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Almost half of 18-34 year-olds use social media over search when looking for content online


By Gillian West, Social media manager

August 14, 2013 | 2 min read

Almost half (40 per cent) of people aged 18-34 prefer to use social networks over search engines when looking for content online, with 85 per cent of those in the same age range regularly sharing content through their social feeds according to a study from Blinkx.

The Nation of Sharers study, which surveyed over 2,000 people in the UK, revealed that the older generation has also caught the sharing bug with 57 per cent of over 55’s sharing content online as well.

The Irish were found to be the most active sharers with 85 per cent posting shared content on their social media pages. Music videos, funny animal videos and shopping videos were found to be some of the most popular shared video content with 93 per cent of 18-24 year olds watching shared music videos.

Of the findings, Goldsmiths University psychologist Jonathan Freeman said: “The reliance on search in its traditional sense is falling. We prefer to use social networks over search engines when looking for content online. And what is really interesting is that younger respondents (18-24) were much less likely to report preferring reliance on search and much more likely to report relying on recommendation via social media (either personally from their own friends and networks, or from top social media commentators) than older respondents.”

Founder and chief strategy officer at Blinkx, Suranga Chandratillake, added: “The rise of social networks and the proliferation of powerful connected devices have profoundly changed the way that we interact with the web. We’ve become comfortable scanning and processing long streams of information - Facebook pages and Twitter feeds - a content universe delivered to us by our friends and the people we follow, and increasingly we’re accessing that content through tablets and smartphones.

“As the nation shares more, brands have an opportunity to provide genuinely interesting video content that people want to recommend. With the Web at people’s fingertips, consumers are always on the hunt to be entertained and snackable video content is a sure fire way to get in front of them.”


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