Details of UK facebook usage in the UK, according to eMarketer estimates.
UK Facebook user penetration, 2012-2017 (% of internet users in each group):
- 2012: 60.9%
- 2013: 62.5%
- 2014: 64.1%
- 2015: 64.4%
- 2016: 64.8%
- 2017: 64.9%
UK Facebook user penetration, by age, 2013:
- 0-11: 51.7%
- 12-17: 80.4%
- 18-24: 88.3%
- 25-34: 80.5%
- 35-44: 67.8%
- 45-54: 47.8%
- 55-64: 48.6%
- 65+: 32.6%
(eMarketer, April 2013)
UK internet users spent almost a quarter of their desktop internet time in 2012 (22%) using social media sites, according to data from Experian Marketing Services. That proportion was lower than in either the US, at 27%, or Australia, at 24%. In addition, time spent on social shrunk between 2011 and 2012 by 3 percentage points.
eMarketer forecasts mobile social media use to grow strongly, with the number of people using social networks on their smartphones increasing by 50% to 30.7 million between 2013 and 2017, or 46.6% of the population.
UK smartphone social network users, 2011-2017:
- 2011: 12.1 million (19.2% of population)
- 2012: 15.9 million (25.1%)
- 2013: 20.4 million (31.9%)
- 2014: 23.7 million (36.8%)
- 2015: 26.3 million (40.5%)
- 2016: 28.6 million (43.7%)
- 2017: 30.7 million (46.6%)
Still, even as mobile social use is becoming more common, there is plenty of competition for smartphone users' mobile content activity time. (eMarketer, April 2013)
3 in 4 (74%) UK consumers now have an active Facebook account, making it the most popular social media site in Britain, according to infographics produced by eDigitalReseach and IMRG, looking into the developing social media trends in recent years.
However, the results also show that Google+ has a growing number of UK members, with around one third (32%) of those consumers surveyed stating that they are a member of the site.
A growing number of consumers are also increasingly using their social media accounts to contact brands. Around 10% of consumers have used their social media accounts to contact a brand for customer service and 4 out of 5 of those were happy with the response they received. The immediacy of social media sites means that those consumers contacting brands through the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are likely to want their query dealt with quickly and efficiently and brands need to take this into account. (IMRG, December 2012)
More than a third (36%) of UK consumers were using social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to interact with brands in April 2012, according to a study conducted by Fishburn Hedges and Echo Research, polling 2,000 adult British customers, alongside digitally pioneering brands such as BT, Sainsbury's, PepsiCo, O2, HSBC, Oasis, and Barclaycard.
Incredibly, this statistic has doubled in the last eight months. Some 65% of those surveyed believe social media is a better way to communicate with companies than through call centres, and 68% believe it has allowed them to "find their voice".
The data also showed that while 64% of consumers are not proactively using social media to communicate with brands, two fifths (40%) of everyone that was surveyed believe that these tools improve customer service. Just 7% believe that social media will harm service levels. (Mediabistro, May 2012)
59.9% of internet users in the UK will use social media by 2014, according to eMarketer.
Level of social network use in the UK, 2011-2014:
- 2011: 52.6% of internet users
- 2012: 55.3%
- 2013: 57.7%
- 2014: 59.9%
(eMarketer, May 2012)
Social media continues to be one of the fastest growing industries online. Between September 2010 and September 2011 visits to Social Networks and Forums in the UK have increased by nearly 11%, according to Experian Hitwise.
Most popular social networks by UK internet visits, September 2011 (share of visits):
1. Facebook: 51.94% (-4.32% yearly change)
2. YouTube: 22.50% (+5.33%)
3. Twitter: 3.40% (+1.11%)
4. Yahoo! Answers: 2.34% (+0.18%)
5. Gumtree: 1.16% (-0.03%)
6. LinkedIn: 0.96% (+0.52%)
7. Tumblr: 0.84% (+0.54%)
8. Moneysavingexpert: 0.43% (-0.04%)
9. MySpace: 0.39% (-0.57%)
10. Moshi monsters: 0.37% (+0.15%)
(Experian Hitwise, October 2011)
Social media sites such as TripAdvisor and Facebook have increased their importance to holidaymakers when deciding where to go over the past 12 months, according to the World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report .
