FOCUS ON, December 2022 - 34% of urban internet users, that have smart TV at home, watch exclusively
- Among the main activities of Romanians in the digital environment are paying and shopping online, accessing online and social media platforms and keeping informed about news in various fields;
- More urban internet users played or downloaded a free video game;
- Urban internet users aged 35-44 and over 55 use Instagram mainly to keep in touch with friends;
- The most used platforms for live streaming remain Youtube and Facebook;
- 87% of urban internet users have at least one smart TV at home, of which 34% watch exclusively online content (Netflix, HBO, Voyo, etc).
Evolution of digital activities
The negative trend in terms of digital activities continues in this wave, affecting all online activities except watching movies/series and podcasts, which remain at the same level reported in the previous edition of the survey. This is most likely due to the fact that the public has started to spend more time outside home due to the relaxation of anti-covid measures.
According to the new study, Romanians' main digital activities continue to include paying and shopping online, accessing online and social media platforms and keeping up to date with news in various fields.
Main reasons for using Social Media
For the majority of respondents, Social Media platforms remain the best way to fill leisure time, relax and stay connected with friends. Their stated reasons for using social media, which have seen a positive trend compared to the previous wave, are to fill leisure/relax, stay connected with family, loved ones or colleagues and follow celebrities/influencers.
So, according to the new study, people over 45 use Social Media mainly to stay connected with friends, to fill their free time, to find out news about family members, friends and colleagues or to search for different products and brands they want to buy. In contrast, 18-24 year olds are more likely to use Social Media to follow celebrities/influencers, while 25-34 year olds use these platforms to stay informed about the activity of their favourite brands and for live streaming, and 35-44 year olds are more likely to want to join various communities on Social Media.
Social Media platforms
The new study shows that the main social media platforms used by Romanians remain Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. While the first two did not see big swings compared to the previous wave, TikTok is the only social platform that saw a positive evolution compared to previous waves. Facebook remains the platform of choice, especially for people over 45, while respondents in the 18-34 age group show a greater preference for Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat. Tinder, Reddit and BeReal are particularly preferred by Gen Z (18-24 year olds).
The content preferred by Romanians in Social Media
Images and videos remain the preference of most respondents. While videos have seen a steady evolution since the previous wave, the survey shows a positive evolution in preference for images, although they remain below September 2021 level.
In terms of age groups and social media content, 18-24 year olds prefer Instagram stories, live streaming and GIFs, while 25-34 year olds prefer 360 images and videos. Video content is also more preferred by urban internet users aged 45-55, and audio content by those over 55.
Instagram continues to be considered by Romanians as the platform where they can follow the posts of friends and acquaintances.
With the exception of activities such as posting Instagram stories, which have shown a steady trend, and watching and using IGTV, which has shown a negative trend, all other activities have shown a positive trend compared to the previous wave. The biggest growth can be seen in activities such as following friends and acquaintances or following celebrities and influencers, as well as following Instagram stories and posts promoting favourite brands.
Posting photos and Instagram stories are mainly done by people aged 18-34. In contrast, users aged 35-44 and over 55 use Instagram mainly to keep in touch with friends, while those over 55 also react to images and videos, follow celebrities and influencers, share various videos and join online communities. Respondents aged 18-24 indicated an increased preference for sponsored/promoted posts, using filters, swiping up in stories and using and following IGTV, while those in the 25-34 age segment prefer to participate in contests and giveaways and react to polls and questions in stories.
TikTok and influencer campaigns
In the case of TikTok, there is a significant increase in awareness for influencer campaigns, both in terms of share and absolute numbers. The most distinct and memorable campaigns with influencers were music-related, although they saw a steady evolution from the previous wave, while the campaigns with the most significant growth recorded were lifestyle/entertainment, educational and cultural campaigns.
According to the new survey, 48% of Romanian urban internet users have heard of the "Metaverse" concept and 59% of them said they were interested and open to try new experiences in the Metaverse, such as social and educational activities or concerts.
Audio content platforms and the podcast ecosystem
Awareness regarding social media platforms with audio-only content is significantly higher in the fall than in the spring. Their users prefer them mainly because they can have privacy while having access to useful and interesting information.
More than half of respondents watch podcasts weekly. They most like to watch interviews, but also entertainment & celebrities, lifestyle & health and comedy.
Evolution of live streaming platforms and content
The most used platforms for live streaming remain Youtube and Facebook, both showing a positive development compared to the previous wave, while Zoom and Vimeo are the only platforms that have shown a negative development. In terms of topics covered, with the exception of Gaming and Travel content, all other live streaming shares have seen a positive trend. Thus, the biggest increase was seen in the Lifestyle category, which managed to reach the 4th place after Music, Entertainment and Concerts. In addition, charity/social events also saw a significant increase over the previous wave, returning to the values recorded last year.
E-commerce through social media
According to the new survey, 7 out of 10 urban internet users still think the tagging feature in social media is useful, as they can see the price directly without accessing the online store, or it takes them directly to the online store page. A downward trend can be seen in those who click on a tagged product on social media and, most of the time, buy it.
According to the new survey, there is an upward trend in the number of urban internet users who have played or downloaded a free video game, approaching the figure recorded last autumn. However, downloading games or playing them on the phone continued the downward trend previously reported.
The main users of online games, who choose to play with friends or even strangers, are people in the 18-24 age group, who are also the main purchasers of a subscription-based service such as XBOX LIVE, PlayStation Plus or Steam, as well as the main purchasers of video games from online shops.
Most urban internet users have a preferred type of game. In terms of criteria by which Romanians choose the games they try, there is an increase in the number of those for whom popularity and recommendation of a gaming influencer are important. For 18-24 year olds, recommendations from friends or influencers are important, while for 25-34 year olds it is important that games can be personalised and/or have an interesting narrative thread. On the other hand, the 35-44 age segment considers the popularity of the game as the main selection criterion.
Urban internet users continue to join online communities to react to posts or to connect and interact with like-minded people. We see a positive trend for all online community activities compared to the previous wave.
Local targeting function and nearby events
Compared to the previous wave, the current study shows an insignificant change in the percentage of people using app functions to search for events in their vicinity. However, we do see a downward trend among those who use the local targeting function and find it useful. There is also an increase in the number of those who might consider attending events after using local app targeting.
In recent months, events announced by brands on social media have attracted the attention of users aged 45-55 in particular, but the most receptive to nearby events, and who consider attending them, are young people in the 18-24 age segment.
Romanians and smart TVs
87% of urban internet users have at least one smart TV at home, of which 34% watch exclusively online content (Netflix, HBO, Voyo, etc).
Media consumption with family
According to the new study, most Romanians (especially the 25-44 age group) watch TV programmes with their families. They believe that such activities, whether watching TV programmes or online videos, have become a habit and have brought family members closer together. The biggest drop is among those who watch local news programmes more than before the pandemic and among those who trust TV news more than online.
Also in terms of information, people in the 25-34 age group prefer to watch the news on TV rather than read it online.