No less than 91 percent of young Internet users in the Netherlands were active on social networks like Hyves, Twitter and Facebook in 2010. The Netherlands occupies a leading position within the European Union (EU). `
Exchange of information through social networks
Internet users aged in the age category 16–25 increasingly use social networks to exchange information. The information they exchange can be short messages or bits of news on a chat site, participation in newsgroups or online discussion forums, reading weblogs or blogs or direct exchange of text messages.
The use of social media is reduced as people grow older. In the age category 25–55, the proportion of people active on social networks in the Netherlands is 54 percent and just over 30 percent in the population aged 55–75. More men than women are active on social networks. There is no noticeable difference between higher, secondary and lower educated people.
With 78 percent, text messages are the most popular type of online communication among young people. Reading weblogs or blogs is most popular among 25 to 55-year-olds (34 percent) and over-55s (18 percent).
Use of social networks in the Netherlands by background characteristics, 2010
Dutch youth trend-setting in the EU
Young people in the Netherlands are at the forefront within the EU regarding participation in social networks. Only Polish youths are more active (94 percent). Young people in Portugal and Slovenia are also very active on social media. Romania and Ireland bring up the rear.
E-mailing is not included in social networking, but was still the main online activity in all age categories last year. The Netherlands is at the top of the EU list in all age categories.
Use of social networks by young people in the EU, 2010