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Social Networking - UK - April 2010

Social networks have managed to avoid the impact of saturation in their core, younger audience by successfully appealing to a wider audience base of older users. More than four million unique internet users aged over 55 visited Facebook in February 2010.

  • Despite the increasing range of activities available to social networkers, more than two-thirds of users are still focussed on connecting with their friends.
  • More than 20% of internet respondents access social networks on their mobile phone. This figure will increase in 2010 because of the greater sophistication of budget handsets. Wider availability of mobile applications will also make social networks quicker and easier to use on the smaller screen.
  • The launch of Buzz in February 2010 marked Google’s first foray into the social networking market. It’s not yet a credible threat to Facebook, but the search engine has a track record for innovation - as well as financial muscle - that could grow market share in the future.
  • More than half of gamers on social networks avoid games that require them to spend real-world money. This is partly due to the wide variety of free alternatives, but also because paid online gaming is a relatively niche market as a whole.
  • Facebook is set to be the first social network to incorporate e-commerce onto its platform in 2010. Further details have yet to be released but it’s likely to be based on Facebook’s existing payment facility ‘Credits’.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main issues:
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

            • Blurring line between public and private lives
              • The future of Facebook
              • Market in Brief

                • A nation of networkers
                  • It’s friends that count
                    • Usage as a news source
                      • Facebook versus Google
                        • Importance of mobile
                          • Move towards e-commerce
                          • Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Broadband access for all
                                • Figure 1: Broadband penetration, by demographics, 2004-09
                              • Social networking a top activity on the mobile web
                                • Figure 2: Sites visited in the last three months using a mobile phone, January 2010
                              • Greater integration with other sites
                                • Figure 3: Types of activity undertaken on the internet in the last three months, January 2010
                              • Facebook takes advantage of increasing PDI
                                • Figure 4: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at current prices, 2005-15
                              • Social networks appeal to an ageing population
                                • Figure 5: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, by gender, 2005-15
                                • Figure 6: Usage of selected social networking sites by age, February 2010*
                            • Competitive Context

                              • Key points
                                • Facebook versus Google
                                  • Figure 7: Total unique visitor numbers to Google and Facebook, UK, June 2008-February 2010
                                  • Figure 8: Average number of minutes spent using Google and Facebook, UK, June 2008-February 2010
                                • MySpace versus Facebook
                                  • Figure 9: Total unique visitor numbers to MySpace and Facebook, UK, October 2008-February 2010
                                  • Figure 10: Average number of minutes spent using MySpace and facebook, UK, October 2008-February 2010
                              • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                  • Strengths
                                    • Weaknesses
                                    • Who’s Innovating?

                                      • Key points
                                        • Location-based social networking
                                          • Figure 11: Attitudes towards online advertising, August 2009
                                        • Facebook set to launch a payments service worldwide
                                          • easyJet set to sell flights through Facebook
                                            • Facebook beefs up security
                                              • Social networking for voters
                                              • Leading Social Networks and Their Users

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Facebook and specialist networking sites see growth
                                                    • Figure 12: Total unique visitor numbers to selected social networking sites (excluding Facebook), UK, October 2008-February 2010
                                                  • Men more likely to visit MySpace and LinkedIn
                                                    • Figure 13: Total unique visitors to selected social networking sites, by gender, February 2010
                                                  • Women spend more time on social networks in general
                                                    • Figure 14: Average number of visits per visit to selected social networking sites, by gender, February 2010
                                                    • Figure 15: Average number of minutes spent per visitor to selected social networking sites, by gender, February 2010
                                                  • Social networks appeal to 6-14-year-olds
                                                    • Figure 16: Total unique visitors to selected social networking sites, by age, February 2010
                                                  • Time spent on social networks, by age
                                                    • Figure 17: Average number of minutes spent per visitor to selected social networking sites, by gender, February 2010
                                                • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Low levels of advertising spend by the networks themselves
                                                      • Figure 18: Advertising spend by selected social networks, Jan 2007-Dec 2009
                                                    • Social networks as vehicles for brand owners
                                                    • Companies and Products

                                                      • Bebo
                                                        • Figure 19: Bebo’s usage statistics, February 2010
                                                      • Facebook
                                                        • Figure 20: Facebook’s usage statistics, February 2010
                                                      • Friends Reunited
                                                        • Figure 21: Friends Reunited usage statistics, February 2010
                                                      • LinkedIn
                                                        • Figure 22: LinkedIn usage statistics, February 2010
                                                      • MySpace.com
                                                        • Figure 23: MySpace usage statistics, February 2010
                                                      • Twitter
                                                        • Figure 24: Twitter usage statistics, February 2010
                                                    • Frequency of Social Network Usage

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Facebook most popular amongst regular networkers
                                                          • Figure 25: Usage frequency of social networks, February 2010
                                                          • Figure 26: Regular users of social networks, March 2008-February 2010
                                                        • Social networker and non-social networker music habits
                                                          • Figure 27: Ways in which listen to or buy music, by frequency of use of social network websites, February 2010
                                                          • Figure 28: Ways in which listen to music or radio, by frequency of use of social network websites, February 2010
                                                        • Types of websites frequently used by social networkers
                                                          • Figure 29: Types of websites or applications used frequently to access content via the internet, by use of social network websites (frequent and occassional users), February 2010
                                                      • Where do People Access Social Networks?

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Mobile social networking favours the young
                                                            • Figure 30: Where people have accessed social networks in the last 12 months, by demographics, February 2010
                                                          • Access choice by social network
                                                            • Figure 31: Use of social network websites, by location of access of a social network in the last 12 months, February 2010
                                                        • Attitudes Towards Mobile Social Networking

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • The importance of mobile applications
                                                              • Figure 32: Attitudes towards mobile social networking, February 2010
                                                            • Not a PC replacement – yet
                                                              • Costs act as a barrier
                                                              • General Attitudes Towards Social Networks

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Focus on friends makes it difficult for rivals to compete
                                                                    • Figure 33: Usage of social networks, September 2009-February 2010
                                                                  • Interest in family affairs
                                                                    • Figure 34: Respondents using social networks to see what others in their family are doing, by gender and age, September 2009-February 2010
                                                                  • Social networks as a news source
                                                                    • Figure 35: Respondents using social networks to keep up with current news and online trends, by gender and age, September 2009-February 2010
                                                                  • Motivations by choice of social network
                                                                    • Figure 36: Usage of social networks in general by choice of social network, February 2010
                                                                  • Repertoire of motivations for using social networks
                                                                    • Figure 37: Repertoire of use of social networks, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                    • Figure 38: Social network usage by repertoire of use, February 2010
                                                                • Attitudes Towards Paid Gaming on Social Networks

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Paid-for gaming still niche
                                                                      • Figure 39: Attitudes towards paid gaming on social networks, February 2010
                                                                    • Time constraints are a factor
                                                                      • Games as a form of socialising
                                                                        • Attitudes by gender
                                                                          • Figure 40: Attitudes towards paid gaming on social networks, by gender, February 2010
                                                                      • Appendix – Competitive Context

                                                                          • Figure 41: Total unique visitor numbers to Google, Facebook and MySpace, UK, June 2008-February 2010
                                                                      • Appendix – Leading Social Networks and Their Users

                                                                          • Figure 42: Total unique visitor numbers to selected social networking sites, UK, October 2008-February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 43: Total unique visitor numbers to selected social networking sites, by gender and age group, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 44: Average minutes per visit to selected social networking sites, by gender and age group, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 45: Average minutes per visitor to selected social networking sites, by gender and age group, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 46: Media Metrix Core Measures Definitions User Guide
                                                                      • Appendix – Frequency of Social Network Usage

                                                                          • Figure 47: Regular and occasional users of social network websites, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 48: Most popular social networks visited by regular and occassional users, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 49: Next most popular social networks visited by regular and occassional users, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                      • Appendix – Where do People Access Social Networks?

                                                                          • Figure 50: Ownership of smartphones, by gender and age, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 51: Types of mobile phone deals used, by age, November 2009
                                                                          • Figure 52: Where people have accessed social networks in the last 12 months by demographics, February 2010
                                                                      • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Mobile Social Networking

                                                                          • Figure 53: Attitudes towards mobile social networking, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                      • Appendix – General Attitudes Towards Social Networks

                                                                          • Figure 54: Most popular motivation for using social networks, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 55: Next most popular motivation for using social networks, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 56: Other motivations for using social networks, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                          • Figure 57: Repertoire of use of social networks, by demographics, February 2010
                                                                      • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Paid Gaming on Social Networks

                                                                          • Figure 58: Attitudes towards paid gaming on social networks, by demographics, February 2010

                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                      • America Online UK (AOL UK)
                                                                      • Apple Retail UK
                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                      • Bebo Inc
                                                                      • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                      • Channel 4
                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                      • Competition Commission
                                                                      • Egg plc
                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                      • Flickr
                                                                      • Freeview
                                                                      • FriendsReunited
                                                                      • Google UK
                                                                      • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                      • Kelkoo S.A.
                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                      • LinkedIn
                                                                      • Market & Opinion Research International (MORI)
                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                      • McAfee
                                                                      • Microsoft Ltd (UK)
                                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                                      • Monster
                                                                      • MSN UK
                                                                      • MySpace.com
                                                                      • Napster Inc.
                                                                      • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                      • News Corporation (The)
                                                                      • Nokia Corporation (UK)
                                                                      • Ofcom
                                                                      • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                      • Pandora Media, Inc.
                                                                      • PayPal Inc.
                                                                      • PriceRunner UK
                                                                      • Procter & Gamble UK & Ireland
                                                                      • Samsung Electronics (UK) Ltd
                                                                      • Skype Technologies S.A.
                                                                      • Starbucks Coffee Company UK Ltd
                                                                      • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                      • TalkTalk Telecom Ltd.
                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                      • The Carphone Warehouse Ltd
                                                                      • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                      • Unilever Plc
                                                                      • Virgin America
                                                                      • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                      • Virgin Mobile
                                                                      • Vodafone Group Plc (UK)
                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                      • Women’s Tennis Association (WTA)
                                                                      • Yahoo! UK & Ireland
                                                                      • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                      Social Networking - UK - April 2010

                                                                      US $2,478.79 (Excl.Tax)