Social Media Use in Ireland

Social Media Statistics

According to social media datareportal Ireland has 4.45 million internet users in 2019 which equates to 92% of the population. They also suggest that 66% of the population are active on social media.

Who’s online?

Generation z and millennial’s spend the most time online. In 2018 CSO figures show that a very large percentage of 92% of people aged between 16-29 used social media. Only 1.5% of those in that age category have never used social media. 81% of 30-44 year old use social media whereas 2.1% of that age category have never used the internet. The percentage of people in the age group 45-59 still remains high at 61% . People who fall under the age category of 60-74, 42% of them said they have used the internet but more of them said they have never used the internet. (, 2019)

According to Central Statistics Office In 2018 69% of females said they use the internet/social media several times a day, whereas men ranked at 68%. When asked if they use the internet everyday 75% of females said they do and 73% of males said they do. Only 5% of females said they use the internet at least once a week while 7% of males said they use social media at least once a week. CSO obtain that 3% of females only go on the internet once a month compared to men at 2%. A surprising 18% of females said they have not used the internet in 3 months, in comparison to men with a 1% increase. These figures varied in 2014. In 2014 66% of females said they use the internet daily whereas males were at 64%. 12% of males and females said they use the internet at least once a week. Only 4% of females said they used it in the past month with males at 3%. In 2014 the females who said they haven’t used the internet in the last three months was at 19% compared to men at 21%. (, 2019)

Popular social media platforms

The social media platforms that are most popular in Ireland are detailed on the chart below from

There are thousands of different social media platforms. Some of these platforms include Facebook, linked in, google, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and snap-chat. Social media platform usage is increasing. The only platform that has decreased is Facebook by 3%. Although Facebook usage has declined it is still the leading social media platform at 77%. Instagram has increased rapidly by 7% to 50%. Linked in and twitter have both increased identically by 3%, linked in in now at 34% whilst twitter is at 42%. Pinterest is at 28% increase by 5% from the previous years. (DataReportal – Global Digital Insights, 2019)

The video below illustrates the top social media platforms from 2014-2019

Why People Use Social Media In Ireland

Whiting and Williams (2012, p.362) writing about social media use suggest that “the ten uses and gratification are: social interaction, information seeking, pass time, entertainment, relaxation, communicatory utility, convenience utility, expression of opinion, information sharing, and surveillance/knowledge about others”.

From the finding of Whiting and Williams through 25 depth interviews with people aged between 18-56. 52% being females and 48% being males. There was questions asked such as; why do you use social media?, why do your friends use social media? and why do you enjoy social media? The response they got back was between 150-1000 words. The findings showed that 88% of the people use social media for social interaction. They said “its a place to interact and socialize with others” “more contact via social media than face to face” and “use it to connect and keep in touch with friends and family”. 80% said they use it for information seeking. The information they go online for includes sales, deals, products, events, birthdays, parties, and business. 76% said the pass time on social media. They go on social media to scroll when they are board and wanting to pass time. 64% of the respondents mentioned going on social media for entertainment purposes. They play games, listen to music, watch videos and use it for humor and to keep up with trends. 60% use social media to relax. 56% go on social media to express their opinion. They do this by posting commenting and sharing. 56% use it for communicators utility so they have something to talk about. Social media is very convenient 52% said they use it because its accessible. Information sharing was mentioned by 40% of respondents. 32% used it to get knowledge about others and 20% said they use it to watch others. (Whiting and Williams, 2013).

Social media platforms can be used to keep people entertained. According to Octave digital Irish people enjoy and have a preference of numerous and vanity content while on social media. 47% of the Irish enjoy comedy and humor content while on social media. 42% say they like personal media updates. While 16% say they enjoy food and drinks content. A large amount of people in Ireland have claimed they like to take time away from social media. They also have concerns on the impact social media has on us as a society. (McGarrity, 2019)

Social Media vs. HW

People share information on social media for many reasons. 84% say they share information on social media about a cause or an issue that they feel strongly about, and want to create awareness for. 94% of people say they share information to pass on valuable information, 49% of which share about products. 68% share information on social media to create an image and build a persona of themselves online of who they are. 78% use social sharing to interact with friends and fulfill the need of affiliation. they go on social media to keep in touch with people. 69% go on social media to keep up to dates with events happening in the world. All countries vary in the total minutes spent online, Indonesia has the highest percent minutes spent online at 91%. Mexico is at 75% close with Brazil at 72%. The USA and china have the same percentage of minutes spent online at 71%. Canada, the UK, Spain and Italy all fall in under the low 60%. (, 2019)

Tribal Behaviour

Social media users often engage in tribal behavior such as sharing information and social bonding. People assign themselves to tribes. Information is shared within the group. The Group set out rules you must follow but they don’t control the behavior, they just watch the behavior. The Tribes are not what the brand is saying to the consumer but what the consumers are saying to each other. The screenshots illustrate such behavior.

Harley Davidson
Wexford mammy’s is a community support, advice and information page. People in the Wexford area join this page to discuss and ask about local business, services, and common questions on life.
The rules that must be obeyed in this food group


DataReportal – Global Digital Insights. (2019). Digital 2019: Ireland — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Oct. 2019]. (2019). Information Society Statistics – Households 2018 – CSO – Central Statistics Office. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Oct. 2019].

whiting, A. and Williams, D. (2013). Why people use social media: a uses and gratifications approach, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal , Vol. 16, No. 4, pp 362-369

McGarrity, P. (2019). Social Media Use in Ireland 2019. [Blog] Paul McGarrity. Available at: [Accessed 12 Oct. 2019]. (2019). What Is the Major Impact of Social Media?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2019].


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