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|German to English: Wer Nutzt Was im Social Web?|
General field: Social Sciences
Detailed field: Computers: Systems, Networks
|Source text - German|
|Translation - English|
Who Uses What on the Social Web?
By Katrin Busemann
When Angela Merkel described the Internet as a Neuland (new land) during Barack Obama’s Berlin visit regarding PRISM, a massed data mining program by the U.S. National Security Agency, an outcry instantly spread across all of Germany. All of Germany? Not quite, the outcry first took place on Twitter. Outrage, ridicule, and incomprehension over the chancellor were demonstrated on Twitter. By all appearances, her choice of words clearly portrayed her own distance from the Internet. The topic of “Neuland” was also being carried on every relevant online media source during the same day, among them the sites of professional media providers, and it was even discussed in print media throughout the following days. As the event recedes into the past, the discussion is becoming increasingly differentiated, even among the Twitterati themselves. Mixed in with the irony and accusation was then, on the one hand, a willingness to view Merkel’s statement in the context of the ongoing security debate prior to NSA issues, and on the other hand, the realization that the Internet is still a long way from belonging to everyone’s daily routine.
Review of social media’s development in Germany
“#neuland” is one of the now countless examples for the phenomenon of discussing political and societal topics relevant to the time. Topics are being picked in classic media that already have a hashtag, which indicates that they are already being discussed online. But who is talking online, with whom, and most importantly, where? This article offers a look at different social networks in Germany – Who uses them? How many people use them? Who uses which social networks? – and provides a review of social media’s development in Germany.
Web 2.0 and Social Media in the ARD/ZDF Online Study
Previous results: only a low portion of active users
Starting in 2007, under the keyword Web 2.0, the ARD/ZDF-Online Study, conducted by two German television broadcasters, has dedicated itself to the topic of “active participation online” and has examined the relevant offerings in each year. The relevance has thereby not only been determined by the quantitative use, but it also by the public, or at least medial discussion of the previous applications. Thus in 2007 and 2008, induced through a discussion of Second Life, the use of virtual worlds was examined. In 2010 the use of bookmark managers/social bookmarking such as Mister Wong was investigated, and since 2010 it has been Twitter. It was already shown early on that indeed some Web 2.0 offerings, particularly Wikipedia, video portals (namely: YouTube) and social networks (namely: Facebook), can definitely produce a very high range of usage. In most cases, however, active use remained at a very low level. In the previous year it has thus been verified that, outside of private communities like Facebook or the German social network Wer-kennt-wen (Who-knows-who), on which people post, comment, and converse, only 8 percent of all Germans online indicate that, in general, they are still open to an active participation, while more than half of them do not join.
Focus of study in 2013
A content reorganization of relevant sections of the ARD/ZDF-Online Study research was supported in 2013. It is no longer fitting to the times to contrast different uses– under the keyword “Web 2.0” – that can merely be used passively and/or actively. The focus in 2013 is placed on social networks that are characterized by a login function and, as a result, can only be used to its full extent by users who have their own profile. On the one hand, these are communities. The ARD/ZDF-Online Study, however, distinguishes between private communities with the focus of contact and exchange on a private, personal level, and professional communities, with the focus of self-presentation in the online job market and maintaining a professional network. On the other hand, the microblogging service Twitter is being observed in the study.
