Top 5 activities: make payments, search for information, access online platforms, shop online and access social networks
- TikTok is the platform with the largest increase in the number of users, but the top three social media platforms used by Romanians remain the same: Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok.
- 87% of urban internet users have at least one smart TV at home, of which 35% exclusively watch online content (Netflix, HBO, Voyo, etc.).
- People over the age of 35 use social media platforms mainly to keep in touch with their families and friends.
- 62% of urban Internet users have heard of the concept of Metaverse, and 60% of them are interested in experiencing virtual experiences in Metaverse.
The evolution of activities in the digital environment
According to the Romanians New Media Adoption study, carried out by the Data Intelligence team of the Spark Foundry media agency, a member of Publicis Groupe Romania, the leading digital activities of Romanians continue to include online payments and shopping, accessing social media platforms and interacting with friends and the family. In addition, 53% of urban Internet users have at least one subscription (personal or household) for access to video streaming platforms, most using a Smart TV (75%). The study is part of Focus On: New Media Usage, a series of reports tracking the evolution of media consumption behaviours based on quantitative studies. We see a continued downward trend in wave five for all online activities. People have started focusing more on offline activities, as they probably did before the pandemic. At the same time, the leading digital activities remained similar: making payments and shopping online, accessing platforms and social networks or searching for information.
In the camp of those who do not usually go to events, there are two main barriers mentioned by Romanians from urban areas: the precarious financial situation and the lack of time.
The main reasons for using Social Media
For most respondents, Social Media platforms remain the best way to relax and stay connected with friends. The reasons they mentioned for using social media, which registered a positive trend compared to the previous wave, are filling free time/relaxation and keeping in touch with family and friends. The diversity of content types and finding out the latest trends are also among the reasons for use that have seen a positive evolution. Thus, according to the new study, people over 35 use Social Media, in particular, to stay connected with friends or to find out news about family members, friends and colleagues. In contrast, 18-24-year-olds use Social Media more to follow celebrities/influencers, while 35-44-year-olds want to join different social media communities to socialise or support social causes.
The new study shows that the leading social media platforms Romanians use are still Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. While the first two did not see big swings from the previous wave, TikTok saw a positive evolution from the previous waves. Facebook continues to be the most used platform, especially among people over 45. Those aged 18-34 are more attracted to platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, while LinkedIn is preferred by those aged 35-44, and Twitter is preferred by those aged 55+. Snapchat, BeReal and Reddit are most often chosen by Gen Z (18-24), while Pinterest is more preferred by 18-24 and 45-55 years.
The new study shows that the leading social media platforms used by Romanians are still Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. While the first two did not see big swings from the previous wave, TikTok saw a positive evolution from the previous waves. Facebook continues to be the most used platform, especially among people over 45. Those aged 18-34 are more attracted to platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, while LinkedIn is preferred by those aged 35-44, and Twitter is preferred by those aged 55+. Snapchat, BeReal and Reddit are most often chosen by Gen Z (18-24), while Pinterest is more preferred by 18-24 and 45-55 years.
The favorite content of Romanians in Social Media
Images and videos remain the preferred types of content in social media. While images recorded a negative evolution compared to the previous wave, videos recorded substantial growth, surpassing all metrics from previous waves. Images are the most popular type of content, especially for people aged 45-55, while video content is preferred by people aged 55+. Articles are the most famous content type on social media for people aged 35+, while text is preferred by those aged 45+. Younger 18-24-year-old users prefer the Instagram story format, audio content and GIFs, while 35-44-year-old users prefer live streaming and images and videos in 360 formats.
Activities on Instagram
Instagram remains the most popular network with which you can follow your friends’ posts. Except for activities such as swipe-up in stories, which recorded a positive evolution, the other activities recorded a negative trend or a constant evolution compared to the previous study wave. People aged 18 to 34 post photos and stories on Instagram. 18-24-year-old users prefer to follow friends’ posts, view stories, follow celebrities/influencers and react to polls. Those aged 25-34 prefer using filters. 35-44-year-old users prefer sharing videos, and 45-55-year-old users participate in contests. People aged 55+ react more to photos and videos and prefer to access sponsored ads.
