Whilst in Turin, I attended a discussion entitled; “ Would Einstein be on Twitter? Exploring the potential and
limits of Web 2.0 in science & science communication.”  The talk offered a fresh insight on ways in which social media can be used to promote; science, technology, engineering and maths.

Across the globe, we are adopting Social Media at an exponential rate. Irish people spend more time social networking than on any other websites. 49% of Irish 8-17 yr olds have online profiles, whilst Irish Adults (18+)  have an average of 1.6 profiles. Personally, I am a huge social media enthusiast, so much so that I am an active contributor to 15 different websites.

Indeed, we  “Science Ambassadors” have embraced Youtube, Facebook and Twitter into our campaign to promote Dublin as 2012‘s European City of Science.. They have allowed us to reach out and really communicate science to the public, and, in a way which is really engaging.

Below is an excellent video, which charts the rise and rise of Social Media.

Take a look!

AND… heres some more cool videos, check them out too 🙂


I’ve been collecting data on social media in Ireland since the last post on the dubscience blog. There’s certainly enough new data to warrant an update.

Let’s start with some attention grabbing headlines;
1. Twitter has almost doubled its Irish accounts
2. Facebook is adding 900 new Irish profiles per day
3. LinkedIn is growing at a much faster than Facebook – in percentage terms at least (11% versus 4%)

Facebook is still the giant in terms of social networks. But how much more growth can be achieved? At this almost everybody who wants a Facebook account must have one. Or certainly those who are allowed to have one by their parents. Some data on under 18′s and parents use of Facebook is included below.

The number of Twitter accounts has jumped significantly. Data from Ipsos MRBI show’s that Twitter is now used by 11% of the population, up from 7%. While data from Ad Planner shows an even bigger surge from 200K users to 570K. What’s also significant is the number of those checking daily which has declined by percentage, but stayed the same (according to Ad Planner) or increased slightly (according to Ipsos MRBI) in terms of actual numbers.

It must be remembered Twitter users also log in from a number of 3rd party services like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck without actually going to Twitter.com. This may skew figures somewhat as heavy users probably log in from 3rd party services. This leaves new, or light users, who may be unfamiliar with Twitter accounting for daily users on Twitter.com.

Social Networking in Ireland
• 84.2% of all Irish Internet users used social networks in December 2010. This is up 8.1% on December 2009 (*Comscore)
• The average Irish person spends 18 hours and 7 minutes online each month (*Comscore)

• There are 1,942,980 Irish profiles on Facebook (Facebook.com)
• This is an increase of just under 78,000 since February 2011
• This represents just growth of just over 4%
• Over 900 new profiles are set up each day
• The average Irish person spends 4hours 10 minutes on Facebook per month, well ahead of competitors Google sites (2hrs 51mins), Microsoft sites (1hr 36mins) and RTE.ie (22 mins). (*Comscore)
• 54% of users female v 46% male (Ipsos MRBI)
• 49% of the population over 15 years of age are on Facebook, thats down 1% from Feb (Ipsos MRBI)
• 49% of the unemployed are on Facebook (Ipsos MRBI)
• 47% of Facebook users log in daily down from 50% in February
• 24% every couple of days (same)
• 12% log in weekly (up 1%) (Ipsos MRBI)

Facebook Users by Age
• 13 – 15 years of age = 7%
• 16 – 17 years of age = 6%
• 18 – 24 years of age = 24%
• 25 – 34 years of age = 31%
• 35 – 44 years of age = 17%
• 45 – 54 years of age = 8%
• 55 – 64 years of age = 3%
• 65+ years of age = 2% (Socialbakers.com)

Irish kids 9 to 12 years of age (London School of Economics, LSE)
• 21% of Irish kids aged 9 – 12 years have a Facebook profile
• 49% of this group admitted to faking the age on their profiles
• 14% of this group admitted to having their profiles set to public
• 6% listed their home address and telephone number on their profile
• 11% listed their school
• 8% have more than 100 contacts
• 25% contacted people they didn’t know (apart from through the internet) on social networks (including Facebook and others)

Irish teen’s 13 to 16 years of age (LSE)
• 47% of Irish teen’s aged 13 – 16 years have a Facebook profile
• 14% of this age group admitted to faking the age on their profile
• 8% of this age group admitted to having their profiles set to public
• 11% listed their home address and telephone number on their profile
• 58% listed their school
• 35% have more than 100 contacts
• 22% contacted people they didn’t know (apart from through the internet) on social networks (including Facebook and other)

Irish Parents of Kids & Teens (LSE)
• 39% of Irish parents don’t allow their children to have a social network profile
• 42% of parents allow their children to use social networks freely
• 20% of parents allow their children to use the social networks without supervision
• 60% of females aged 9 to 16 years and 58% of males aged 9 to 16 years have social networking profiles (this figure includes Facebook and others)

The Over 50′s

• Four in ten over 50s use the internet. Of this group the top three visited websites are Google (38%), Facebook (19%) and Ryanair (13pc). (*National Consumer Survey of the over 50’s)

• Of this same over 50′s group 80% have an email account, 37pc have a Skype account; 29pc are on Facebook, and 2pc have a blog. (*Amárach)

Facebook Check-in’s
• According to Facebook the number of Irish people accessing the network from their mobile has increased to 800k (*via).
• This is up from around 500k from last summer.