More than 1,000 Brits who had taken at least one holiday of seven days or more during the past year were polled for the survey. Four in ten (40%) referred to social media this year, an increase on the 36% who used social media to book their 2010 holiday.
TripAdvisor remains the dominant brand, used by two-thirds of social media users. Facebook and travel and tourism web sites each attracted around one in four holidaymakers. Blogs are still struggling to become a mainstream source of travel information, with only 10% of social media users viewing them.
More than a third of people using social media ended up changing their hotels as a result of what they found on social media networks, a similar finding to 2010. The influence over the choice of operator, agent, resort, country or airline has fallen slightly.
The net result is that nearly half (48%) of all users booked their original holiday choice, compared with 42% last time. Nonetheless, social media is still altering the travel plans of more than half the people who use it. Looking ahead, 36% of the overall sample said social media will form part of their decision making process for 2012, back to levels described in 2010.
Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said that t he World Travel Market 2011 Industry Report shows while most Brits are not using social media when planning their break, more than half of those that do are changing their mind as a result. This is a significant proportion of the market. (TravelDailyNews, November 2011)
Only 8% of online adults in the UK who have taken a holiday in the past year, have discussed their holidays or read other people's advice and recommendations on Facebook, according to the "Mapping the Travel Mind - The Influence Of Social Media" study by Conrad Advertising, in association with YouGov featuring over 2,100 adults in the UK. This compares to 57% of all online adults who use Facebook each week. Also, TripAdvisor is the single biggest social media used in holiday planning, with 50% of UK holiday makers using the site in some way or other.
Key Findings of the reports include:
- Holiday reviews are by far the most important type of social media content used when planning a holiday, with 58% of people agreeing they are the most important source of independent advice available; 32% of people who have been on holiday abroad in the last 12 months say they have been influenced by independent travel reviews on their choice of booking.
- A negative review would only definitely stop 11% of people from booking a hotel in which they are interested; a further 82% of people would investigate further and may still book.
- Advice and recommendations from unknown web users or companies, whilst not liked (only 19% of respondents who have been on holiday abroad in the last12 months say they like to receive such advice from these parties), is likely to create further investigation by 37% of people.
- Holidaymakers using social media sites or services do not talk about prices and offers that much (only 20% of holiday makers mention this as a topic) whereas holiday destination and hotel are discussed over twice as frequently (43%).
- Social media content including photographs (43%) is most frequently used by people who have talked about/read about or been offered advice about holidays and travel on social media sites. This seems particularly important for those people who take specialised or more unusual holidays.
- Word-of-mouth (26%), a good easy-to-use website (24%) and holiday brochures (23%) are the most important influences on people's decisions when planning and booking a holiday. TripAdvisor is mentioned by 37% of people.
Conclusions of the report include the following:
- Social media influence might be less important than we think.
- Facebook and Twitter influence do not extend to travel
- Social media conversations prompt positive behaviour
- Holiday reviews by other people are just one source of influence
- Social media sites and platforms still make good advertising channels
- Social media presence is influential but cannot drive short-term sales
(EyeforTravel, November 2011)
Despite threats of legal action from hoteliers, and a recent Channel 4 documentary depicting the motives of habitual reviewers as questionable, over three quarters of the UK's long haul travelling public still believe online review sites to be entirely trustworthy, according to a survey of UK travellers by online travel agent Netflights.com.
Of the 550 travellers surveyed, all of whom have travelled long haul at least once in the last 12 months, 76% stated that on the whole they found the content of online review sites to be a valuable guide.
Perhaps more encouraging for hoteliers is that only 12% would rule out a hotel on the basis of one negative online review, where as a more ominous 54% would choose alternative accommodations if two or more reviewers had deemed service or facilities to be below par. 18% claimed these sites only make up part of the hotel decision making process, along with other more traditional factors such as price and location. Perhaps surprisingly, less than 5% of respondents suspect that any content on review sites might be contrived or in any way biased. (TravelDailyNews, November 2011)
Social networking proved to be the most popular activity among 16 to 24 year old internet users in Great Britain in 2011, with 91% saying they took part in social networking on websites such as Facebook or
Twitter, according to the Office for National Statistics.
