Young consumers get social in Europe

20 December 2010

BRUSSELS: The vast majority of young consumers in Europe now use social media services, according to a report from the European Commission.

The survey, which covers all 27 states in the European Union, found 80% of web users aged 16 to 24 years old had blogged, posted a message to a chat site or used a social network like Facebook this year.

This proportion rose to 94% in Poland - the top-ranked nation - and hit 90% in Portugal and Slovenia.

Across Europe, there was little sign of a digital divide between the large western European nations and their eastern counterparts.

Dutch youth were found to be the least engaged with social media, with just 55% using networks and blogs.

Moreover, eastern Europe also topped the rankings for internet phone and video calls.

Around 76% of Lithuanian youth utilised this technology, which includes services like Skype.

Bulgaria was ranked second on 74% and Latvia was third on 67%, with average usage across the continent standing at just 35%.

More generally, the European Commission said internet access had improved for all 27 nations.

Sweden came top of this list with 83% of homes using a broadband connection, while Greece was bottom on 41%.

By the first quarter of 2010, 70% of EU households had some form of internet access, up from 49% in 2006.

Data sourced from European Commission; additional content by Warc staff