Use of Private Networks
Almost half of all Germans online use private communities
As in the previous year, the presentation of the results begins with the widest-reaching offerings: the private networks. In 2013, 24.73 million Germans have a profile on a private online community, which is 46 percent of every German online over 14 years old (cf. Table 1). Compared to the previous year (43%, 22.88 M), 1.85 million Germans joined private online communities. Increasing in the process is a focus to only find one network. 65 percent of community users limit themselves to a singular membership; in 2012 the number was still 58 percent. Just as in the previous year, more males (13.09 M) than females (11.64 M) have a profile in a private network. Due to the fact that, there are fewer females than males online overall, the portion of community users of both genders online is 46% each. A look at the age groups shows clear increases for the 20- to 29-year-olds (plus 6%-points to 80) and especially for the 40- to 49-year-olds: Here, the use increases 13 percentage points to 38 percent. With this, the gap in community use identified in 2012 between Internet users under 40 years of age on the one hand and those over 40 on the other, has been markedly reduced. The only group weighing the use of communities down are Germans online over 50 years old: Similar to the previous year, private networks are sparsely distributed in this age group with 16 percent. It is still to be seen whether or not a growth will be recorded in the coming years. For teens, the use is at 87 percent, the same high level as the previous year, and also for 30- to 39-year-olds the use stays mostly consistent (55%) following a considerable increase from 2011 to 2012 (plus 11%-points to 56%).
Nine of ten community users have a Facebook profile
Even clearer than last year, community use is focused on one designated network: 89 percent of all German community users have a Facebook profile, which is 23.24 million Germans. In comparison to the previous year (2012: 81% 19.77 M), 3.47 million users above 14 years old joined. Far behind with 12 percent is Wer-kennt-wenn, which passed over the 10-percent mark. The use of every other network lies below 5 percent. In every age group, Facebook is in front by far. 95 percent of 14- to 29-year-olds have registered there and even with Germans older than 30 years old it is more than 80 percent. The VZ-Networks, a collection of social networks in Germany, still played a certain role in the previous year, at least in the respective target age groups. Yet in 2013, they are nearly insignificant: 7 percent of teens have a profile on SchülerVZ, made specifically for grade school students – in 2012 it was still 26 percent. And for Germans in their twenties, it is only 4 percent who are a member of StudiVZ, a social network designed for university students (2012:25%) and merely 2 percent membership on MeinVZ (2012:15%), the VZ network dedicated to non-students. However, Wer-kennt-wen and the suffering social network StayFriends have a relevance in their own age group: Wer-kennt-wen has 19 percent of the above 50 years old group and 15 percent in the 30- to 49-year-old group, while StayFriends has 8 percent in both groups. Google has a range of 3 percent of every German over 14 years old.
An evaluation of community use according to the Media User Typology shows that private networks are used more often than the average by the Young Wild (85%) and the Determined Trendsetters (73%), just as in the previous year.
Frequency of use increases
In comparison to 2012, the frequency of use increased slightly yet again: 87 percent visit their most-used community at least weekly, in the previous year the amount was 85%. The daily use is at 60 percent (2012: 59%) (cf. Table 2). As expected, the frequency of use is higher with younger Germans. Thus, it is 75 percent of German teens and Germans in their twenties who visit their community daily (2012: 75%). The 30- to 49-year-old group already lies below the average with a daily use of 48 percent (2012: also 48%), just as the over 50-year-olds – here the amount lies at 38 percent, a good 5 percent higher than the previous year.
Average length of use in 2013: 63 minutes daily
In comparison to 2012, the average daily use increased 9 minutes to 63 minutes. With that, users of private communities spend nearly a third of their daily Internet time in their communities. Here a clear connection between age and time of use is also discovered: 14- to 29-year-olds spend on average 87 minutes per day in their communities – the amount again clearly increased in comparison to the previous year (2012: 68 min.), while the time of use for 30- to 49-year-olds and Germans above 50 years old was 43 and 33 minutes respectively, which shows nearly no change in comparison to 2012.
Mobile use of communities
In many cases, users of private communities are online on the go more frequently than the average German online. 62 percent of them thus claim to use the Internet on the go – for all Germans online, the amount of this lies at 41 percent. The daily use on the go by community users is at 37 percent, in comparison: only one in every fifth German online (21%) uses the Internet daily on the go. It is still only half of community users when considering those who use the Internet on the go at least weekly, but only nearly a third of every German online. Especially popular in this target group are the use of apps in general (53% at least weekly, 35% at least weekly by all Germans online) and the use of community apps in particular: community and social network apps are third, with 24 percent, to news and current event apps (26%) and on almost the same level as instant-messaging apps (33%, leading is WhatsApp with 31%) in the ranking of most frequently used apps (Respondents with smart phones or tablet PCs in household).
