Media Release: Social networking rules the internet in Scotland

SCOTTISH households use the internet for social networking more than any other nation or region in the UK, a BT study reveals today.

Almost half (48.2 per cent) of internet surfers in Scotland regularly access social networking sites, compared to just 20 per cent in Northern Ireland, 42.6 per cent in Wales, 33 per cent in the North East, 39.3 per cent in the South West and 45.7 per cent in London.

Social networks run neck and neck with news and current affairs websites, which are also regularly accessed by 48.2 per cent of Scottish internet surfers, whilst less than one in ten (9.8 per cent) regularly surf to search for jobs.

The popularity of social media and news websites is closely followed by knowledge and information websites, such as Wikipedia, which are regularly accessed by 42.9 per cent of Scots, and shopping online at 41.1 per cent.

If the internet no longer existed, administrative tasks, such as online banking and booking appointments, would be most missed (27.6 per cent of Scottish respondents) followed by knowledge and information websites (20 per cent).

Nationally, the BT study revealed that there is a gender divide with 18 per cent of UK women saying that, if the internet no longer existed, the content they would miss the most would be regular social media check-ups. This is in comparison to just seven per cent of men, most of whom (29 per cent) would most miss the day-to-day ease of admin such as online banking and deal searches.

In the BT Infinity survey, one of the key observations was that the traditional stereotypical view of the gender divide was often flipped on its head with nine per cent of UK woman regularly engaging with online gaming, compared to eight per cent of men. Men are leading the way with media sharing, with 13 per cent sharing videos and photos on YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and other similar sites compared to just six per cent of women.

The survey also revealed that ten per cent more UK men than women are using the internet more for knowledge and information websites, as well as news and current affairs. Women are leading the way when it comes to online shopping with 38 per cent claiming it’s the content they most regularly engage with online. The gender gap however, may be unexpectedly small with men closing in on the women on online shopping stakes by coming in at 30 per cent. The gender gap was closed when it came to watching TV online, with 15 per cent of men and 16 per cent of women stating it was their favourite content online.

BT has worked with psychologist, Corinne Sweet, to create six character types that illustrate the key relationship between people and the content they consume. Almost a quarter of the nation (23 per cent) are characterised as Home Hubs; the person with the main household responsibilities. These practical and focused individuals are the highest percentage category, equal with the Study Bugs (23 per cent); these conscientious users are keyed into the net being a wonderful resource to aid learning and expand their knowledge.

Savvy Surfers, those who reap the most rewards from their internet usage, come in third accounting for 17 per cent of people, whilst 12 per cent are Pleasure Seekers who use the internet for its entertainment resources. Even with social media’s popularity nationwide, only seven per cent are Life Loggers; those who log, blog, and vlog every minute of their day.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: “This research makes it clearer than ever how Scotland and the UK as a whole have embraced the internet across all aspects of life and, in particular, shows the different way UK men and women use the internet.

“People now take for granted that they can manage their life all in one place, from shopping and banking to entertainment and social media. That’s why BT is investing in super-fast broadband so our customers can juggle all of their internet needs using BT Infinity, which is up to eight times faster than the UK average.”

To find out more about BT Infinity and the different typologies, visit

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Contact: BT Scotland press office
Phone: 0800 085 0660