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Usage Patterns

Total Online Population (000's) in 2012 9,642
Percentage of Population Online in 2012 44.1%


There were 9,642,383 internet users in Romania (representing 44.1% of the population) in mid-year 2012 (June 30, 2012), according to Internet World Stats. (Internet World Stats, October 2012)

Internet penetration and usage in Romania is still relatively underdeveloped in comparison to the rest of Europe, with availability and usage limited mainly to Bucharest, the capital city. Romania has 7,430,000 internet users, equating to an internet penetration rate of 33.4% across the country.  Of this number, 41.5% use the internet daily, 5.3% use the internet "a few times a week" and 10.9% use the internet "several times a month."  

The majority of users in Romania access the internet through a PC, with 67.3% citing this as their main point of access. Laptop computers are significantly less popular, and the devices make up only 4% of total national internet access in Romania.

As is the case across Europe, the most active age group is the 18 - 24 year-olds, who make up 35% of the online community.   The 25 - 34 age group comprises 33% of internet users, and the 35 - 45 age group represents 32% of users.  Overwhelmingly, Romanian internet users are educated to degree level; employees with university degrees account for 38% of the online population, with students and post-graduate scholars representing a further 22% of users.

Romanian Internet users by occupation:
- Employee with a university degree - 38%
- Scholar, student - 22%
- General Manager (executive) - 11%
- Self Employed - 8%
- Qualified worker - 5%
- Homemaker - 3%
- Pensioner - 1%
- Unemployed - 1%
- Farmer - 1%
- Unqualified worker - 1%
- Other - 10%

There are significant discrepancies across geographies in Romania in terms of internet accessibility. The capital city, Bucharest, is the most active location in Romania on the Internet: 79% of its inhabitants have access to the internet either from home, work, school or public access points, and 56% access online content on a daily or weekly basis. (Public Intelligence, January 2011)


The home is the most popular place for people to access the internet (46.4%) in Romania, followed by work (15.6% - below the European average and a reflection of the Romanian professional landscape) and school (8.4%).  Over 20% of Romanians access the internet while on the move (via mobile networks, public access points e.g. Internet cafes). (Public Intelligence, January 2011)


UGC and Social Media

Social media usage in Romania is generally focused around Bucharest. As well as geographical limits for internet activity, social demographics play a large part in determining internet usage; with professionally-employed, university educated citizens representing by far the largest community active online.

Amongst internet users, social media use is growing in popularity; particularly social networking sites, blogging, photo and video sharing, and microblogging. Businesses are beginning to identify opportunities to use social media as part of their communications strategies. The government and state services have been slower to adopt social media, although individual politicians are experimenting with the media for campaigning purposes.

While Romanian is widely used, English is the common language for conversation via social media in Romania. Politics is a very popular topic of conversation amongst Romanian internet users, particularly given recent levels of political uncertainty. Concern currently exists that the lack of regulation over the internet, combined with the real-time nature of the medium is devaluing the quality of content being consumed by the public.

Although internet use is low compared to the rest of Europe, social media are establishing a relevancy to Romanian society as a means to connect; share and debate and we can expect their use to grow.

Internet usage in Romania is split almost equally between three main functions: information gathering (38.6%), e-mail (37.4%) and entertainment and social networking (34.1%). 33.8% of internet users are claim to be active on social media in all its various forms (e.g. reading/writing blogs, social networking/sharing multimedia content) - a significant proportion of the online population. Of this amount, 60% run their own social media account and at least 35% have uploaded a video file onto a website such as YouTube, Vimeo, or a local equivalent such as Photo sharing is more popular than video sharing, with 73% using services such as Google Picasa or Flickr.

Top 5 social networks:
- Hi5 - 3.5 million users
- Netlog - 1.6 million users
- Neogen - 1 million users
- Facebook - 327,000 users
- MySpace (Think Digital) - 170,000 users

Facebook has a relatively smaller presence in Romania than the market leaders. There are currently 327,060 active Romanian users on Facebook however the numbers are rapidly increasing. Facebook is also the most representative social network in Romania; with members coming from a wide cross-section of the population. Romanian Facebook users are fairly advanced social media consumers who tend to be educated; interested in reading blogs and interacting with other social media; and interested in sharing experiences - the technology "early adopters".  The 25 - 30 age group is the largest group on Facebook, accounting for 29.57% of users. The second largest age group using Facebook in Romania is the 31- 40 group, representing 20% of users.   13 - 24 year-olds account for 22% of the users; the majority of this age group are active on Hi5 (71.9% of Hi5's membership is drawn from this demographic.

Blogging is a popular online activity in Romania, although it is primarily the domain of educated, higher-income groups. Blog readers in Romania tend to be younger, with the 20-35 age group participating most actively (73.7% ), followed by the 25-31 age group (27.1%) and the 31-45 age group (18.6%).  In addition, blogs tend be used predominantly by more experienced internet users, many of whom have had active access to the internet for at least seven years (over 50%). Those who have been using the internet for four to seven years, make up 34.9% of the blogging population, and those who have only been using the Internet for one to three years represent 12.4%.

Twitter is gaining popularity in Romania and now has approximately 20,000 users. Most Romanian Twitter users live in the capital city, Bucharest (58%), followed by people from Iasi and Cluj (approx. 6% each), although clearly the users numbers are significantly lower in these locations. Most Twitterers are aged 21-30 30 (73%), working in either IT or the media/marketing sectors - another informed "early adopter" audience. Most users spend on average 15 minutes per day on the service.  (Public Intelligence, January 2011)


Mobile Devices

Mobile / Smartphones

Internet and IT penetration in Romania is significantly below the European average, however cell phone penetration has reached saturation point.  There are more than 24.5 million active cell phone SIM cards in use in Romania, against a human population of 21.5 million, giving a penetration rate in excess of 110%. This, combined with the limited level of fixed line infrastructure explains the relatively high level of mobile internet use at 22.7%. (Public Intelligence, January 2011)

Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2013 11:23