However, this was not an activity limited to the younger age groups, with almost a fifth (18%) of internet users aged 65 and over indicating that they participated in social networking. Overall, social networking was more popular among women, at 60%, than men, at 54%.
Men were more likely to participate in professional networking over sites such as LinkedIn in 2011, with 16% of male internet users having used this online facility compared to just 9% of women. It was most popular among those aged 25 to 34, with 18% using these sites. (Office for National Statistics, August 2011)
Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly important in attracting customers to travel websites, according to a report by L2 evaluating the "digital IQ" of 89 global airline, hotel and cruise line brands and determining how social media is affecting them.
Travelsoon.com, a leading travel consultancy, says that in an age when a large number of travellers are booking their holidays online, providing a high quality of customer service through social media channels has never been more important for the travel industry.
The L2 Digital IQ Index for Travel report found that there was a direct correlation between the average "digital IQ" of the brand and the percentage of repeat business purchases made through its website - the poorer the digital IQ and subsequent customer service offered by a brand, the lower the number of repeat bookings made through its website were. Likewise, while most brands had to slash their prices during the recession, those with stronger social media customer service records have been able to rebound faster and return their rates to near pre-recession levels.
The report revealed that the most successful social media aficionados were using their accounts to promote special deals that were allowing customers to book holidays at bargain prices and pick up promotional deals such as cheap package holidays to Puerto Pollensa. They were also creating competitions to better engage with their communities while also raising their company profile. (eTN eTurboNews Global Travel Industry News, June 2011)
YouTube has been the fastest growing social service in the UK for five consecutive months, according to data from Hitwise, while traffic to Facebook appears to be subsiding.
The online measurement company said visits to Google-owned YouTube grew by 5.45 percentage points in July 2011, compared with the same month in 2010. Visits to Facebook, meanwhile, dipped by 4.46 percentage points during the same period.
Overall, Facebook continues to dominate the social networking space in terms of visits, though, accounting for a 50.14% share in July, followed by YouTube with a 22.54% share. Twitter accounted for a relatively small 3.49% of visits in Hitwise's social networking category, meanwhile.
Most popular social networks by UK internet visits (share of visits), July 2011:
1. Facebook: 50.14%
2. YouTube: 22.54%
3. Twitter: 3.49%
4. Yahoo! Answers: 2.47%
5. Gumtree: 1.32%
(ClickZ, August 2011)
Hitwise Experian has reported a good month of traffic for Twitter, extended growth for YouTube and a declining market share for Facebook in the May 2011 search and social analysis.
In May 2011, YouTube continued its growth, accounting for 20.52% of all visits to the Social Networks and Forums category.
Most popular social networks by UK internet visits, May 2011:
1. Facebook: 53.61% share of visits (-1.19% compared to April 2011)
2. YouTube: 20.52% (+0.49%)
3. Twitter: 3.20% (+0.31%)
4. Yahoo! Answers: 2.34% (+0.14%)
5. Gumtree: 1.59% (+0.09%)
6. LinkedIn: 0.73% (+0.13%)
7. Tumblr: 0.70% (+0.06%)
8. Moshi Monsters: 0.49% (-0.03%)
9. MySpace: 0.45% (-0.01%)
10. Moneysavingexpert: 0.39% (+0.03%)
Meanwhile Twitter had its biggest month of traffic ever, in part because of the super-injunction revelations, but also because the micro-blogging platform has carved a niche for itself as an excellent platform through which internet users can share and consume news.
What's interesting is that the growth of YouTube and Twitter is coming at the expense of Facebook. Since the beginning of 2011, Facebook's market share of visits within the Social Networks and Forums category has fallen from nearly 58% to hover around the 54% mark.
