According to some, “social media” are an indispensable tool for like-minded people to find one another, while others consider them a time-sucking sewer of anonymous abuse and clicktivism. It’s easy to survey users of social media platforms by creating a poll or survey. What’s harder is determining how influential each platform is, or what differences exist between users.
The responses of 60,000 Australia Talks’ survey respondents form a rare and intricate snapshot of who uses which platform to do what with whom. Click the link to find out more about each social media platform.
Of Australia Talks respondents, more than half report using Facebook “very often” or “somewhat often,” which in itself is a form of public expression. These numbers, while still high, are nevertheless a significant drop when compared to the 2019 Australia Talks survey, in which 42 percent of respondents said they used Facebook “very often”. The survey was conducted in March after Facebook, in protest against the Government’s plan to force social media companies to pay for news content, shut down a chunk of its Australian pages. A significant blow, this seems to be (at least) in the short term.
Twitter, the social network most regularly cited in Australian media reporting and disparaged or invoked by politicians, is used only sporadically by most Australians. Twitter usage is low among all demographics, but use slightly increases with take-home income and political ideology. Research shows that Twitter users have become more willing to boycott a corporation for offensive messaging or behavior.
Women are more likely than men to use Instagram, while men are more likely than women to use YouTube. We all know that feeling of scrolling through other people’s posts on social media and envying their perfect hair, adorable kids, and tasteful decor. When asked directly, 41 percent of Australia Talks respondents answered that they only share the positive aspects of their lives on social media. As a result, 22% of Australians feel worse about themselves when viewing the social media posts of others.