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Interconnected world: communication and social networking

Most global internet users turn to the web for emails (85%) and social networking sites (62%)
A strong majority (85%) of online-connected global citizens in 24 countries use the Internet for emails while six in ten (62%) use it for social networking, finds a new poll by global research company Ipsos for Reuters News. Just more than one in ten use the internet for connecting with people through voice-over IP (14%). South African online users are above global average for all three activities.

Email is king... but social media is close behind
Most (85%) global respondents who are connected online report they use the internet for sending and receiving emails, including a majority of those in each country surveyed except for Saudi Arabia where only about half (46%) say so. Those in Hungary (94%) are most likely to say they use the internet for emailing, followed by nine in ten of those in Sweden (92%), Belgium (91%), Indonesia (91%), Argentina (90%) and Poland (90%). South Africa shows a high percentage of those using the internet for email - at 87%.

Social media popularity is high among global citizens using the internet. A majority of them (62%) say they visit social networking sites, forums or blogs including about eight in ten of those in Indonesia (83%), Argentina (76%) and Russia (75%) and about seven in ten of those in South Africa (73%), Sweden (72%), Spain (71%) and Hungary (70%). Even in countries where social media surfing is less popular, a sizable minority of those connected online still report using the Internet in this way: 35% in Japan, 42% in Saudi Arabia and 50% in France.

In South Africa, the advent of social networking spreads beyond the Internet. According to a recent report by Fuseware, Mxit and Facebook lead the way in South African user numbers, while Twitter has seen the most dramatic growth in social networking in the past year, and BlackBerry Messenger is the fastest growing network in the second half of 2011.

The future of voice
Voice-over IP (VOIP) - audio conversations conducted via internet connection - is used by 14% of online-connected global citizens. The relatively new technology has taken hold of a third of net surfers from Russia (36%), Turkey (32%) and a quarter of those in India (25%). Only a handful from Brazil (4%), France (5%), the United States (6%) and Belgium (6%) are using VOIP. Sixteen percent of South African online-connected citizens currently use VOIP which is above global average.

South Africa at a glance:

Interconnected world: communication and social networking
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These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Global @dvisor poll conducted between on behalf of Reuters News. The survey instrument is conducted monthly in 24 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system. The countries reporting herein are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States of America. An international sample of 19,216 adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and age 16-64 in all other countries, were interviewed between February 7-21, 2012. Approximately 1000+ individuals participated on a country by country basis with the exception of Argentina, Belgium, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and Turkey, where each have a sample 500+. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to the most recent country Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.1 percentage points for a sample of 1,000 and an estimated margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points for a sample of 500 19 times out of 20 per country of what the results would have been had the entire population of the specifically aged adults in that country been polled.

For full tabular results, please visit our website at moc.rosivda@labolgsospi.www.

About Ipsos
Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. In October 2011 Ipsos completed the acquisition of Synovate. The combination forms the world's third largest market research company. With offices in 84 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specialisations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management. Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1.14 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.) in 2010.

4 Apr 2012 10:37