SINGAPORE: Uptake levels of social media, smartphones and tablets are all rising in Singapore, a study has found.

According to estimates from Nielsen, the research firm, 85% of Singapore's online audience regularly utilise social networks, and 69% connect with brands and companies via this channel.

Overall, Nielsen reported 67% of individuals aged 15 or above now use the net in Singapore, measured against a figure of 38% across South East Asia as a whole.

Penetration rates hit 97% among 15–19 year olds, declining to 33% of adults who are at least 50 years old.

More broadly, around 80% of netizens in the country log on each day, suggesting extremely strong engagement with this medium.

"Social media enables consumers to obtain opinions and information from sources that were previously not possible," said Rebecca Tan, executive director, media, at Nielsen Singapore.

"As a result, consumers are flocking to popular social networks to help them make purchase decisions and the platform has become one of the most influential forms of information available."

In reflection of this, Nielsen's survey respondents placed considerable trust in both user-generated reviews and comments made in forums, only falling behind recommendations from friends and family.

A further 23% of the internet community currently have a tablet PC, like the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, in their household.

Elsewhere, 85% boast mobile phones which allow them to surf the web should they wish, and 70% now possess a smartphone.

Tan added that while PCs still constitute the main tool for accessing the net, this situation is beginning to change.

"The growing popularity of connected devices such as the iPhone and iPad and increasing availability of cheaper mobile internet price plans is paving the way for growth in mobile and tablet internet usage in the future," she said.

"As digital media continues to grow and become an ingrained and essential part of many consumers' everyday lives and activities, it is presenting advertisers with an increasing array of opportunities to communicate and interact with consumers."

Data sourced from Straits Times/CIO Asia; additional content by Warc staff