Thursday, March 3, 2011

Analysis of New Study on Social Networks in Spain

The Cocktail Analysis has just released the third wave of its “Study on Social Networks” focused on the habits and tendencies in the Spanish online community. This is a fantastic collection of data that I highly recommend. It's currently only available in Spanish, but I've included the highlights below.

The goal of the study is to analyze the evolution of online communities and social networks within the Spanish internet space, and to look at the habits and attitudes of users.
social network usage

Interestingly, the report is generally in-line with comScore’s recent 2010 Europe Digital Year in Review report, which I reviewed last week.

One area that did stand out and differ from comScore’s report is in the area of attitudes pertaining to online privacy, which I have discussed in previous posts and has been highlighted by Grupo Beta Labs in a recent report.

The stricter privacy policies [of Tuenti] must be an important feature in Spain, which has an online culture more concerned with personal privacy than that of the United States or the UK. Social Media Landscape in Spain

“…key factors hindering growth of location-based services are: Online privacy is a major concern. Spain Still Waiting for an Incentive to Check-In

This is an example of how acting upon data from multiple countries or across a region like Europe is not the best plan. I’ve previously cautioned that each country has its own ‘online culture’ that must be taken into consideration before making decisions concerning that market. In the case of Spain, there is a high concern with online privacy.

comScore cites the decline of more 'traditional' forms of online communication such as Instant Messaging across Europe, citing that IM has seen a 39% decline since 2009. comScore does show that email use has remained steady, especially among the older demographic.

time spent online comscore

This is in contrast, however, to The Cocktail Analysisevidence that younger people show an emerging tendency to migrate from sharing everything on social networks to censoring conversation within them and choosing to use Messenger (the Spanish refer to Windows Live Messenger as, simply, 'Messenger') and email for more private conversations.

The major findings of the “Study on Social Networks” are as follows:
  • Similar to the comScore study I reviewed last week, The Cocktail Analysis found that 85% of the internet population in Spain uses social networks.
  • In 2010, users have, on average, accounts with 2 social networks, the same as in 2009. In 2008 the average was 1.7 accounts.
social community network
  • In addition, 45% participate in topic-specific network or community
  • 78% of internet users are also using Facebook, which, they say has become synonymous with ‘social network’. This is also similar to comScore’s findings.
The main reasons people use social networks are as follows:
  • Stay in contact with friends and acquaintances (63%)
  • Communicate for free (63%) – Spain has very high mobile phone rates (OCDE) and people are known to choose to text or wait till they get home and use Skype or Messenger
  • To find old friends and acquaintances (36%)
  • To make plans (21%)
  • To stay in touch with people living abroad (19%)
  • Because it’s cool (16%)
  • To meet new friends/meet people (14%) …etc…

Following on comScore’s recent report on Smartphone usage in Europe, in which they higlighted the fact that Spain leads Europe with Smartphone adoption, The Cocktail Analysis' study showed that accessing social networks on mobile phones has skyrocketed over the last year – from 9% of people surveyed accessing a social network at least once per day in 2009, to 29% in 2010.

While Facebook is the most accessed social network from mobile phones, Twitter users interact with Twitter more than Facebook users interact with Facebook while on the go. 40% of Twitterers also Tweet from their mobile phones.

When accessing a social network on the mobile phone, most users are more ‘passive’ and prefer to look and read. Tuenti has the highest percentage of people actively participating on mobile phones.

Messenger is the tool with highest mobile penetration, with 34% of users using it at least once per month.


86% of Facebook users have interacted with at least one brand (becoming a fan, liking a brand, looking at a group or page, etc.), while the ratio on Twitter is much lower with only 17% of users following a brand/company

relationship brands
Interestingly, however, 86% of Twitter users who have interacted with a brand on Twitter remember that interaction, versus 61% on Facebook.
The Cocktail Analysis believes this is due to the fact that it is necessary to take initiative to interact with a brand on Twitter, whereas on Facebook the interaction is more reactive.

follow brands

  • The brand with the highest recognition on any social network is CocaCola.
  • On Facebook retail brands Nike, Blanco, Adidas and Zara gained position, while mobile phone operators, such as Movistar, grew in recognition on Tuenti.
  • Importantly noted, only 1 in 4 social network users says they would consider increasing their repertoire of social networks. Of those who would like to enter into another social network, Twitter is the #1 choice.
Activity and abandonment:
  • Facebook is the social network with 78% penetration, followed by Tuenti with 35% (I have a theory on why it’s so low) and then Twitter with 14% (up from 9% in 2009)
  • Meanwhile, Hi5, MySpace and Fotolog continue to lose users
  • Messenger is used by 69% of the online community, 90% of whom have had their account for three years or more
  • The most common activities on social networks are ‘looking at photos and profiles of other users’, which is highest on Tuenti.
  • On Twitter, the majority of users prefer to follow the activity of their contacts, with only 1/3 of users actually publishing Tweets regularly
  • 4 of 10 accounts on all social networks are not active, meaning they have been closed, or are open but not in use. Those with the highest inactive rate are Xing, Fotolog, Hi5, Sonico, Badoo and Myspace.
  • Twitter and LinkedIn are the networks most abandoned, though they are also the networks to which users return to and re-open accounts most frequently.
The most common reasons for abandoning a social network are:
  • Zombie accounts – opening and closing accounts without understanding how the network works or even trying ti tout
  • Lack of critical mass – absence of friends or contacts in the network
  • Lack of practicality – no perceived benefit to the membership

When it comes to mobile, 3 of 10 users claim to use geolocalization services. However, there is a lot of variety in this space and users are generally confused about how it works and what’s available.


The study touches on social saturation and content orientation, saying that interaction on social networks has a certain commonality across all platforms: ease of interaction, but that this ease also makes communication more intense and extensive, which can lead to what they call “hypercommunication”.

Emerging Trends

Finally, the study points to some interesting ‘emerging trends’:
  • Contact updating –the quantity of contacts will not be the focus, rather the quality of those contacts; the desire to eliminate the undesired contacts; focus on contacts of interest and that have interest
  • Privacy management – conscious and active management of user privacy on the part of the user, through closed groups, private messaging and chat; sharing on social networks ‘under the radar’ through limited publication of content and photos, or through language that is only understandable by those in the ‘group’
  • Back to basics – network selected by the way in which the person wants to interact and the purpose of the conversation. People will move back to email and instant messaging (contrary to comScores recent report but in line with my previous statements about the importance of online privacy in Spain). It seems that younger users will focus more on having conversations in Messenger instead of Tuenti, for certain topics and exchanging documents.
  • Abandonment of networks – In extreme cases people will abandon social networks that they feel do not enhance their means of communication.
A presentation of the findings is available on SlideShare (and below), as well as an overview in text format on The Cocktail Analysis website.

Observatorio redes sociales 2011

View more presentations from The Cocktail Analysis

About the study
The first study was executed by The Cocktail Analysis in November 2008, followed by the second wave in January 2010. Over that time, we have seen social networks become one of the most important modes of digital consumption. This year’s study was sponsored by BBVA and Microsoft, giving The Cocktail Analysis necessary resources to elaborate
their investigative technique.

Qualitative investigation involved eight focus groups of social network users between the ages of 16 and 40 years old. Quantitative investigation posited an online survey to 1,500 internet users between the ages of 16 and 45 years old.

1 comment:

Social Network said...

Hey Its really good job buddy you are giving the clear cut ideas on Social Network Analysis which has become the backbone of our society .
Its also giving the opportunity to create communities and through this people are increasing the memberlist of their community