COMMUNITY

Half of Greeks engage in social media

ALEXANDRA KASSIMI

Greeks spend more than 80 minutes per day networking, as half of the population is registered on at least one social media platform. Do they check their News Feed, announce ideas, or simply keep track of what their friends are saying?

Almost all well-known social media platforms have shown a significant increase in usage and participation in Greece.

However, Facebook still remains the leader in terms of activity by far. News websites have also experienced an ascending trend in usage, as 155 new sites have been added since 2014, while blogs have remained a steady force in the social media world, with 55,636 recorded sites this year, a slight but noteworthy increase over last year’s 55,222.

YouTube, however, has reported the largest growth of all social media platforms. The video-sharing website’s user accounts have increased by 79 percent this year, making for a total of 634,050 users today. The second-largest increase in subscriptions is awarded to the slightly less popular microblogging service, Twitter. The San Francisco-based company now has 509,448 Greek accounts, a 49 percent increase from last year.

According to data presented by Monitor, a platform that records publications from Greek news websites, blogs, forums and Greek users of social media in real time, Facebook’s increase in registered accounts is limited since most of the population already has an account. Facebook was enhanced by 1.1 million new accounts last month, reaching 6.7 million accounts in total.

Through its market research, Greek agency Focus Bari confirms just how attractive social media websites truly are. One in three Greeks says that their “networking” consists of playing games, while the average time spent on social media websites between January and March of 2015 was calculated at 82.2 minutes per day.

The findings of various ongoing research studies show that active social media users comprise 50 percent of the population, while 55.2 percent have a registered account. A clear example of the rapid rise in usage is the photo- and video-sharing service Instagram, which now occupies 8 percent of the Greek social media market as opposed to last year’s 0.1 percent.

The main reason for the increase in usage of social media platforms has been found to be the significantly increasing penetration of the Internet, which constantly appears strengthened with the trends suggesting it will grow exponentially over the coming years. Accordingly, it is predicted that Greece will have an approximate 3.2 million Internet connections by the end of 2015. On a global scale, Internet connections from 2000 to 2015 have increased sevenfold, reaching 43 percent of the world’s population in comparison with 6.5 percent in 2000.

The increased accessibility of the web from mobile devices and the increase in demand for video services has led multinational tech firm Cisco to the assumption that the distribution of data will triple by 2019. Furthermore, it estimates that video-sharing websites will dominate the web, as they will assume 80 percent of the data distribution network worldwide. In the meantime, it is expected that the average data transferring speed will be 10 times faster, reaching 42.2 megabits per second. Correspondingly, the connection speed between devices is estimated to become at least three times faster.

Greeks now use the Internet in many aspects of their everyday lives, such as grocery shopping. According to the Electronic Business Research Center of the Athens University of Economics and Business, six out of 10 consumers are expected to increase the value of their online purchases within 2015. At the same time, it has been calculated that the value of online supermarkets in Greece will reach 383 million euros by 2020, according to evidence presented by Convert Group e-Business Consulting.

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