Although its market share is declining slightly, Facebook still commands over half of the visits to the fastest growing category online, and having a slightly smaller proportion of an ever increasing pie is still a very healthy place to be. However, it does raise the question: has Facebook now finished its growth phase in the UK, and what will a ‘stable' usage figure look like? (Hitwise Experian, June 2011)
Facebook has announced that half of Britons are now on Facebook with 30 million registered users in the UK. Facebook revealed the site added four million new users in the UK alone in the last eight months. In France there are currently 20 million Facebook users, while in Italy there are 16 million.
Late in the summer of 2010, Facebook revealed it had reached the 500 million global user milestone, having grown rapidly since it recorded 150 million users in January 2009.
Recent research found that the average Facebook user generates 90 pieces of unique content each month, with half of users logging onto the site daily. Each month over 700 billion minutes are spent globally on the site, with the average Facebook user connected to 80 pages, groups and events. Around 70% of users are from outside of the US. (IMRG, March 2011)
A nationally-representative sample of 1,000 UK holidaymakers, all of whom had taken a summer break this year, were asked about the impact that social media had during the decision-making phase. It emerged that 64% of the sample did not refer to social media sites (including TripAdvisor) as part of their research.
For the remaining 36% who did use social media, TripAdvisor was the most popular, with two-in-three (66%) consulting the site. Around a third referred to Facebook (34%), a fifth (21%) looked at YouTube with 17% looking at Twitter.
Travel and tourism chat rooms and forums attracted 28% of the social media users, compared with blogs which accounted for 9%.
WTM's research found that 42% of social media users went ahead and booked their original choice. However, more than one-third (35%) changed their hotel as a result. (HOTELMARKETING.COM, November 2010)
Social networking was a popular internet activity in 2010 in the UK, with 43% of internet users posting messages to social networking sites or chat sites, blogs etc., according to the Office for National Statistics. Social networking activities proved to be most popular among 16 to 24-year-olds with 75% posting messages, while 50% of this age group uploaded self created content. However, social networking is not limited to young adults, with 31% of internet users aged 45 to 54 having used the internet to post messages, while 28% uploaded content. (Office for National Statistics, August 2010)
Facebook is the second most visited website in the UK: in June it accounted for 7.14% of all UK Internet visits and over half (54.48%) of all visits to a social networking websites. In terms of total visits it continues to trail Google UK (9.59% market share in June) and, as previously highlighted, will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, using the measure of total page views rather than visits, Facebook is way ahead. The social network accounted for 16.73% of UK page views during June. In other words: 1 in every 6 Internet pages viewed in the UK was a Facebook page.
Facebook continues to grow around the world (during July 2010 it reached half a billion registered users) and there is no doubt that it leads the social networking pack in the UK. However, with 26m British users already, when will it start to reach saturation point? Facebook's market share of UK page views has trebled over the last five years, but growth has slowed significantly over the last six months. During July 2010 there was a slight decline in share, but this may well be down to seasonality (the August / September back to school / college / university period is significant for Facebook).
Another metric is average time spent on the site, a key metric for user engagement on social networks. Facebook has a very high average session time (almost half an hour) but, this has also stabilised over the last six months after increasing rapidly during the site's ascendency. (Experian Hitwise, August 2010)
Traffic to social networks in the UK such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounted for 11.88% of all traffic in the country in May 2010, passing the search engines with 11.33%, according to Hitwise.
Such changes in online user behaviour are fascinating, but especially for the travel sector where search is such an important part of the discovery process.
First of all the data indicates how omnipresent social networks have become in everyday web use - in this case, Facebook takes a mammoth 55% share of all social networking traffic. As Facebook integrates such features as Facebook Questions then it would be logical to presume that they will use social media for search even more. And Twitter, for example, can be a reasonably useful search engine for mentions about destinations or travel brands.
So what does this mean for travel? A social media strategy should be one of the most important areas in a marketing plan. Travel companies must create profiles on social networking sites, especially Facebook.
Monitoring social media activity should be a requirement, not something that is done haphazardly.
Companies must engage with users on social networks, understand where and what the conversation is.
Every part of the marketing plan must be joined up - offline-to-online-to-social. Search engine optimisation and keyword buying should have a social element. (tnooz - talking travel tech, June 2010)
Experian Hitwise revealed the top social networking websites in the UK for the week ending May 22 2010 in ranked by visits.
