help retailers succeed online.

Facebook gave some interesting statistics from Nielsen on the current shape of the Facebook economy in the UK at present.

Two-thirds of the UK’s internet population use Facebook and on average the users spend almost seven hours a month connecting on Facebook.

It claimed this is four times the amount of time spend on any other website and that one in five minutes online in the UK is spent on Facebook.

More than 51pc of Facebook users in the UK are women and 25pc of users are under 25. Some 30pc of Facebook’s UK audience is over 50.

Each user has on average of 130 friends and 67pc of 18 to 34-year-olds connect with their friends on Facebook several times a day, putting Facebook on a par with TV.

How influential is Facebook in terms of buying stuff?

The social network revealed that 71pc of its UK users connect with friends every day and 16pc have made a product purchase based on friend interactions.

In terms of how effective the social networking site is as a way of boosting purchases, the Nielsen research says that because of interactions on Facebook, 23pc of users have tried a new restaurant or bar, 36pc have listened to new music and 37pc of users ask their friends for product recommendations on Facebook.

Some 62pc of UK Facebook users access the network via a mobile phone and 26pc do so via a tablet computer.

Mobile users are most active on the social network at midday, while tablet use is highest at night, when 60pc of all users are on Facebook.

More than 59pc of 18 to 24-year-olds say Facebook is the first thing they access in the morning and the last thing they access at night.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years