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As it is around the world, social networking is on the rise in Western Europe, where more than 100 million internet users will visit social networks at least monthly this year.
eMarketer estimates that more than half of Western Europe’s online population will use social networks at least once a month in 2011, an increase of 16.2% from 2010. By 2015, 64.4% of internet users in the region, or 141.9 million people, will be regular social network users, more than double the number of users in 2009.
“The increase in social networking usage in France, Germany, Italy and Spain stems from two factors: greater broadband access and increased usage among people ages 50 and older,” said Elisa Tavilla, eMarketer writer/analyst and author of the new report “Western Europe Social Network Usage.”
Social network usage in France, Germany, Italy and Spain is rapidly growing. In many respects, these Western European countries have shown similar growth patterns in recent years. All four markets had lower penetration rates than the UK until 2010. However, eMarketer forecasts that social media usage in Spain, France and Germany will surpass UK penetration by 2015.
“Social networking in Western Europe may be approaching the saturation point by 2015 as about two-thirds of each market’s online population will be social network users,” said Tavilla. “Social networks should add innovative features to maintain the interest of its members and target them by demographic segments and local markets.”
The full report, “Western Europe Social Network Usage,” also answers these key questions:
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