Communities like Facebook are primarily communication instruments
Private communities like Facebook are primarily used as a communication instrument. That has not only been shown in the years of results from the ARD/ZDF-Online Study, but also in the results of the qualitative companion study conducted by the market research institute Results as a part of the ARD/ZDF-Online Study 2012. To do this, guided one-on-one interviews questioning the media use and information behavior of a total of 26 participants were conducted in May 2012. Moreover, both media use and information behavior were recorded in a log for the seven days in advance, with the focus on the information use on the Internet. Three target groups were recruited. Digital Visitors distinguish themselves by not using social web offerings, or using them rather passively and sporadically (about 60% of Germans online). Digital Residents actively participate in the community offerings of the social web daily, especially on Facebook (about a quarter of Germans online). Belonging to the Digital Avant-garde are those who also actively use the information-driven social media offerings, especially blogs and Twitter, next to their private social friend networks like Facebook (about 1% of Germans online). Digital Visitors and Residents use Facebook nearly exclusively for personal things and/or for fun; “for the most part it is about conversing with friends, making plans, or having fun. Information exchange only plays a marginal role, and only when the information is light and entertaining – or that with particular relevance, such as with big events, catastrophes, etc.” The 2010 qualitative study conducted by ZDF arrived at the same result: the inter-personal report located two of the total of three leading motives given for using private communities as self-expression and the desire to network and keep contacts. A third motive consists of also wanting to inform oneself of private or topic-related knowledge.
Frequency of Use of Individual Practices in Private Communities
Communication clearly stands in the foreground again in 2013
The results of the ARD/ZDF-Online Study support these results. Just as in every previous year, it was again asked in detail in 2013 what German users of private communities do on them – and how frequently they do it. 76 percent of them use their communities at least weekly in order to write posts or messages, comment, or chat – with this, the amount in comparison to the previous year increased slightly by 3 percentage points (cf. Table 3). When considering the individual items from which the net value of “communication” is evaluated, a slightly opposing development is shown in comparison to the previous year. While the amount of Germans who wrote posts and comments at least weekly has always increased since 2010 and most recently rested at 52 percent, the 2013 results show a decline to 45 percent (2011: 48%, 2010:42%). The loss there is traced back to the 14- to 29-year-olds (2013: 56%, 2012: 69%), in every other age group the amount remains stabile. Conversely, in comparison to the previous year, 66 percent more people sent updates to their community members in 2013 (2012: 60%). This increase was noticed in every age group. The amount of “chatting” remains nearly on the same level (2013: 56%, 2012: 58%). In the last year, the increasing amount of written posts and comments within the community has been interpreted as “one-to-many” communication, which is being increasingly used by the semi-public space representing community. It is surely advisable to at least wait for additional waves of surveys before it is concluded that online communities are increasingly turning to “one-to-one” or “one-to-few” communication, as the sending of updates describes. A further indication of this assumption is that merely 15 percent claimed to inform their network “what they are currently doing” at least weekly in 2013– in the previous year it was 24 percent. It would be interesting for future waves of surveys and further studies in this context to ask whether, and if so how, privacy settings and the desire for a private sphere have changed this.
Two-thirds of Germans regularly check what is happening in the network
As in the previous year, 66 percent of German community users inform themselves of what is happening in their own networks at least weekly. The search for information about hobbies or special interest topics stayed at 25 percent, the same level as in 2012 (27%). Searches for consumer information likewise remained stabile with 10% (2012: 9%).
