Almost eight out of 10 online Irish adults use social networks, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted among 1,000 adults by Amárach Research on behalf of EMC, found that 78% of adults use Facebook, 42% use YouTube, 32% use Twitter, and 27% use LinkedIn.
The results show that most people still access social networks through mobile devices, with almost 80% of Facebook users accessing their account on a smartphone, tablet or laptop. One in four Twitter users login through their smartphone app.
Only 20% use only a PC to login to Facebook.
The survey found that 20% of people comment on social media sites at least once a day, while half of those surveyed add a comment at least once a week.
It was found that 79% of Facebook users visit the site once a day or more and one-third add content from status updates, comments to sharing information on the site.
Of the one-third of Twitter users who visit more than once a day, 11% upload information.
The survey indicates that social networking is growing, with 24% of respondents saying that the amount of data they upload on social media websites is increasing, relative to last year.
According to CSO statistics on the information society, published in 2012, 81% of Irish households had internet access while 76% of those aged 16 or over used the internet in the past 3 months.
"The Big Data society has arrived in Ireland," said Jason Ward, EMC’s Director for Ireland, Scotland and UK North.
"As these online conversations grow, we are generating vast quantities of unstructured information which represents a massive opportunity for Ireland.
"The EMC-Amárach survey shows that 80% of online adults are on social media websites and the vast majority are engaging and adding content, creating massive unstructured digital shadows when they use these social networks on their laptops, smartphones and tablets.
"This has implications for how online information is managed and stored and extracting meaningful intelligence from these colossal amounts of data is where the value lies for Irish businesses.
"Big Data analytics enables huge amounts of data from difference sources to be compared side by side at lightning-fast speeds to generate business insights.
"For example, retailers can collect social networking information, blog content and analyst research with socio-demographic data to identify buying trends and motivations for customer loyalty. Social media is a central part of the Big Data revolution and has the potential to drive significant job creation in the years ahead.
"If Irish businesses and public sector organisations leverage this advent of Big Data and buy into the analytics space now, they will quickly turn Big Data into a tool to help them better understand the marketplace, developing new business opportunities and more tailored public policy responses.
"The Big Data society is here and it is transforming how we live and work. Through data analytics, we can create jobs, add value to businesses and generate innovation-intensive high-tech start-ups."