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Number of the Month: March 2013

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Social media - everyone, anywhere, anytime

There's absolutely no doubt that social networks continue to play an increasingly important part in many people's lives. In 2012, there were more than 1,5 billion social network users, representing a fifth of the world population and an increase of about 20% compared with the year before.

According to an IAB study, 69% of Belgians are members of at least 1 social network and are active on an average of 1,4 networks. As in the rest of Europe, Facebook remains by far the most popular site in Belgium. Almost 62% of Belgian internet users have a Facebook profile.

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The continuous growth in smartphone & tablet penetration is also boosting the adoption of mobile internet and hence the usage of social media. People on smartphones use an average of 9 apps on a weekly basis and social network apps remain the most popular ones.

These mobile devices have also changed the way we consume media, making it possible to check social networks in almost any situation or time. It is not surprising that most Belgians still prefer to visit social network sites during their leisure time (82% of respondents). But more interesting is the fact that many are also media multi-tasking, using social media while watching TV or listening to the radio (33%), and using social media in more private places such as in bed (15%) or even at the toilet (7%).

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And living in a digital multi-channel consumer world, brands have also found their audience on social media sites. While people originally joined in order to stay in touch with family and friends, they now also choose to interact with their favourite brands via social media. Social media users in Belgium follow on average 3 brands and 44% follows at least 1 brand via social media.

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