Irish Social Media Statistics (May 2012)

*Updated June 25th with latest Ipsos MRBI stats.

It’s been a year since I wrote anything on social media statistics in Ireland, so it’s about time for an update.

This is the first in a series of posts on Irish Social Media Statistics. This post will focus on general statistics available on the use of social networks in Ireland, our online habits and even smartphone penetration – these all matter. Later posts will look at specific networks these including;

The series aim’s to bring together all the research thats currently out there. It’s taken a good bit of time to put together so do please go forth and share.

Internet Use in Ireland

This first section is about how we use the internet in this country.

  • A recent ComReg report suggest Irish users spend 10 hours 7 minutes online each week (1)
  • However Comscore reports this figure as 20.1 hours per month, with users visiting 1,966 pages on average (2)
  • An AMAS survey found 77% of 16 to 29 year olds are on the internet every day
  • 64% of 30 to 44 year olds are online every day
  • 43% of 45 to 69 year olds are online every day
  • 21% of 60 to 74 year olds are online every day
  • 25% of those surveyed said they hadn’t been online in the last 3 months with 62% of those in the 60 – 74 age group. (3)

The takeaway here is that we’re spending more time online than ever before, which isn’t a surprise. In a late 2010 study Comscore were reporting we were spending just over 18 hours a month online, less than two years later and this has increased by 10% to over 20 hours. The AMAS figures also show an increase in how many of us are going online each month – in all age categories, including ‘silver surfers’. More of us are using the internet and for longer than ever before.

Social Network Use in Ireland (4, 5)

In a *May 2012 survey Ipsos MRBI asked 1,000 respondents what social network, if any, did they have a profile on;

  • 53% had a Facebook account (+6% since May 2011)
  • 42% Do not have any social network account (-6%)
  • 15% Twitter (+5%)
  • 13% LinkedIn (+5%)
  • 13% Google+ (+13% since May and 3% since Feb ’12)
  • 1% Foursquare (n/c)

Social networking growth has levelled off in Ireland, perhaps we have reached saturation point. While the figures above show small percentage growth for all networks in the last 12 months, with new kid on the block Google+ having as many users as LinkedIn and just 2% behind Twitter. Foursquare has remained niche and will probably remain so. What these figures don’t tell us is – how long are we spending on these networks. A person saying the have a Google+ account and logs in once per month, is very different to someone who Tweets on a daily basis.

In another survey of 1,000 social network users for Nokia DMA’s;

  • 77% stated Facebook was their preffered social network
  • 7% stated Twitter
  • 72% of resondents update their profile from home
  • 17% on the move (mobile) 11% update from work
  • 59% of people use Social Media to keep in touch with friends and family
  • 35% of people access social media mostly on their smartphone

Irish Parents of Kids & Teens (LSE)

In a January 2011 study into Irish kids and teenagers, aged 9 – 16 years of age, and their use of social media was conducted by the London School of Economics (13). They found:

  • 39% of Irish parents don’t allow their children to have a social network profile
  • 42% of parents allow their children to use social networks freely
  • 20% of parents allow their children to use the social networks without supervision
  • 60% of females aged 9 to 16 years and 58% of males aged 9 to 16 years have social networking profiles (this figure includes Facebook and others)

Smartphone Penetration in Ireland (12)

In a study carried out by Red C into smartphone penetration in Ireland in November 2011, it found;

  • 49 of the irish Population own a smartphone
  • This was up 14% on March 2011
  • This figure is expected to rise to 71% by the end of 2012
  • 37% of males own a smartphone
  • 32% of females

Smartphone by Demographics

  • 39% of under 25 own a smartphone
  • 41% of 25 – 34 year olds own a smartphone
  • 37% of 35 – 44 year olds own one
  • 33% of 45 – 54 year olds
  • 19% of 55+
  • 54% of ABC 1′s own a smartphone
  • 56% of Dubliner’s own a smartphone
  • 46% of smartphone owners own an Apple device
  • 16% Samsung
  • 9% HTC
  • 9% Blackberry
  • 7% Nokia

Advertising (6)

According to the IAB online Adspend study, €5.8 million was invested in advertising on social media websites in 2011.

Social Media in the Workplace (5,6,7)

An Integrity Solutions survey of 84 IT and security professionals in December found;

  • 24% of Irish businesses block all employee access to social media sites
  • 27% allow some restricted access
  • 49% allow full access

In a survey conduced by Candidate Manager in the UK & Ireland(9);

  • 14% of Irish businesses use social media to scout for staff
  • Of these 92% of these use LinkedIn, 43% Facebook, 32% Twitter
  • In a study by The Wheel, 64% of Irish businesses were found to use some form of social media for business activities (8)

Social Media & Product Opinions (10)

A TNS Digital Life study into how consumers use social media to share product opinions.

  • 51% of Irish people like to write about brands on social media
  • This compares with a global average of 47%

When asked about motivation to write about brands;

  • 74% did so because of a special offer or promotion
  • 47% did so seeking advice

A study by Accenture (13) into the Irish market found

  • 67% of Irish people use social media to explore their options before making a purchase decision
  • 46% of us will write about our purchase/product experience
  • 36% of us trust comments about brands that come from people we know
  • 26% say negative comments affect the purchase decision
  • 30% of us have posted negative comments online

Social Media & Non Profits (8)

In a survey of 178 charity organisations conducted by The Wheel, the national representative and support body for community, voluntary and charity organisations;

  • 90% of Irish non-profit organisations use social media
  • 75% love or like using social media as part of their operations
  • 72% said social media has had a positive impact on their relationship with stakeholders
  • 49% struggle to implement it
  • 75% use social media channels to reach potential supporters
  • 67% use it to enhance existing relationships with consumers

Of the social networks at their disposal;

  • 81% said they use Facebook
  • 43%  use Twitter
  • 31% are on Youtube
  • 29% frequent LinkedIn
  • 18% blog on WordPress
  • 18% upload to Flickr

How popular are they on social networks?

  • 35% of charities have fewer than 100 followers on social media
  • 23% have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers
  • 6.2% have more than 5,000 followers

Social Media & Politics (11)

In a study by Dr Ciarán McMahon, a lecturer in psychology at Dublin Business School, into last year’s Irish elections, he found;

  • Candidates who had a Facebook account received 4,402 votes on average
  • Candidates who did NOT have a Facebook account received 2,100 votes on average
  • Candidates who had a Twitter account received 4,885 votes on average
  • Candidates who did NOT have a Twitter account received 2,676 votes on average
  • 78% of candidates had a Facebook account
  • while 57% had a Twitter account


  1. ComReg Quaterly report
  2. Comscore Study
  3. Amas
  4. Ipsos MRBI
  5. Nokia DMA’s
  6. IAB Online Adspend Study
  7. Integrity Solutions Survey
  8. The Wheel Survey
  9. Candidate Manager Survey of UK & Ireland
  10. TNS Digital Life Study
  11. Dr Ciarán McMahon study
  12. Red C
  13. Accenture
  14. London School of Economics


Subscribe to this blog by RSS or Email, or leave a comment below

Enter your email address:

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.