Rapid penetration of the internet, especially broadband, has resulted in increased usage and strong growth of all types of websites over the last ten years. Website traffic is largely driven by Generation Y – born between 1976 - 1990, now aged between 21 – 36, the heaviest internet users.
In the 12 months to September 2011, 86% of Gen Y’s visited a Portal in an average 4 week period. Search sites were almost as popular, visited by 85% of Gen Ys, followed by Online Communities and Messaging sites (81%), Email sites (78%) and Banking sites (63%).
The largest difference between Generation Y and the Australian population (14+) was the Online Communities and Messaging category which includes websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. While 56% of the general population visited a website from this category in the previous four weeks, it was no match for the 81% of Generation Y.
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source Oct 2010 – Sept 2011, Australian population 14+ n= 52 119, Generation Y n= 10,770.
The most popular Portal among Generation Y was ninemsn* with 53% of Generation Y having visited in an average weeks; Google topped the list for Search websites visited by 82%; and Facebook was clearly the most used Online Community and Messaging site with 71%.
Other website categories tracked include travel (28% of Generation Y having visited), real estate (28%), television (21%), sport (21%), lifestyle (17%), technology (16%), automotive (15%), classifieds (9%), games (9%), business and finance (9%), magazines (7%) and dating websites (2%).
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Over the last ten years we have seen strong growth in all website categories as the internet continues to become more accessible and ingrained in our lifestyles. Websites such as Facebook and Google are now such an integral part of everyday life they have even managed to acquire space in contemporary language with phrases such as ‘Google it’ or ‘Facebook me’ having become common expressions.
“Although much is said about Digital Natives’, those who were born into the digital age – it is the generation just before this – Gen Y who are driving internet traffic.
“Because Generation Y are the biggest users of the internet, their online choices and habits play a big role in determining and shaping online culture. Whilst most websites have been gifted with increased visitation over recent years, the explosion of Online Communities and Messaging sites mainly due to the drive of Generation Y.
“However, every site attracts its own audience and sometimes the profile of a site can be surprising.”
(*For the purposes of this analysis ninemsn does not include its related sites MSN and Hotmail).
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