Top 10 websites for the industry "Computers and Internet - Social Networking and Forums", ranked by Visits for the week ending May 22 2010:
1. Facebook : 55.54%
2. YouTube : 16.29%
3. Twitter : 2.04%
4. MySpace : 1.18%
5. Bebo : 1.16%
6. Yahoo! Answers : 1.03%
7. Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers : 0.70%
8. Stumble Upon : 0.58%
9. Windows Live Home : 0.55%
10. Moneysavingexpert.com Forums : 0.42%
(Experian Hitwise, May 2010)
Most UK internet users are becoming more knowledgeable about security issues and less willing to provide personal information online, according to Ofcom's Media Literacy reports, which reveal the UK's media consumption habits and attitudes. It reveals that 80% of adults with a social networking profile are now more likely to only allow friends or family to see it, compared to 48% in 2007.
Almost half of adult internet users in Scotland say they have set up a social networking profile (49%) compared with 46% in Wales, 44% in England and 31% in Northern Ireland. (Ofcom, May 2010)
UK internet users spent 65% more time online in April 2010 than they did during the same month in 2007, according to data issued by the UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM), and collected by Nielsen.
That growth was driven by social networks and blogs, and online news content, as those categories witnessed 159% and 84% growth, respectively, over the three-year period, according to UKOM. By contrast, use of instant messaging services suffered greatly, with users spending 66% less time with them in 2010 than they did in 2007.
Overall, UKOM suggests social networking now accounts for almost a quarter of UK users' time online, at 22.7%, followed by e-mail which accounts for 7.2% of their online activity, and gaming at 6.9%.
Users spent a total of 884 million hours online during the course of the month, UKOM estimates.
Leading UK online sectors in April 2010 by share of total UK internet time:
1. Social Networks/Blogs: 22.7% (+159% compared to April 2007)
2. Email: 7.2% (+11%)
3. Games: 6.9% (+15%)
4. Instant Messaging: 4.9% (-66%)
5. Classifieds/Auctions: 4.7% (-6%)
6. Portals: 4.0% (+10%)
7. Search: 4.0% (-3%)
8. Software Info/Products: 3.4% (-36%)
9. News: 2.8% (+84%)
10. Adult: 2.7% (-3%)
Other: 36.8% (-13%)
(ClickZ, May 2010)
Facebook reached an important milestone for the week ending March 13, 2010 as it surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week. Facebook.com reached the #1 ranking on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day as well as the weekend of March 6th and 7th. The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% for the week ending March 13, as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame. Together Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14% of all US internet visits for the week.
What about the UK? Facebook is the second most visited website in the UK (and has been for a while now) but Google.co.uk remains ahead of it, according to Robin Goad, research director, Hitwise UK. For the week ending March 13, Google.co.uk picked up 9.34% of UK internet visits, while Facebook accounted for 6.01%. In the US, the respective figures were 7.03% (for Google.com) and 7.07%.
There are two main reasons why Facebook hasn't yet caught up with Google in the UK (and doesn't seem likely to do so in the foreseeable future), according to Goad:
1. Facebook has a very similar share of the social networking markets in both the UK and US (51.9% and 51.3% respectively last week), but social networking is slightly more popular in the US, so Facebook's share of all internet visits is higher in there.
2. Google has a larger share of the search market in the UK (over 90%) than in the US (just over 70%), and search engines as a category are also more popular on this side of the Atlantic.
(EyeForTravel, March 2010)
Marketers and brands using social networks will soon find their activities in those spaces regulated by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, following recommendations submitted by the Advertising Association. The proposed amendment to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code (expected to be in force by September 2010) will extend the regulatory framework currently in place for paid online ads to all other online marketing communications. As a result, claims from marketers on their own Web sites and third-party sites like social networks will now be subject to ASA scrutiny, as they are in TV, print, and other forms of online advertising.
The code is designed to ensure that ads do not offend or mislead, and that they respect specific laws relating to the marketing of alcohol, gambling, auto, health, and financial products. The code will also apply to content on marketers' own Web sites. (ClickZ, March 2010)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 09:22