The Victorian Government digital innovation review Part B: The digital readiness of Victorian citizens
social media users:
98 per cent use Facebook,
19 per cent use Linkedin,
15 per cent use Twitter,
9 per cent use Google+.
y social media service, Facebook dominates, with 97 per cent of social network users across Australia (98 per cent in Victoria) reporting they used the service, with an average user spending more than six hours per week on the site.
The 2012 report also found that Twitter and LinkedIn had almost doubled their user share compared to the previous year. LinkedIn usage grew from 9 per cent to 16 per cent, Twitter from 8 per cent to 14 per cent.
Victorians were more likely than the national average to both post and read online reviews and blogs and led the other large states in their use.
Use of social media by social media users – Yellow Social Media report—201221
To place social media use in perspective, the table on the next page provides a breakdown of social network service use based on internet usage levels amongst the broader population.
Victoria remain one of the leading states, with 68 per cent of Victorian internet users on Facebook, 13 per cent on LinkedIn and 10 per cent on Twitter, leading the national average.
This reflects the findings of the Australian Department of Finance and Deregulation’s report, Interacting with Government—Australians' use and satisfaction with e-government services—201122, which is based on data approximately 12 months older.
The Interacting with Government report found Victorians reflected the national average for use of most digital and mobile channels, per the second table on the next page.
For example this report indicated that 47 per cent of Victorians used Facebook and 8% used Twitter.
Use of social media by citizens – Yellow Social Media report—201223
Social media use – Interacting with Government report—201124
An average Victorian Facebook user accesses Facebook 21.3 times/wk, and 1,107.6 times/year.
he Yellow™ Social Media Report found that Victorians used Facebook an average of 21.3 times per week, ahead of the national average of 20.6 uses and more frequently than any other state or territory other than Queensland. 25
The report also found that Victorians had the largest average number of Facebook friends at 253. This was significantly larger than the average friends for residents of other large states or the national average (227).
Facebook use frequency and friending – Yellow Social Media report—201226
Facebook’s Ad Creator tool was used to build a view of Victoria’s active Facebook users. These figures contain discrepancies due to optional fields and Facebook’s aggregation approach.
ased on Facebook’s tool, on 22 June 2012 there were 2,674,740 active Victorian users. This is approximately 24 per cent of the active Facebook users for Australia (11,066,420).
Based on ABS data, the extrapolated June 2012 Victorian population aged 13 or over (Facebook’s official minimum age) was 4,562,000. The active Facebook users represent 58.6 per cent of these Victorians.
Active female Victorian users (52 per cent) outnumbered males (46 per cent), with another 2 per cent of users choosing to not reveal their gender. This reflected the national statistics of 53 per cent female and 45 per cent male, with 2 per cent undefined.
he largest age groups for Victorian Facebook users were the 26-35 (25.4 per cent) and 19-25 (23.9 per cent) year olds. Those aged 13-18 (14.2 per cent) were the fourth largest, just behind 36-45 year olds and the smallest age group were Victorians aged 56+ at 9 per cent.
Facebook use in Victoria by age, numbers – Facebook – 22 June 201227
Facebook use in Victoria by age, percentage – Facebook – 22 June 201228
Per the table on the next page, Facebook Ad Creator indicated there were significantly more active Victorian Facebook users aged 19-25 than the entire Victorian population for this cohort extrapolated from ABS data.
This could represent a combination of people lying about their age in Facebook and incorrect estimates in Facebook’s real-time user statistics.
This discrepancy not withstanding, the data reflects extremely high usage of Facebook by younger demographics, with declining usage in older groups.
Facebook use as a percentage of Victorian population – Facebook/ABS – 22 June 201229
71 per cent of Victoria’s active Facebook users live in greater Melbourne.
Geographically, 71 per cent of Victoria’s active Facebook users lived in Melbourne and regional centres contained much lower percentage of active users. This reflects the regional divide in internet access levels.
Facebook use by reported location – Facebook – 22 June 201230
The demographics also suggested a difference between Melbourne and non-Melbourne Facebook users across Victoria in their gender and age characteristics.
Melbourne had a smaller gender divide (refer to the chart on the next page), with five percentage points separating females at 51.5 per cent and males at 46.5 per cent.
