The number of British adults using social networking sites has passed 50 percent for the first time
Social networks have got their hooks into more than half of British adults, according to the Office of National Statistics.
This year’s ONS annual Internet usage survey records that, for the first time, the majority of over-16’s in Britain, 57 percent, had used social networking sites in 2011. As might be expected, the age group most tuned-in to social networking is 16-24-year olds, with nine out of ten saying they used sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Over all, social networking was more popular among women than men except where LinkedIn was concerned. Here, 16 percent of male Internet users versus nine percent of females used the professional networking site.
Still some missing out
Last year, the government’s “digital champion” Martha Lane Fox said she wanted every adult in Britain of working age to be online by 2015.
Internet access is present in 77 percent of households but separate data from the Labour Force Survey showed that 8.73 million UK adults had never used the Internet. Over one-third of disabled people also say they have never been online.
The survey also revealed that 45 percent of Internet users accessed the Web with a mobile phone and the use of wireless hotspots almost doubled in the last 12 months to 4.9 million users.
Last month, Ofcom released a survey claiming more than a third of British adults are addicted to smartphones. When asked about their smartphone use, 37 percent of adults and 60 percent of teens admitted they were ‘highly addicted’.
The survey also found a quarter of UK mobile users access the Internet from their phone and almost six in ten of those get their fix from social networking sites. Messaging was the second most popular activity with 53 percent sending and receiving emails from their mobile.