Social Thinking

In case you missed it last week, we launched the new 2018 Global Digital Report in collaboration with Hootsuite. With nearly 400k views to date, it’s clear there’s a healthy appetite for insight into what’s happening in digital around the world. However, it hasn’t escaped us that a report with 5,000 charts covering 230 countries might be heavy lifting for those seeking a quick overview of what’s going on in Australia. If that’s you, then look look no further, because the Australian market data can be found here: Digital in 2018 in Oceania and at the bottom of this article. Allow us to unpack it for you.

We weren’t surprised to find that Australia has some of the highest penetration numbers in the world – 88% internet usage, 69% of the population are active social media users with mobile penetration at the 78% mark, which puts Australia in the top quintile globally across all measures. Additionally, AU’s social usage on mobile is the fastest growth area at 7% year-over-year. 

What we did find surprising, however, is how much time Aussies spend on the internet – 5 hours and 34 minutes daily – up 15 minutes since last year. Granted, this is a far cry from Thailand’s 9+ hours a day on the top end, but it’s still a meaningful amount of time, which is broadly attributed to Australian’s further integration of digital technology into everyday life. Our key takeaway? The majority of that time  – 1 hours and 39 minutes – is spent on social media.

So which social platform reigns supreme? Yes, it’s still Facebook. Staying in touch with other people is a core behaviour for Australian internet users, with Facebook Messenger being our messaging app of choice. To give you context, Facebook Messenger is our third most-used platform, beating out the likes of Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and LinkedIn. Still, they’re not the only contender in the messenger market – WhatsApp and Skype feature quite prominently in our top 10 social media platforms. This chat trend is not unique to Australia, however. Messaging apps feature heavily across global markets, which should prompt the question “have you got a ‘chat’ strategy for your business yet?” It’s definitely something we’re considering for all clients moving forward.

Unsurprisingly, Google was crowned our favourite search engine and Netflix our favourite place to get entertained (which is pretty much on par with the rest of the western world). One notable exception? Aussies do under-index in adult websites. We haven’t quite looked into why, but feel free to theorise in the comments…

And for sceptics who do think Facebook is dying…well, it grew 6% in Australia last year alone. Organic engagement rates and reach also did quite well in 2017. Unfortunately, we don’t expect this trend to continue in 2018, as sweeping new changes are rumoured to hit the platform in the next few weeks/months.

The data also shows that online commerce is having a bit of a renaissance, and we expect the expansion of Amazon to only increase this further. While eBay was our most popular online retailer in 2017, we’re not convinced they’ll claim that category much longer. Most Aussies, 73% of us in fact, have searched online for a product or service to buy, with 59% having actually made a purchase online (with over a quarter of us making these purchases via a mobile device). This places us just marginally above the global average when it comes to spending our hard-earned cash online, but we still have a ways to go if we are to compare ourselves to other developed nations. As these numbers continue to increase, we’re hoping to unearth more data around what exactly it is Australians are spending their digital dollars on.

From e-commerce behaviours to digital life management activities to social media behaviours, the Oceania report is packed with useful and relevant data points that help paint a thorough picture of the Australian digital landscape. To dive a bit deeper, find the full report here.

Digital in 2018 in Oceania Part 1 – West from We Are Social

This post courtesy of Carlos De Spinola