Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
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Gen Y can’t resist online culture:

As research shows they drive website traffic in Australia
By Motherpedia
Date: February 15 2012
Editor Rating:

Research released earlier this month from Roy Morgan shows that website traffic in Australia is largely driven by ‘Gen Y’ – those born between 1976 and 1990 who are now aged between 21-36.

Amongst the most popular sites visited are web portals (a site that links to other sites on similar topics), search engines, online communities, messaging sites and e-mail sites.

The largest difference between Gen Y and the rest of the Australian population aged 14+ was in the online communities and messaging categories which include websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. While 56% of the general population visited a website from this category in the previous four weeks, it was no match for the 81% of Gen Y.

The most popular portal among Gen Y was ninemsn (excluding MSN and Hotmail) with 53% of Gen Y having visited in an average weeks. Google topped the list for search engine websites with 82%; and Facebook was clearly the most used online community and messaging site with 71%.

Other popular website categories for Gen Y included travel and real estate (28% each), television and sport (21% each) and lifestyle (17%). Dating websites accounted for 2% of traffic.

“Over the last ten years we have seen strong growth in all website categories as the internet continues to become more accessible and ingrained in our lifestyles,” said Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director for Roy Morgan Research.

“Websites such as Facebook and Google are now such an integral part of everyday life they have even managed to acquire space in contemporary language with phrases such as ‘Google it’ or ‘Facebook me’.”

Mr Morris said that although there is a lot of emphasis on ‘Digital Natives’ – the current school age generation born into the digital age – it is Gen Y driving internet traffic.

“Because Gen Y are the biggest users of the internet, their online choices and habits play a big role in determining and shaping online culture.”

The results of the Roy Morgan Research are consistent with another recently released research study by the University of Chicago’s Booth Business School which showed that Facebook and Twitter are more addictive than alcohol or cigarettes. The survey of 250 people found that while sleep and sex were the two things people most longed for during the day, the urge to keep on top of social networks were the hardest to resist.

Assistant Professor Wilhlem Hofmann of the University of Chicago explained: “It is relatively difficult to resist urges to check social media because they are useful, they are convenient and cost nearly nothing.”


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