More than six in ten (62 percent) online citizens around the world use the internet for social networking, reveals a new study from independent market research company Ipsos.
Social media is most popular in Indonesia, where 83 percent engage, ahead of Argentina (76 percent) and Russia (75 percent). However, while these findings are impressive, social networking usage continues to lag behind email in every country, with a heady 85 percent of those polled favouring the electronic messaging service as their top online activity.
Working with Reuters News, Ipsos surveyed 24 countries from across the globe, and found that the majority of those in each territory used the internet for sending and receiving emails, with the only exception being Saudi Arabia, where less than half (46 percent) emailed. Hungary (94 percent) led Sweden (92 percent), Belgium (91 percent) and Indonesia (91 percent) amongst the top emailing nations.
Of course, social media is a veritable infant compared to the titan that is email, but it has quickly established itself as a force in its own right in less than a decade. Some 61 percent of U.S. citizens now use social media, and even in countries where the pastime is less than average a strong minority – 35 percent in Japan and 42 percent in Saudi Arabia (which is an amazing disconnect in and of itself) – still engage.
Rounding out the study, Ipsos noted that Voice-over IP (VOIP) is now being used by 14 percent of people worldwide, and is most popular in Russia, where more than a third (36 percent) of citizens use the technology. This contrasts wildly with the U.S., where just 6 percent are using VOIP.