The growth of social networking has been explosive, with the proportion who do it more than doubling from 11% last year. Dublin has the highest proportion of social networkers at 33% of the population, whilst the west of Ireland has the lowest at 12%. Adults aged 15-24 are more than two and a half times more likely than the average to use social networking sites regularly.
Bebo is the most popular networking site with 850,000 visitors, followed by Facebook with 800,000. Just under half a million adults – 14% of the population – are visitors to both sites. MySpace is rather less popular, with around 300,000 visitors. YouTube outperforms all of the networking sites, with 1.3m visitors (nearly 40% of the population), underlining the popularity of watching video online.
Regular social networkers are a valuable group to advertisers as they are particularly useful for spreading commercial messages. They are 80% more likely than the average adult to talk to many different people about alcoholic drinks, 70% more likely to have talked to many others about toiletries, and 55% more likely to have talked about mobile phones. They are also 25% more likely to agree that people come to them for advice before buying something new.