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Are Kiwis addicted to Facebook? New research says yes

By Shannon Williams
Wed 27 Jul 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Facebook is proving to be a rather addictive social media platform for Kiwis, according to new research from Colmar Brunton.

The research has probed the country’s social media habits to reveal the latest trends, and what drives Kiwis in their social media engagement. It reveals almost two thirds of Kiwis admit Facebook is addictive, with users very clear about who they will and will not friend, including those they’ve only ever met online.

According to Colmar Brunton Media and Digital anager Kerri Tait, despite the fact that Facebook is no longer the latest thing and may be considered less cool than the likes of Snapchat and Instagram by the nation’s youth, it remains by far our most popular social media platform and the most likely to be addictive for Kiwis.

“A whopping 80% of Kiwis are on Facebook - 86% of women and 73% of men,” Tait says.

“Interestingly, while Facebook is increasingly seen as a platform for older age groups, 18-29 year olds (91%) and 30-39 year olds (89%) are the most attached.”

The survey found Facebook to be by far the most addictive social media platform with 65% of those surveyed agreeing with that description. The next most addictive platforms – YouTube (30%), Snapchat (18%) and Instagram (17%) – lagged well behind.

Females (75%) are much more likely to rely on their regular Facebook fix than males (54%), the opposite of YouTube, which 32% of males and 27% of females find addictive, the research shows.

“It follows that females (33%) are much more likely than males (22%) to be on Facebook five or more times a day but 18-29 year olds (48%) are the most likely to be at it that often,” Tait explains.

She says Kiwis are pretty clear about who they are and aren’t prepared to have as Facebook friends.

“The vast majority (at least 76%) are happy to friend immediate family and even their in-laws as well as colleagues and childhood friends. But most are keen to steer well clear of their boss, their teacher and particularly their ex on Facebook,” Tait says.

Friending someone you have only met online gets the thumbs down from 80% of New Zealand’s Facebook fraternity. But 18-29 year olds (29%) are the most open to the idea with men (27%) almost twice as likely as women (14%) to go down this track.

Most Kiwis are likely to be following friends (89%), family (84%) or co-workers (40%).

While businesses and brands are followed by only 26% of Kiwis overall, they are clearly doing better attracting a following in younger markets – 43% of 18-29 year olds and 38% of 30-39 year olds.

That’s better than music brands or artists who are followed by 20% of Kiwi Facebook users, TV shows and movies at 19%, celebrities or news organisations at 18% and political figures who are followed by a meagre 13% of users.

Tait says posting unwelcome content, the breakup of offline friendships and constant requests to play Facebook games are the quickest route to losing a Facebook following. Posting too often and getting into arguments are also cited as leading reasons to unfollow someone.

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