Australians open to ads on social networks

26 February 2010

SYDNEY: Over two-thirds of Australians who are members of social networks like Facebook and Twitter would accept more ads if it meant they could continue to use these services for free.

A recent poll by Dynamic Logic, which is part of Millward Brown, showed that nine out of ten web users in the country who access social media sites "notice" the display ads featured on these portals.

However, some 64% of this group believed that their browsing experience was not affected in any meaningful way by these promotions.

The study also revealed that 66% of the netizens who use Twitter would be willing to be view ads as an alternative to a subscription charge, even though the site does not currently carry advertising.

Elsewhere, the Dynamic Logic survey discovered that 26% of the Australian online audience have clicked on to a brand's official website having seen an ad for the product concerned on a social network.

Moreover, 17% said they "followed" brands via their social media accounts, with 51% of this cohort agreeing that a company is "more appealing" for having a presence on this kind of channel.

Mark Henning, director of digital solutions at Dynamic Logic, said "these findings should give brands the confidence to establish a presence and begin testing the effectiveness of social networks."

Overall, Facebook is the most popular social network in Australia, with 67% of respondents having signed up to the Palo Alto-based platform.

Windows Live, MySpace and Twitter followed behind, on 40%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Despite its relatively small user-base, the latter of these three properties has made significant inroads in the crucial 18 to 24-year-old cohort.

Moreover, 59% of Twitter users are female, compared to 54% of Facebook users.

Website owners have been exploring their various monetisation options over recent years, with some charging subscription fees, while others are continuing to rely on selling ad space.

Some sites, such as that for The Wall Street Journal, which is part of News Corp, use a combination of these two strategies.

Data sourced from Asia Media Journal; additional content by Warc staff