Searches for up-to-date information in communities has increased
On the other hand, searches for up-to-date news, about politics or the economy for example, increased by 5 percentage points. 21 percent of German community users, and with that a fifth of them, inform themselves on current topics through their community at least once a week. In parallel, 20 percent of them agree with the statement (outright/mostly) that classic information portals such as German news sites spiegel.de, sueddeutsche.de, tagesschau.de, and heute.de are losing meaning since they can get all of the important information within their communities. The age bias is less pronounced here than in other results relating to community use. Thus the agreement level is 25 percent for teens and Germans in their twenties, 16 percent for 30- to 49-year-olds, and 14 percent for German community users over 50 years old. Accounting for these results naturally seems problematic for professional news providers – seeing how their content is made available on the platforms of other companies, which follow their own commercial interests. Firstly, this is out the question because the news that is distributed within the community usually originates from a professional source – this only applies to particular masses that make the source’s origin known so that the value that the news generates in social networks can be attributed to the brand. On the other hand, three-quarters of German community users agree with the statement that, for them, their communities are a purely private matter, and all public information and news is searched for directly on the corresponding websites like spiegel.de, sueddeutsche.de, tagesschau.de, and heute.de. In comparison to the previous year, this amount increased 6 percentage points and now lies at the same level as in 2011 (2012:69%. 2011: 75%).
Video use within communities has increased
The regular use of videos within communities has considerably increased. 45 percent of the German community users watch videos on the network at least weekly, which corresponds to the increase of 10 percentage points in comparison to 2012. Even the uploading of videos – on a very low level – has doubled from 2 percent to 4 percent. When considering the expanding group of users, namely everyone who has uploaded a video at least once a month, the increase in comparison to previous years is considerably low (2013: 9%, 2012: 8%). That means that the intensity of use especially increased in comparison to previous years. On the contrary, the percentage of community users looking at pictures has sunk to 41 percent at least weekly and 67 percent at least monthly, however this is still always at a very high level. It is still 12 percent of community users who upload pictures of themselves to their community weekly and 37 percent who do it monthly; this amount remained stabile in comparison to the previous year.
Communication about media content in communities slightly decreasing
11 percent of German community users exchange information about content and shows from television in their community at least weekly. In comparison to the previous year, this amount sank and is now at the same level as it was in 2011 (12%). The same applies for exchanging information about content or articles from newspapers and magazines (2013: 11%, 2013: 15%, 2011: 12%). The number of those who exchange information about content from the radio has also sunk in comparison to 2011 and 2012 and now lies at 6 percent.
Use of fan sites
Whether it be a car company, beverage manufacturer, or clubs and restaurants, businesses of all kinds have made their own content present on Facebook. On their own profile, they post statuses, pictures, videos, and links to gain indirect communication with Facebook users and present the opportunity for interaction. This content is visible to everyone who actively visits the respective profile. Furthermore, the content is shown to those users who have connected with the profile by means of clicking the “like” button on the offering’s profile. The goals that a social media presence aims to accomplish are diverse and range from purely marketing purposes about the collection of user feedback to increasing customer retention in the hope of expanding concrete range and/or sales.
The use of fan sites is always rather high. The results of the 2011 community study, which was conducted by German market research firm Phayon on behalf of ZDF, show that at least 62 percent of German community users who claim that Facebook is their most important community use fan sites. Of these fan sites, it is particularly the profiles of music groups and bands that are held in high regards, directly followed by profiles of brands or products and public figures. The median fan sites German community users have is eight. The motivation for users to connect with a profile varies. 61 percent of German community users claim to click the “like” button of a website in order to regularly receive information on a particular topic. 51 percent of German community users say they are real fans of the band or product and wish to be informed of the activities relating to it. Following sites is primarily done passively, but occasionally active participation also occurs. 39 percent of German community users connect with a site because they can identify with the product, brand, or thing. After being asked in the qualitative portion of the survey, one of the survey participants (female, 23) claimed to follow the page for the popular German crime series Tatort (Crime Scene) to demonstrate that she likes the show: “I just love Tatort. I also wanted to show that with this fan site.” If the reception of the site is at all passive, it is typical for users with this kind of motivation to often use the block function so that posts from the site will no longer be shown in their own newsfeeds. 22 percent of German community users connect with a site in order to have direct contact with the “makers” and 36 percent of them do it to be able to interact with like-minded people. In these instances, the active participation takes place through users’ own posts and comments; more importantly, there is a noticeable passive reception to the posts from the pages.
