The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Social media usage trends in Malta in 2018

Thursday, 24 May 2018, 09:48 Last update: about 4 years ago

80% of Malta's population access the internet. Of these 83% own a smartphone, 75% use a laptop, 48% use the tablet

"People are becoming increasingly mobile when it comes to communication and sourcing of information and this is a trend which is bound to keep increasing because the success of social media is a generational one," says Rebecca Gera, director of Misco following the publication of Misco's latest survey on Social Media Usage Trends in Malta in 2018. The study was done in collaboration with Corporate Identities.

These results from Misco's latest research survey were presented during a Misco in the hot seat event which was attended by a number of marketing and advertising professionals with whom we shared our findings.

The results from this survey need to be looked at against the background of a market that is bound to keep evolving because internet usage is very much related to age. In time, there will be less people not accessing the internet and social media and online communication tools will keep experiencing increased usage. Even as technology develops and evolves, this will also affect the way we use and relate to online media. Elements related to data protection are also expected to bring further changes in the way people use social media, which remain an important tool if used intelligently.

Respondents participating in this latest survey were asked a variety of questions ranging from how frequently they access the internet, the reasons they use the internet, what are the main things they look for on the internet and which communication and social media platforms they use most.

The first thing Misco did was to build a profile of all the participating respondents. Asked what they do daily, 93% said they browse the internet, 79% use online social networks, 73% watch television on a TV set, 72% read a news website, 53% listen to the radio, 37% watch videos on YouTube, 28% read blogs and 20% read a printed newspaper.

One of the interesting results was that 92% use the internet to send and receive email. This proves that email is still not only a very important communication tool, but it can also still be considered as an important channel for email campaigns and that well-crafted emails can still be a very interesting marketing opportunity for marketeers.

Asked about what they have used the internet for most, 83% said they check news, weather and sports, 82% use it for banking, 79% just browse, 74% for shopping, 73% for reviews and social networks.

Interestingly, 71% use the internet to pay bills but more interestingly, this was the only percentage where males exceed females.

The most accessed platform remains Facebook (87%), followed by Google+ (50%), YouTube (46%), Instagram (24%), Twitter (12%) and Pinterest (9%). This shows that although so many people are online, many are not on the same networks. It is also interesting that whereas 62% just look at other people's content and comments and 55% share this content, only 9% create new content. This reflects a very passive attitude towards social media and the idea of user-generated content is probably still very far away.

In this survey we also looked at the types of apps used most. Social networks top the list with 61% followed by maps (58%), weather apps (54%), productivity tools (43%), news (42%) and travel (39%). Retail apps and sports apps are the least used apps at 22% and 17%, respectively.

Asked on where they feel most exposed to adverts, 86% feel exposed to offline advertising mainly from TV (68%) and radio (43%) and 80% feel exposed to online advertising mainly from the internet (58%) and social media (57%).

In fact, whereas men and older respondents are harder to target through advertising, it seems that online advertising is becoming increasingly an intrusion. 73% in fact, prefer to watch, read or hear adverts offline such as through billboards, magazines and newspapers which are viewed as less overwhelming. But this is now the most crucial question: do advertisers want to overwhelm their target audience or not? Isn't an overwhelming advert more effective? At what price are we ready to overwhelm our audience?

Another salient point was that 56% have been drawn to visiting social media platforms via traditional media.

Following the event, Misco was asked whether it had any personal expectations prior to conducting this survey and to what extent have these expectations been met. Misco had no expectations from this survey. In fact, one must ideally always approach scientific surveys with an open mind. This subject is so fluid and dynamic that not even international trends can be compared to local trends because of different social attitudes and therefore, Misco really had no idea what the outcome would be. The future remains an interesting one and one must now see where we will be in a few years from now.

The Misco Corporate Identities Social Media Usage Trends in Malta in 2018 report is available upon request. Visit the link  to order your copy.

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