Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, has just released its first dedicated report on social networking in the UK. It’s free to download and makes very useful reading – essentially an extremely well researched one-stop primer on the whole subject. Alternately, if reading a report is just far too ‘old media’ for you, then you can watch a summary video – just click on the YouTube screen I’ve embedded above.
Largely based on Ofcom’s own quantitative and qualitative research, the report highlights a range of interesting usage findings – such as:
– The UK apparently has a higher level of social networking site take-up than the US, Japan, France, Germany and Italy. The only country where social networking is more popular is Canada.
– On average, adult social network users have profiles on 1.6 sites and check their profile at least every other day.
– Nearly a quarter of those who visit social networking sites are aged over 50.
Of particular interest to me is the attitudinally-based segmentation of social network users and rejectors developed on the back of the qualitative research, which provides some useful insights into different audiences for social networks.
The report also examines privacy and safety issues, including both primary research and a literature review.
Overall, it’s a must-read for UK-based marketers and fundraisers working with social media (or just wanting to know what it’s all about).
All this great research insight for free! Go on… hit download, grab a cup of tea, and go read it.