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Young Aussies stick with Facebook

News, 30 March 2015

SYDNEY: The majority of young Australians are continuing to use Facebook every day, according to research which gives the lie to suggestions that this age group is looking elsewhere for its social needs.

This was one of the findings to emerge from Aussies on Facebook, a study conducted by researcher Nielsen for the social media giant which revealed that 13m Australians are active Facebook users – over half the population – with 10m logging on daily, 9m of them via mobile.

Even though Facebook itself commissioned the research, the figures are compelling as regards younger users. Fully 92% of students under 25 are using the platform every day, with 83% of all 16-24 year olds also doing so, Ad News reported.

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But the global picture is confusing, with contradictory evidence appearing in different parts of the world. Eighteen months ago, for example, UK teenagers were found to be drifting away from Facebook to other services including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Last summer Forrester Research said that Facebook remained the favourite social network of US teens, but by the autumn other surveys were putting Instagram at the top for this age group and reporting Facebook's popularity had fallen from a figure of 75% to 42%.

But Steve Lockwood, Facebook Australia's head of marketing science, explained that "Facebook is a daily frequent habit – it's no longer something they're moving out of, the latest fad."

"It's really a part of everyone's day-to-day lives," he added. "And that's consistent over a wide range of characteristics and people."

The platform has evolved from its original use of staying connected with friends and family, as different demographics use it in different ways – "to be informed about things, to be entertained and most of all for a platform for discovery".

The report found, for example, that 67% of young people used Facebook to access news, while mums were more likely to be using it to discover restaurants or TV shows.

As well as being predominantly a mobile platform, the use of video is exploding: in Australia 50% of users use video on Facebook daily, with video posts increasing by 52% year-on-year.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff