May 17, 2019

Facebook on top but Instagram and Pinterest growing fastest

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 7979
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Facebook is easily Australia’s most widely used Social Network early in 2019 with over 17.1 million Australians aged 14+ (83%) visiting Facebook in an average four weeks, an increase of almost 4.2 million (+32.4%) from four years ago according to the latest research from Roy Morgan.

YouTube is in a clear second place and the popular online video sharing site has an estimated 15.3 million visitors in an average four weeks, up by over 3.5 million (+29.7%) from four years ago.

Although both Facebook and YouTube are clear market leaders in the Social Networks and Online Communities market, it is the primarily image sharing sites Instagram and Pinterest that have grown the fastest in recent years.

Instagram, Facebook’s photo and video sharing subsidiary now has over 8 million visitors in an average four weeks, up by over 5.6 million (+238.1%) from four years ago. And Pinterest, with over 7.3 million visitors, has grown by over 4.6 million (+174.3%) since 2015. Both sites have more than doubled.

Other sites to post impressive growth include Twitter, now with over 6.6 million visitors has increased by over 3 million (+83%), LinkedIn which now has almost 4.9 million visitors, up by over 1.4 million (+40.9%) and Reddit which now has over 2.9 million visitors, up by over 1.2 million (+71%).

These results are based on in-depth Roy Morgan Single Source interviews with more than 50,000 Australians over the 12 months to March 2019 compared to four years earlier in the year to March 2015.

Australians visiting Social Networks & Online Communities: Top 10 March 2019 cf. March 2015

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, April 2014 – March 2015, n=51,882, March 2018 – April 2019, n=51,362. Base: Australians aged 14+. *Reddit was first measured in the year April 2015 – March 2016. 

Facebook strong across generations but Generation Z prefers YouTube

Australia’s leading Social Network, Facebook, has a user base that is strong across all five generations with a majority of Australians in every generation using Facebook – the only Social Network with that level of penetration.

Australians aged between 43-58 years old in Generation X are (marginally) the most likely to use Facebook with over 87% of Generation X using Facebook in an average four weeks.

There are also over four-in-five Australians in Generation Z (82%), Generation Y (86%) and Baby Boomers (86%) who use the popular Social Network. Facebook is also the most popular Social Network for Pre-Boomers aged at least 72 years old used by 65% of this generation.

YouTube has now displaced Facebook as the leading Online Community for Generation Z visited by 89% of Australians aged 14-27 years old in an average four weeks. Unlike Facebook, usage of YouTube declines by age with 82% of Generation Y, 72% of Generation X, 65% of Baby Boomers and 46% of Pre-Boomers using the video-sharing site in an average four weeks.

The correlation between age and usage is even stronger for Instagram. Over two-thirds of Generation Z (68%) and a majority of Generation Y (52%) use Instagram in an average four weeks compared to under a third of Generation X (32%), under a sixth of Baby Boomers (15%) and 7% of Pre-Boomers.

Interestingly, the fourth ranked Online Community Pinterest has a similar distribution of users as market leader Facebook. Pinterest is used by 40% of Australians in Generation X, and almost the same proportion of both Generation Y (38%) and Baby Boomers (38%). A third of Generation Z (33%) use Pinterest and just under a quarter of Pre-Boomers (24%).

% of Generation using leading Social Networks & Online Communities – March 2019

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, March 2018 – April 2019, n=51,362. Base: Australians aged 14+. 

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says Facebook and YouTube are clearly the top Social Network and Online Communities used by Australians but alternatives such as Instagram and Pinterest have been growing more quickly in recent years:

Block Quote

“Facebook is visited by over 17.1 million Australians in an average four weeks reaching over 83% of Australians aged 14+. This is an increase of more than 4.2 million from four years ago although most of that growth occurred from 2015 to 2017. Since 2017 usage of Facebook has grown by a more modest 540,000 as the network appears close to maximising its Australian audience.

“Its closest rival YouTube has also continued to grow and is now visited by over 15.3 million Australians, up 3.5 million on four years ago. However, similarly to Facebook, YouTube’s user growth has slowed in recent years with an increase of only 200,000 since 2017.

“The fastest growth over the last two years, and indeed the last four years, is to be found in the third and fourth ranked Social Networks. Largely image based sharing sites Instagram and Pinterest have experienced the strongest growth in users over the last two years with both outpacing the growth of their larger rivals.

“Facebook-owned subsidiary Instagram has more than tripled its user-base since 2015 and over 8 million Australians now visit Instagram, up from only 2.4 million in 2015. This is an increase of 238% in only four years and over the last two years Instagram has gained nearly 1.8 million new users.

“It’s a similar story at Pinterest which has more than doubled its user base from around 2.7 million four years ago to almost 7.4 million today. This is an increase of over 4.6 million from four years ago and Pinterest has attracted over 2 million new users in just the last two years alone.

“Although Instagram and Pinterest are undoubtedly the ‘hottest’ Social Networks in Australia for attracting new users, the two are attracting different audiences. Instagram appeals strongly to a younger audience with 68% of Generation Z and 52% of Generation Y using Instagram in an average four weeks. The two youngest generations are over 70% of Instagram’s total users.

“In contrast only 33% of Generation Z use Pinterest and the highest penetration of Pinterest users is found with Generation X of whom 40% use Pinterest. The majority of Pinterest’s users (53%) are in the three older generations of Pre-Boomers, Baby Boomers or Generation X.

“Roy Morgan closely tracks the evolving new media space including Social Networks and Online Communities. To learn more about how different Australians choose to engage with social media as well as legacy media industries and what business models will succeed in our increasingly inter-connected and digitized world be sure to contact Roy Morgan for our unmatched qualitative and quantitative analysis based on in-depth interviews with over 50,000 Australians each year.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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