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Consumers in France weren’t the first to leap on the social networking bandwagon, but visiting social sites is increasingly a mainstream activity for web users of all ages, according to Médiamétrie’s "Web Observatoire : Réseaux sociaux, T4 2015" data.
Nearly three-quarters (73.1%) of this second group had visited a social site in the previous month via some device, Médiamétrie found. Access rates were higher for younger people (94.8% among respondents ages 15 to 24, for example) and declined in direct correlation with rising age. Even so, six in 10 respondents ages 50 and older had also checked in at a social network in the month before polling. The proportions of males and females who used social media were almost identical, at 72.9% and 73.3%, respectively.
The 15 -to-24-year-old demographic also led the way in social networking via mobile; 75.1% in this age bracket had used a smartphone to visit social sites. The second-highest rate of smartphone access was among adults ages 25 to 34, at 59.9%. By contrast, just 16.5% of web users 50 and older had visited social networks with a mobile phone; more than half (51.3%) of those seniors used a PC instead.
There was less variation in the way different age groups rated social sites: Facebook was the most popular across the board. More than 75% of respondents in the 15- to-34 age group were Facebook members, as were 53.3% of those 35 and older. Google+ ranked second, with 21.6% penetration overall, and Copains d’Avant was not far behind, with 19.6%.
That said, the youngest respondents posted rather different results in a couple of ways. Their involvement with the leading social sites was higher than the average—81.8% of the 15-to-24 age group had Facebook accounts, for example—but more than one-third also used Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. For older internet users, Snapchat and Instagram weren’t among the top five social networks. Instead, the professional site LinkedIn was more prominent.
Over 57% of social network members said they visited the site every day, or almost every day. Again, the share was higher (75.4%) among respondents ages 15 to 24, but 46.0% of those 50 and older were also daily—or almost daily—users. Females had the edge in this context; over 60% of females logged on to social media every day, compared with 53.5% of their male counterparts.
Allowing for slightly different methodologies, Médiamétrie’s figures align well with eMarketer’s forecasts. Nearly 55% of all internet users in France will be monthly social network users in 2016, eMarketer estimates. That’s substantially lower than the 73.1% registered by Médiamétrie at the end of 2015. But eMarketer calculations include web users of all ages, such as very young children and teens, while Médiamétrie samples only the population 15 and older, where social networking is much more prevalent.
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