Top Check-in Locations:
Location – Amount of check-in’s
1. Dublin Airport – 7,484
2. Dublin Airport Terminal 2 – 5,570
3. Aviva Stadium – 4,202
4. Dublin International Airport – 4,133
5. Temple Bar – 2,608
6. The 02 – 2,468
7. Croke Park – 2,050
8. Terminal 1, Dublin Airport – 1,939
9. Cineworld – 1,479
10. 02 Arena Dublin – 1,325

The next Most popular places were Shannon Airport, The Temple Bar (Pub in Temple Bar), St. Stephans Green, Ikea and Grand Canal Theatre. Shannon Airport (at No. 11) and Thomand Park (No. 42) were the only locations outside of Dublin listed in the Top 50. (SocialBakers.com)


• In 2010 Youtube had 1.3 million regular Irish users
• And 400 million views per month (Daragh Doyle, Content is King Conference 2010)
• From Google’s Ad Planner:
• Estimate daily unique traffic of just under 500,000 users
• 2.1 million unique users per month.

This data jar’s somewhat when compared with Facebook’s own figures, as it may suggest Youtube is more popular. However, when both are compared using AdPlanner you can see Facebook has double the daily unique traffic (at 1 million), and slightly more unique users (at 2.3 million).
What this data does show is Youtube’s popularity in Ireland. It’s not as popular as Facebook, but is much more popular than Twitter and LinkedIn.


• From Ipsos MRBI:
• The number of adults over the age of 15 with a Twitter account has grown from from 7% to 11%
• This is estimated to be at 385,000 people in Ireland have a Twitter account over the age of 15.
• The daily usage of Twitter, amongst this group, has fallen from 30% to 21%.
• Although a decrease in percentage terms, it is an increase in actual numbers from 73,500 to 80,850 daily users.
• From Knexsy
• In March there were 177,000 active Twitter accounts
• Active accounts are those who sent at least one tweet during March
• This figure is expected to have grown by up to 20% since March (data yet to be released)
• Approx 60,000 unique users active per each rolling 5 day period.
• Average of 159,000 tweets were sent per day (avg over 31 days)
• 47% of tweeters sent only one tweet in a 5 day period
• 78% sent less than 10 tweets in a 5 day period
• 22% sent 10 or more tweets and accounted for 85% of all tweets

In March Barry Hand, estimated there to be 180,000 Twitter users in Ireland. This was based on Ad Planner data which showed 200,000 unique visitors to Twitter.com in January. April Ad Planner data is showing this figure to have increased significantly to 570,000 unique visitors. While this is a huge surge in numbers the number of daily unique users has remained the same, in around 50,000 per day.The increase in new accounts may also explain the dramatic rise in users who claim to log in less frequently than once every fortnight. In February this figure stood at 31% of all Twitter users, however in May this had risen to 44% of users. (Ipsos MRBI)

Of course it must be worth noting Twitter is accessed by a range of 3rd party services such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, therefore traffic to Twitter.com may hide the true number of users. Not to mention those who operate multiple accounts – this makes estimating the actual number of individuals who use Twitter a very difficult task.

How Twitter is Used
• Re-tweets on Twitter account for 8-10% of traffic (Knexsy)
• 71% of Irish journalists use Twitter as a news source
• Mentions of Twitter in the Irish media increased from 16 mentions per month in January 2008 to 2,058 references in March 2011.
• 27% of mentions were related to entertainment
• 27% of mentions were related to politics
• 28% of mentions were related to sport (of 1,100 broadsheet articles in Irish papers) (Kantar PRII)
• General Election – Tweets with the #GE11 hashtag peaked at just over 40,000 tweets on Saturday Feb 26th, the day counting in the election began. (Knexsy.com)
Knexsy Sentiment Analysis (positive versus negative tweets)
• The Queens Visit
• Jedward & The Eurovision
• Leinster’s Heineken Cup Win

• There’s 472,687 Irish LinkedIn profiles (LinkedIn)
• This is up over 52,000 since February.
• This is growth of just over 11% in numbers
• In percentage terms LinkedIn is growing at almost three times the rate of Facebook
• Ireland still has the 2nd highest penetration of LinkedIn users in the world.
• LinkedIn’s reach in Ireland has increased from 14.7% in July 2010 to 21% in March 2011. (Comscore)
• The number of people claiming to have a LinkedIn account fell from 9% in February, to 7% in May.
• 9% of LInkedIn users logged in daily (Up 1% from Feb)
• 11% log in every couple of days (down from 14% in Feb)
• 31% log in weekly (same)
• The average LinkedIn user is aged between 35 and 44, employed, living in Dublin and AB social class. Just 2% of the unemployed are on LInkedIn. (IPSOS MRBI)


Foursquare is a location based social network, accessed via a mobile phone. Worldwide the service claims to have over 11 million users, which is small number when compared with any of the others on this list. It is very similar to Facebook Places, except with a gaming element. Foursquare don’t release data on any individual country so this has been sourced from Google Ad Planner. You have to wonder will Foursquare ever break out into a wider audience, especially now when it has to compete with Facebook Places and the fact a lot of people just don’t check in anywhere. Facebook may say 800k Irish users are accessing the service via their smart phone, that doesn’t mean they’re checking in with Facebook Places.

The Foursquare in Ireland data for May 2011;
• Unique visitors (estimated cookies) 13k
• Unique visitors (estimates users) 10k
• Reach 0.3%
• Page views 53K
• Total visits 17k
• Average visit per cookie 1.3
• Average time on site 3 mins 20