The Shift To Privacy

One statistic from Ipsos MRBI‘s latest social networking survey for Ireland stood out for me. 11% of adults now claim to have a Snapchat account. Perhaps more striking is that if you drill into the numbers, it’s obvious that it is highly popular with young people. 43% of Irish adults aged 15-24 claim to have a Snapchat account and half of those say they use it daily. A snapshot of the survey findings can be found below.

Ipsos MRBI

For those unfamiliar with Snapchat, it’s a way to send friends a picture of video, which self destructs after a few moments. Its popularity is due to users opting for privacy, rather than letting the world share the moment and potentially prove to be embarrassing in the future when it turns up in search results.

This shift towards privacy is part of a larger global trend. One of the latest Pew Internet research studies has shown that 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints. 55% of internet users have also taken steps to avoid observation by specific people, organizations, or the government. Commenting on the research, Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and an author of a report on the survey findings, said: “Users clearly want the option of being anonymous online and increasingly worry that this is not possible.”

Culturally this is going to have a big impact on how we interact online and how social networks develop in the future.

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Piaras Kelly
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