It seems that Australia’s have fallen in love with social networking sites, in particular Facebook. In February this year Hitwise released a report on “What are Australian’s doing Online” and after using the internet for search (10.8%), social networking and forums (8%) are our second most popular past time even more so than News & Media (6.75%).
So what social networking sites do we like? Well Facebook, MySpace and Bebo of course!
What is really interesting here is that Facebook alone has had a 11-fold increase in traffic in the 12 months to May 2008. Facebook is now ranked as the 4th most visited website in May 2008, up from 6th in April. Not only is traffic increasing so in our engagement with social networks, where on average we spent over 28 minutes on the sites, compared to only 11 minutes across all websites.
Based on the above results yesterday’s post where we found that in a US survey 40% of Generation Y’s expect to have social networking sites in the workplace is not surprising we are seeing these sort results in Australia. So why are these tools becoming so engaging?
“The increased user-engagement on Facebook is due to the proliferation of third-party applications; particularly ones that serve a useful function, such as travel planners or book-sharing programs. Additional features for connecting users, such as ‘People You May Know’ has also helped increase user traction on Facebook” said Sandra Hanchard, analyst at Hitwise.
I would suspect that Australian web users are becoming attracted to user generated content, others opinions, folksononmies and collaborative working. This is unfortunate for most organisations as they have neither the management or technical infrastructure to support these new working methods.