Not old news: 83% of young people still use Facebook daily, it says

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 27 March 2015

With 13 million Australian active users, Facebook is no longer a platform just for the young and tech-savvy. But despite claims to the contrary over the last year, Facebook's latest study on Australian usage claims just because mum might be using it too, Aussie teens aren't logging off the social platform.

A new Nielsen study, Aussies on Facebook, commissioned by Facebook, has found that 83% of 16-24 year olds use the platform on a daily basis. When that metric is narrowed to students under 25 years of age, it increases to 92%.

In terms of total users, 13 million Australians are active Facebook users, while 10 million log on every day. Out of that 10 million, 9 million access the platform on mobile.

Facebook has increasingly been battling with emerging platforms like Snapchat, which cited 400 million snaps were sent a day in August of last year, and with estimates suggesting 90% of its audience is aged 13-17.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand head of marketing science Steve Lockwood said Facebook has become part of our “daily lives”.

“You've all heard the stories that kids are moving away from Facebook into different things. Nielsen data suggests that’s not actually the case,” Lockwood said.

“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 and that's consistent over a wide range of characteristics and people.”

“Everyone uses the platform in their own unique way, everyone has their own personal relationship with Facebook in terms of how they use it and what they get out of it.”

Lockwood also said the frequency of use has increased as well, with people spending 1.7 hours a day on Facebook. What differs, however, is how people in different demographics are using the platform.

The study found that mums are more likely to use Facebook to discover restaurants, TV shows or new causes to take up. In addition, 49% of mums use Facebook to discover new food ideas.

Males are more likely to use Facebook to be entertained, with 33% using the platform to find new movies, compared to 12% of total users.

Meanwhile 67% of young people use to access news, the report claims

“It's not just about staying connected or chatting with friends anymore,” Lockwood said. “People are using the platform in different ways. To be informed about things, to be entertained and most of all for a platform for discovery.”

Facebook announced earlier this year that it was shifting to be a video platform first and foremost, with video to be the “backbone” of everything it does, Facebook's Ellie Rogers told AdNews at the time. Facebook Australia head of policy Mia Garlick also named video as one of the key trends the platform sees going forward when it comes to social media use, in the study.

Facebook has also launched a number of standalone apps including Messenger, Rooms and Groups to play into the different ways people use Facebook.

The research found that in Australia 50% of users use video on Facebook daily, with video posts increasing by 52% year-on-year.

The platform is also predicting a rise in mobile as the “first screen”, dual screening, particularly in the younger demographics and the need for personalised content.

“That era of 'we interrupt our programming for these key messages': that's done,” Garlick said. “Now people want personal and relevant information that they want to see in the format that they want to see it in.”


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