Social media use varies across Europe

26 February 2010

BRUSSELS: Consumers living in Eastern Europe use social networking services like Facebook and LinkedIn more regularly than their Western counterparts, a new report has revealed.

According to the Marketers & Consumers, Digital & Connected (MCDC) report from IAB Europe, 59% of people in Eastern Europe had viewed or updated their social network profile in the last month, compared to a continent-wide average of 52%.

Similarly, Eastern Europeans tend to spend longer on a single online session, with 33% typically using the web for three hours or more in one sitting.

They are also more likely to use secondary markets for purchasing goods and services on the internet, with 27% buying goods from other web users, while just 24% did so from dedicated ecommerce portals.

By contrast, primary markets were more popular in all other areas in Europe, with an average of 57% of netizens across the region having acquired a product or service from an internet vendor in the last year.

Catherine Borrel, head of research at IAB Europe, said "from behaviour ranging from ecommerce to media consumption, from attitudes to privacy and advertising, MCDC helps us see how the pieces of the European online jigsaw fit together."

The report also indicated that 74% of Europeans researched product information online once a week or more, and that 77% accessed the net every day.

In addition, 97% had access to a broadband connection, while 93% used a search engine once a week or more, and 89% regularly utilised email.

Internet penetration varied widely, with consumers in Western Europe most likely to have a home connection, reaching a peak of 85% in the Netherlands, and falling to a low of 32% in Romania.

IAB Europe's report was carried out by InSites Consulting, and canvassed 32,000 people in 16 nations across the continent.

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additional content by Warc staff