Over the last year, various media organisations—StopPress included—have on numerous occasions asked Facebook for user information specific to New Zealand, but the social media juggernaut was been unable to provide much beyond international stats and the fact that around two million Kiwis visit the site an average of about 15 times a day.
However, yesterday, during a press conference held at the Seafarers building in Britomart, Facebook gave a room of journalists what they had been asking for by presenting a statistical breakdown of how New Zealanders use Facebook.
The data, which was prepared by Nielsen, reinforces the importance of social media for businesses, showing that of the 2.5 million Kiwis who use Facebook every month or more, 80 percent percent discover brands and products there, and more than half of these people choose to learn more about that product. 36 percent of people who find a business or product on Facebook go on to share it or discuss it with their friends.
The “stickiest” pages on Facebook are:
- Entertainment (71 percent of page discoverers stay to learn more)
- New food and recipies (65 percent stay)
- Breaking news (64 percent stay)
- Causes and crises (62 percent stay)
- Beauty and fashion (60 percent stay)
- Travel and movies (in both categories, 52 percent stay)
- Cars (51 percent stay)
- Restaurants and bars (45 percent stay)
- Financial services (32 percent stay)
The top five topics shared both offline and online are about:
- Causes and crises (47 percent share)
- Cars (43 percent share)
- Entertainment (42 percent share)
- Restaurants and bars (41 percent share)
- Beauty and fashion (39 percent share)
Facebook measurement lead Andy Ford says recipe ideas are big news on Facebook, especially for mums, but men are more focused on videos, movies and music. Youth are also interested in movies, events and music – he noted that young people consumed the same amount of breaking news as any other demographic, not less.
He introduced four key trends emerging on Facebook. The first is that mobile is “the first screen,” with 81 percent of Facebook users accessing it via their mobile device. Video is another big trend - following Facebook’s introduction of video two years ago, 49 percent of Kiwi users now watch at least one every week, not counting autoplays.
More than half of Kiwi Facebook users “dual-screen” while watching TV. This trend is especially strong among people aged 25-44 and among mothers.
Ford also says Facebook is becoming more “personal and relevant” as users treat their home pages more like a “personalised newspaper.” He felt business’ website visits from social media would soon start to increase.
Facebook representative Rowan Spinks spoke about Instagram, which Facebook purchased in 2012. He said Instagram was “critically important” for Facebook’s Kiwi market. Asked for a show of hands, around half of the attendees at the presentation admitted to using the photo-sharing platform every day.
Spinks said there was a growing trend for Kiwis to use Instagram to discover new things – “The behaviour is maturing.”
He revealed the five most popular global Instagram accounts among Kiwis. The first four were members of gossip magazine favourites, the Kardashian family (Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian, for those interested), and singer Beyonce.
Of the New Zealand-based accounts, Kiwis favoured Lorde, Shannon Harris, Frankie (Spinks didn’t supply a surname but we think he might have meant former Shortland St star Frankie Adams), Dan Carter and Jamie Curry.
The top Instagram hashtags were “overwhelmingly positive” : #love, #summer, #newzealand, #selfie and #cute.
During the event, Facebook's recently appointed head of New Zealand Spencer Bailey touched on Facebook's transformation into "a family of apps".
More than 1.4 billion people use the core Facebook service, 800 million also use WhatsApp, 700 million people use Groups and 600 million use Messenger. On Instagram, there are more than 300 million monthly members of the community and more than 200 million daily actives (Facebook would not release local user numbers for Instagram).
And Facebook's digital strategy continues to prove profitable.
In Q1 2015, Facebook revenue totalled US$3.54 billion, an increase of 42 percent from the US$2.50 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Revenue from advertising was US$3.32 billion, a 46 percent increase from the same quarter last year, and mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 73 percent of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2015.
- A version of this article originally appeared on The Register.