Use of broadcaster websites
In the 2013 media world, almost every television and radio broadcaster as well as every news provider could be found on Facebook. Even the newest channel from German media group ProsiebenSat.1, Prosieben Maxx, is already presenting itself on Facebook, although the launch of the channel premier on September 3, 2013 has been cancelled. 12 percent of German Facebook users subscribed to the pages of television broadcasters on Facebook, which include umbrella pages of the broadcasters as well as individual broadcast offerings. Since merely subscribing to a page does not necessarily mean that these are also being used, the use was explicitly asked about in the ARD/ZDF-Online Study. 8 percent of German Facebook users claim to use the pages of television broadcasters on Facebook. The net value (people who subscribed to and/or used a page) is at 15 percent. In Germany, the Prosieben Facebook page is most used, followed by other German broadcasters RTL, ZDF, and RTL II.
Most subscribers of television websites are viewers of the television shows
As expected, almost every user of television show fan sites also watches this show. A mere 7 percent, and with that .23 million people, claim to follow fan sites of a show, but not watch the accompanying show on television. In exchange, in the broadest sense, exclusively used distribution methods within the community only serve the television show pages in certain cases. In order to determine whether the connection with or use of television fan sites positively influences the offline use of the corresponding show, the respondents in the context of the ARD/ZDF –Online Study were also asked if they already associated with the television show or broadcaster before they subscribed to the page by clicking the “like” button or started using the Facebook page. Here too the result samples this: the majority affirms to this with merely 4 percent, and with that .14 million Germans, who did not watch the show before its Facebook page’s use.
Big players like Google and Facebook are “walled gardens”
Data protection, privacy, and net neutrality have been topics from the beginning when considering private networks. Facebook especially was often criticized in the past concerning privacy settings and data regulation. PRISM brings forward a new relevance and explosiveness into the discussion that not only involves the question of how secure and personal data still is once it has been disclosed within the network, but also involves the question of how individual users predicate themselves from the individual networks, or rather how powerful an individual network or company can become. Today, major Internet offerings like Facebook, but also Google and Apple, are already described as walled gardens, which suggest closed systems that, actually or allegedly, offer their users everything that they need. Players outside of the walled gardens are spinning in a vicious circle, which Hamburg-based media author Nico Lumma describes by saying, “As providers of content, products, and services, you are now dependent on the fact that one can gain attention and users through the ecosystem (which are the Walled gardens), through which the ecosystem becomes even more attractive for the users.” The discussion culminates in the fear that, apart from the major players, the free and open Internet is decaying into meaninglessness. Given a tariff model like Facebook Zero, which allows for free Internet access over cell phones and smart phones – though exclusively on Facebook – this worry by all means appears to be justified and a discussion of the topic is appropriate.
16% of German community users find everything they need from the Internet in their community
This is the first year the ARD/ZDF-Online Study applies itself in approach to this topic. Nevertheless, 16 percent of German community users agree with the statement (ouright or partially) that they find everything they need within their community and the Internet outside of the community is no longer as important to experience. A whole 7 percent agree with the statement outright. Perhaps not as expected, no connection is identifiable between experience and the age of the respondent – in contrast, the connection to young users is somewhat lower than to older users (14-29:15%, 30-49 and above 50: each 17%). This in turn means the results that say that, with 84%, the overwhelming majority of German community users are not of the opinion that the Internet outside of their community is no longer important. Following these initial measurements in 2013 it remains to be seen how the results will develop throughout the coming years.
