While an April 2012 eMarketer report showed that France trailed the rest of the EU-5 (Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) in its use of microblogging sites, growth accelerated during the presidential electoral campaign as politicians used social media attempt to engage the voting public. eMarketer predicts that the popularity of social networking, especially via mobile devices, will attract 21.9 million users in in 2012, increasing to 23.6 million in 2013.
The increase in the number of social networkers accessing services via mobile phones is predicted to grow by 53.8% to 7.5 million and by next year to account for nearly half (11.3 million) of total social network use. By this time, it is estimated that only the UK will surpass France in the percentage of the population accessing social networks via mobile devices. Internet users in France may be lukewarm about social networking on their PCs, but the convenience of mobile access is disproportionately driving French social networking growth.
Karin von Abrams, eMarketer senior analyst, said: ”Several factors are contributing to the boom in mobile social networking in France. One is the rising penetration of smartphones. eMarketer estimates that one-third of all mobile phone users in France will have a smartphone in 2012. In addition, major social networks such as Facebook have made a big effort to optimize their sites for mobile access. Also, smartphone ownership is highest among the demographic segments most involved in social networking, such as college students and young professionals ages 25 to 44.”