Facebook's allure fading - survey

By Amelia Wade

Half of New Zealand use site but more than half of respondents say they don't care about social media.

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Almost half of New Zealand is on Facebook, but more than half of those don't care about social media.

And nearly a quarter say social media is less important to them than it used to be, according to a Herald-DigiPoll summer survey.

Social media commentator Simon Young said the decreasing interest in Facebook and Twitter was because neither technology was considered as being new anymore.

"When it was new, the technology itself was exciting and made headlines. But now the focus is more on the reason we use social media - to foster and add depth to our existing relationships, and to meet new people. Therefore, social media is perceived as less important."

Mr Young believed the 55.9 per cent who said they didn't care about social media could be attributed to three possible reasons.

One was that people might now have a grudge against them.

"Facebook is becoming more and more a part of our lives, but people feel a grudging reluctance to acknowledge its importance.

So, while they use it, they don't consciously care about it. Or they say they don't."

Mr Young also thought that people reported caring less about social media because it's not seen as essential.

He envisages a time when everyone will have a social media account - whether they care for it or not.

New Zealand has more than 100 per cent cellphone ownership, and cellphone accounts cost money.

"Social media accounts are free, and have multiple uses. So I'm pretty certain we'll reach a stage where everyone finds it useful to belong to at least one social network."

Figures released in December show New Zealanders spent an average eight hours on social media sites in October. Nielsen's survey of 3000 people showed 80 per cent of the online Kiwi population spent time on Facebook, higher than Australia (74 per cent), the US (69 per cent) and UK (68 per cent).

New Zealanders spent an average 7 hours 43 minutes on Facebook in October, nearly the equivalent of a full working day.

The next highest ranked site was Blogger, with a monthly unique audience of 803,000. Twitter attracted 431,000, Tumblr drew in 428,000, and 394,000 visited WordPress.

The main reason Kiwis were using social media was to keep in touch with family and friends, the survey showed.

- NZ Herald

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