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Facebook monopolises Kiwi attention, but MySpace falls off radar

Facebook monopolises Kiwi attention, but MySpace falls off radar

Facebook has captured the hearts (and time) of Kiwis – but MySpace has disappeared off our radars completely.

In 2009, 74 per cent of those with a membership to a social networking site said they used Facebook the most often. This figure has jumped to 96 per cent in 2011, the latest World Internet Project New Zealand survey discovered.

'Facebook' was the second most-searched item on Google New Zealand this year.

The third bi-annual (WIP) New Zealand survey of more than Kiwis found overall levels of Internet use continue to increase: 86 percent of New Zealanders are now online, up from 83 percent in 2009 and 79 percent in 2007.

Director of AUT’s Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication and WIP director Professor Allan Bell says the growth in broadband is another striking change between 2007 and 2011.

“91 percent of users now have a broadband connection at home. The trajectory from 67 percent in 2007 to 84 percent in 2009 has continued but is now easing as we approach saturation. We are finally bringing New Zealand close to other comparable countries on an important measure where it once lagged.”

Use of smartphones and other handheld wireless devices is up from 7 percent in 2007 to 27 percent of internet users.

And thanks to wireless networking, more than half of us are now accessing the web mostly from communal areas at home, up from 36 percent in 2007.

Of those still not using the internet, reasons vary from not finding it interesting to not feeling confident using the technology.  A very small number of respondents say financial constraints are their main reason.

New Zealand is one of 30 countries involved in the World Internet Project – a longitudinal study that enables comparisons of internet use across countries. AUT University, with funding from the National Library of New Zealand and from Internet NZ, conducted its first survey in 2007, the second in 2009 and the most recent in 2011.

Highlights

·       69 percent of respondents rated the Internet as an important source of information ahead of television, newspapers, radio and other people.

·       58 percent of New Zealanders feel the Internet is important or very important in their everyday lives

·       40 percent of Internet users look up the definition of a word every week

·       59 percent surf the web daily

·       Māori, Pasifika and Asian ethnicities are more likely to ‘make friends’ online than NZ Europeans

·       64 percent of users say they belong to a social network

·       Social network use is highly stratified by age, attracting 87 percent of under-30s but only 34 percent of over-60s, and more females than males

·       Facebook is the site they use the most

·       72 percent of internet users buy things online and almost half sell items

·       58 percent log onto their online banking accounts at least once a week