BERLIN: The number of German consumers utilising social media platforms continues to rise, including an increasing amount of older netizens.

Trade body BITKOM commissioned research firm Aris Deutschland to survey 1,000 individuals aged 14 years old and above, a panel incorporating 714 web users. It estimated thatĀ 40mĀ Germans have signed up to sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, a total that has climbed from 30m last year.

Penetration hit 96% among under-30 year olds, an improvement of six percentage points annually.

The average member of such properties boasted 133 digital contacts, indicating the broad reach of their online networks.

Overall, two-thirds of Germans now maintain friendships on the net, measured against 57% during similar analysis published in 2010.

Another 58% reported having got in touch with old friends via this route, housing more than 60% of over-65 year olds, three-quarters of which were found to leverage the internet for personal communication purposes.

Data sourced from BITKOM; additional content by Warc staff