TikTok and influencer campaigns
In the case of TikTok, there is a slight drop in awareness of influencer campaigns compared to the previous wave, but the result is still above the same period last year. The most distinctive and memorable campaigns were music-related, although they had a negative evolution. The campaigns with the highest growth were related to gastronomy and tourism.
According to the new study, there is an increase in awareness of the Metaverse concept compared to previous waves. 62% of urban internet users have heard of “Metaverse”, of which 60% would be interested in trying such virtual experiences. 57% would be interested in music concerts, half in socializing, 43% in games and 40% in educational experiences.
Audio content platforms and the podcast ecosystem
Awareness of audio-only social media platforms was lower than in the fall of 2022 but higher than in the spring of 2022. Their users especially prefer them because they can have privacy while accessing valuable and exciting information. The frequency of podcasts is weekly for about half of the respondents, while 16% watch or listen to podcasts daily. From the point of view of the types of podcasts, those in the form of interviews are appreciated, but also entertainment & content with/about celebrities, lifestyle & health or comedy.
Evolution of live streaming platforms and content
The most used platforms for live streaming remain Youtube and Facebook, which recorded a negative evolution compared to the previous wave. Twitch was the only platform to grow significantly, reaching the same value as May 2021. Regarding the topics covered, Music remains the preferred type of live streaming, and the following two ranked categories are Entertainment, with a constant evolution compared to the previous wave, and Concerts, with a slight increase compared to the previous wave. Tourism and Games recorded the most significant increases.
E-commerce through social media
According to the new FocusON study, 8 out of 10 urban internet users still think the social media tagging feature is helpful because they can directly see the price without going to the online store, or it takes them directly to the online store page. The most significant increase compared to previous study waves can be seen in those who click when they see a photo on Instagram in which a particular brand is tagged and go to see those products.
According to this new study, a negative evolution is observed for all types of Gaming activities, except for two categories: purchasing video games from online stores and live streaming the gamer’s style of play. The most crucial activity remains to play or download a free video game, followed by playing or downloading games on your smartphone. The primary users of online games, who choose to play together with friends or even strangers, are people in the 18-34 age group, while those in the 25-44 age group prefer to play network games and live streams with their style of play. Most urban Internet users have a type of game that they prefer, and in this wave, there is also an increase in those for whom the story behind a game is essential. Regarding the criteria by which Romanians choose the games they try, in the 18-44 age segment, the popularity and recommendation of a gaming influencer are essential. For people aged 18-24, game design and story are essential, while for people over 55, finding their favourite type of game is important, and they continue to search for free video games.
Urban Internet users join online communities primarily to connect and interact with people who share their interests. This type of activity is seeing the most significant increase compared to the previous two FocusON waves, almost reaching the levels of the 2021 waves. There has been a steady evolution in those expressing their appreciation by reacting to community posts.
Local targeting feature and nearby events
We see a slight increase from the previous FocusON study regarding the percentage of people using the apps’ features to search for events near them. Brand-promoted events on social media generate interest, especially among people aged 55 and over. People between the ages of 18 and 44 would be willing to participate, and those most receptive to nearby events are those between the ages of 25 and 34. People between the ages of 35 and 44 are also looking for other events of the same brand.
Romanians and smart TVs
87% of urban internet users have at least one smart TV at home, of which 35% exclusively watch online content (Netflix, HBO, Voyo, etc.).
Media consumption with the family
Although decreasing, most respondents still watch TV programs with their family and believe that this has become a habit that has brought them closer to their families. There has also been a decline in those spending more time in front of the TV in the last 12 months, with 43% of urban internet users watching less local news than during the pandemic. People aged 25 to 55 watch TV with their families more often, and those aged 25 to 34 have spent more time in front of the TV in the past 12 months. Regarding information, 25- to 44-year-olds prefer watching TV news rather than reading it online. They also watched fewer TV shows/online videos for children than during the pandemic.
The study was carried out by the Data Intelligence team of the Spark Foundry media agency, using the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviews) method, on a sample of 806 people, female and male, over 18 years old, Internet users, from the urban, between 10-18 May 2023.
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