Possible misuse of data is an important reason for not becoming a member
Community use continues to grow at a high level. In spite of this, 54 percent or 29.45 million of Germans online do not have a profile on one. 14 percent of the non-users, and with that 4.06 million Germans, had one or more memberships at an earlier point in time. The main reasons speaking against membership pertain to the data protection topic that was already discussed above. Three-quarters of the non-users are afraid of the misuse of data within the private network (cf. Tabel 4). In comparison to 2011, this amount increased slightly by two percentage points. Likewise, roughly three-quarters claim that they do not want to be able to be found online (2011: 72%), that they don’t see any advantages for them in communities (2011: 76%), and that they perceive communities as a waste of time (2011: no data). The connection to the items “I do not know anyone who is in a community” (23%) and “I am not familiar with the possibilities of communities” (28%) decreased in comparison to 2011 (each 33%), which is plausible considering the growing prevalence of private networks. The main motive for not being a member, with 93 percent, is the item “I communicate with my friends in other ways” (2011: 94%).
The Use of Professional Networks
10% of Germans online in 2013 have a profile in a professional network
Next to private communities with the focus is on the personal exchange of their members, there are professional networks, such as Xing or LinkedIn, that give their members the possibility to present themselves in the online job market. These sites function similarly to a CV; the profile is capable of stuffing personal data next to specific descriptions of current job positions and special knowledge and abilities. In 2013, 10 percent of Germans online used a profile in a professional network at least occasionally (cf. Table 5). In comparison to previous years (2012: 8%, 2011: 6%), the portion for it increased – and considering the growing population of Germans online, the absolute value increased as well (2013: 5.36 M, 2012: 4.19 M). As expected, professional networks are particularly prevalent with 30- to 49-year-olds who stand fully in the professional life (16%). The permeation within the 14- to 29-year-olds is at 11 percent, where the use by teens at 5 percent is understandably clearly lower than for Germans in their twenties (14%). Professional networks do not play any role for Germans online over 50 years old (2%). The frequency of use is at 44 percent for use at least once a week, which is considerably lower than that of private networks (87%) and at the same level as the previous year (43%).
Functionality of Twitter
The micro-blogging service Twitter is used as a communication platform for private individuals, organizations, companies, and the mass media. On the site, users send short messages (tweets) with a maximum of 140 characters from their own accounts, which, in addition to text, can contain pictures and links to videos or websites. As followers, Twitter users indicate that they have subscribed to a particular Twitter account and, with that, the accounts’ tweets are received directly. The followers of a Twitter account can retweet its posts, which means they can further distribute it to their own followers. Additionally, they can reply to or comment on them. With this snowball effect, micro-blogging has the potential to spread like wild fire because of Twitter.
Clear membership growth for Twitter
As mentioned at the beginning of the study, the “voices of the net,” which are increasingly delighting the television and radio broadcasters as well as the newspapers (print and online), are often derived from the Twitter network. A glance at the results of the ARD/ZDF-Online Study 2013 shows that Twitter, with 3.89 million German users of 14 years and older, is clearly lower than the users present on the Facebook community, but more than every other community, whether professional or private. In comparison to the previous year, 1.81 million users joined the site, and with that, the number of members increased by 87 percent. Overall, 7 percent of Germans online over 14 years old use the microblog, and here, as expected, it is more often younger Germans: 14 percent of the 14- to 29-year-olds have a Twitter profile, 6 percent of the 30- to 49-year-olds, and merely 3 percent of Germans online of 50 years old (cf. Table 6). In comparison to the previous year, every age group increased.
User structure of Twitter
A look at the Media User Typology shows that Twitter users are often found to be above-average the Young Wild (13%) and the Determined Trendsetters (14%). It is highly plausible that both of these media types are characterized by a fairly low average age (25 or 30 years old) and a high online affinity. What is noticeable is that the Modern Culture Oriented often use Twitter above-average – the range in this target group is 12 percent. The Modern Culture Oriented are characterized by a high level of education, a cosmopolitan and liberal basic attitude, engagement in clubs and organizations, and comparably stand in the critique of television. Table 7 shows the age structure of private and professional networks.