Across the rest of the state this gender gap expanded to almost eight percentage points, with females dominating at 53 per cent compared to 45 per cent being male.
Regional Victorian users were more likely than Melbourne users to be female and either 18 or younger or 46 and older.
ge demographics also varied.
While Melbourne users were more likely to be aged 19-45, elsewhere in Victoria users were significantly more likely to be aged 13-18 or 46+.
This may reflect the comparative age demographics of Melbourne, the level of internet access or the length of time that broadband has been available in different regions of the state.
It may also suggest that, due to remoteness, older people in regional areas of Victoria are more likely to use Facebook as a tool to connect to their relatives, whereas physical proximity reduces this need in Melbourne.
his becomes more interesting when looking at a comparison between Facebook usage by age in Melbourne, the three largest regional centres in Victoria, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, and the rest of the state.
Both Ballarat and Bendigo demonstrate a pattern of consistently younger usage, with greater percentages for both the 13-18 and 19-25 age groups and a lower share of 26-35 year olds.
This reflects global patterns in how Facebook growth in regional areas has lagged metropolitan areas. In the future these regions may see significant growth in the 26-35 and 46-55 age cohorts relative to Melbourne.
‘Elsewhere in Victoria’ – which represents more remote and smaller towns in the state – has a significantly higher share of older users. This may represent the age demographics of these regions.
LinkedIn claims over three million Australian users.
657,953 Victorian accounts were identified, being 22 per cent of Australian accounts.
t is more difficult to pinpoint the level of LinkedIn use due to limitations in the site’s statistical tools, however LinkedIn claimed over three million Australian profiles in March 2012, from one million users in March 2010.31
Within Victoria it was possible to identify 657,953 LinkedIn users by conducting an analysis of users indicating Melbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong or Victoria as their location on 22 June 2012. This represents 16% of Victorians aged 20 or older. At 22 per cent of the three million reported Australian LinkedIn users, this is a significant level of use by Victorians.
Randstad’s 2012 World of Work report analysed views of LinkedIn by employers in Australia’s largest states,32 finding that Victorian employers were less likely to consider LinkedIn important in talent attraction.
Victorian employers (at 54 per cent) lagged those from New South Wales (at 67 per cent) and Queensland (at 66 per cent) in believing social media should be part of any organisation’s talent attraction strategy.
Use of social media as part of a talent attraction strategy – Randstadt World of Work report –March 201233
Think is important as part of a talent attraction strategy – Randstadt World of Work report – March 201234
Estimation of Victorian Twitter users
(using two separate methods)
Population share estimate:
Based on Victoria’s population as a proportion of the Australian population, Victoria should account for approximately 24 per cent of Australia’s 2.1 million Twitter users, or 504,000 users.
Statistical share estimate:
The 2012 Yellow™ Social Media Report reported that 70 per cent of Victorian internet users used social media and that 14 per cent of Australian social media users use Twitter.
Extrapolating a June 2012 Victorian population of 5.44 million (ABS Census), there are an estimated 5.39 million Victorian internet users (98 per cent of the population), 3.77 million social media users (70 per cent of internet users) and 528,000 Twitter users (14 per cent of social media users).
ourcing current Twitter users for Australia is difficult as Twitter does not officially release data by country.
However Social Media News, through an external research process, reported that in July 2012 there were 2.1 million Australian Twitter users, based on monthly unique Australian visitors to the Twitter site.35
Using an estimation process (at right) using two separate approaches, it appears there are approximately 504,000 and 528,000 active Twitter users in Victoria.
Datafication, a joint project by The Works and the University of Technology Sydney, reported in November 2011 that there were an average of 5,000 tweets per minute from Australia, 30 per cent originating from Sydney and 28 per cent from Melbourne. 36
Datafication also reported that, per capita, Hobart, Sydney and Melbourne were the most prolific Tweeters.
Based on the 28 per cent figure, Melbourne accounts for 1,400 tweets per minute – or 2 million tweets per day.
With approximately 500,000 active Twitter users in Victoria, this equates to about four tweets per day per user – or the equivalent of 1,460 tweets per user per year.
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