How are Australians using social media?

In our Social for Everyone study, we spoke to over 40,000 people via surveys in 35 countries, including Australia. Here’s what we learned:

 Australians are less likely than their global peers to have a social media account. In Australia, 76% of people aged 12 to 54 have a social media account, compared with 86% globally. Australian aged 6 to 11 are much less likely to have an account than global kids (22% vs. 44%).

 They check social media frequently. Australians aged 12 to 54 are slightly more likely than their global peers to say they check their social media accounts at least every 6 hours (79% vs. 76%).

 Connecting with family and friends is their main reason for using social media. For Australians as well as people globally, the top 3 reasons for using social media are to keep in touch with friends and family, for pure entertainment, and to kill time.

 Most see the benefits of social media and feel it can strengthen relationships. Three-quarters of Australians (74%) feel that social media has a positive effect on at least one area of their lives, such as their relationships, careers, social lives, or political involvement. Seven in 10 feel that it’s good for their relationships, including their social lives in general (58%), close friends (54%), siblings (47%), and parents (39%).

 Social media’s drawbacks are less of a concern. Australians are significantly less likely than people globally to worry about social media in some form (38% vs. 55%). They’re also less likely to worry about getting bullied online (24% vs. 36%).

 Australians in different age groups use social media in their own ways:

  • 35 to 54 year-olds are self-assured and take a balanced approach. Nine out of 10 Australians in this age group feel social media reflects who they really are (90% vs. an average of 87% among those aged 12 to 54). They post less, with just 16% saying they love to share all their experiences on social media, compared with an average of 34%. Only 20% feel that having lots of connections on a social network makes them look good (compared with an average of 36%) and 18% find it embarrassing to post something on social media and not receive a lot of ‘likes’ (average 33%).
  • 25 to 34 year-olds are cautious users who lived through social media’s “testing” phase. Half of Australian social media users have been un-friended, compared with an average of 38% among 12 to 54 year-olds. This group is also more likely than their peers of other ages to worry about pictures or stories on social media causing problems for them in the future (44% vs. an average of 38%).
  • 18 to 24 year-olds are future-focused and aware of how others perceive them. In Australia, this age group is most likely to have a social media account (88% vs. an average of 65% among those aged 12 to 54). They feel more pressure to be the best (71% vs. 60%), worry more about what others think of them (71% vs. 63%), and want to make their parents proud (66% vs. 49%).