Indigenous Australians take to Facebook

29 August 2014

SYDNEY: Indigenous Australians are significantly more likely to use social media on a daily basis than the national average new research has found.

According to a study by McNair Ingenuity Research, reported by B&T, some 68% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in metropolitan areas of the main cities used Facebook, while 61% of those in regional towns did so. This compared with a figure of 42% of adult Australians nationally.

Even in the more remote areas, Indigenous Australians were ahead of the general population in their use of Facebook at 44%, this despite low levels of computer ownership and poor broadband links.

"Indigenous Australians living in remote areas are having a completely different experience of social networks and the internet than mainstream Australia," said lead researcher Matt Balogh. "Apart from at school or work, nearly all their internet contact is on a pre-paid smartphone or tablet," he explained.

"Facebook and social media is also so much more useful if you are in a community where the next community is 150 kilometres away," he added.

Earlier research by advertising agency The Works found that Australian women were in the vanguard of social media usage.

This was especially so as regards the use of image- and video-sharing sites: 70% of posts on Vine were from women, 61% on Snapchat and 58% on Instagram. Women were also more likely to share or comment on a post.

Overall Facebook and YouTube are by far the most popular networks in the country, according to Social Media News, with more than twice as many monthly unique Australian users as the next sites, including Wordpress, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

Data sourced from B&T, SBS, Social Media News; additional content by Warc staff