Nearly a third of German Twitter users use the service at least weekly
The frequency of Twitter use is clearly lower compared to private networks like Facebook and Wer-kennt-wen. 32 percent of the German members use Twitter at least weekly, 7 percent at least daily, and half of them use the service as often as once a month (cf. Table 8). For comparison: 87 percent of the German private community users use these at least weekly, 60 percent at least daily. In the previous year, the Twitter use occurring at least weekly was still at 42 percent. With increasing range however, the frequency of use is falling back, at least considering percentages – in absolute numbers, 1.26 million Germans used Twitter at least weekly in 2013 – which is more than the previous year (.89 M).
1.17 million Germans actively tweet, which means that they themselves compose Tweets; in the previous year it was .82 million. Given the considerable increase in range, the portion of 40 percent of active Twitter users in 2012 declined to 30 percent in 2013. This means that the majority of the German users who joined are remaining passive. A mere 6 percent of active German users claim to tweet at least weekly, 80 percent tweet as infrequently as once a month.
29% of Twitter users have already used the Twitter account of a television broadcaster
With regards to Twitter, it is also interesting to look at if and to what extent the activity from media providers within the microblog influences the use of the respective broadcast. 1.14 million and with that 29 percent of German Tweeters have already used the Twitter account of a television broadcaster. Nearly every user of broadcaster or TV show accounts also watches the corresponding show on television. A mere 4 percent (.04 M) actually use the account on Twitter, but not on TV. 8 percent (.09 M) admittedly first became viewers of the respective show or broadcaster after following them on Twitter.
Whether it be “#neuland”, “#drosselkom” or “#aufschrei” (two other widespread German hashtags), more and more often topics find entry in the classic media already with a matching hashtag, whether print media providers or television broadcasters. Facebook has also been attempting to establish hashtags since mid-June 2013, well after Twitter had reserved it to themselves. Whether this effort will be crowned with success remains to be seen.
46% of all Germans online use private communities, 89% of those use Facebook
In 2013, 24.73 million Germans, or respectively 46 percent, of all Germans online over 14 years old use private networks. 89 percent of these community users have a Facebook profile. Particularly for Germans in their teens and in their twenties, communities are an everyday part of life; the range in this age group lies at 83 percent overall. However, it is also almost half of the middle age group between 30 and 49 years old and furthermore 16 percent of Germans older than 50 years old who are a part of Facebook & Co’s user base in 2013. Privacy and entertainment stand above all when considering use: users converse with friends and acquaintances and share pictures and videos. Furthermore, every fifth German community user also searches for up-to-date news in his or her community.
Professional communities used by 10% of Germans online
Professional communities are being used by 5.36 million German adults over 14 years of age, which is 10 percent of all Germans online. As expected, the distribution is especially high for 30- to 49-year-olds, with 16 percent. However, the 14- to 29-year-olds nevertheless also lie at 11 percent.
Large growth in users for Twitter
With respect to use, Twitter is still always clearly lower than Facebook, but on a low level Twitter is developing strongly. Nevertheless, only close to a third of Twitter users compose tweets themselves, while the majority of the users remain passive. It remains to be seen how the active participation develops with the increasing range: will it stagnate or will it go back up? Or is the network responsible to also build up the active use? The ARD/ZDF-Online Study plans to observe this.
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My name's Kevin and I'm currently in my final year at the University of Michigan. I'm finishing up with majors in German and Communications (media communications). I have studied German for 8 years and been to Germany twice for an extended period, and once more as a shorter vacation. In addition to German being my best subject, it is also my favorite. The language has grown to be a real passion of mine and I am always picking up new and interesting things from it.
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