48% 'regularly use social networks'

People in Scotland use online social networking sites more than any other part of the UK, a study has shown.

The survey by BT revealed that about 48% of those using the internet in Scotland regularly access social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, compared with 20% in Northern Ireland and almost 43% in Wales.

In England, the figures are 33% in the North East, 39% in the South West and 45.7% in London.

Social networks are equal to news and current affairs websites in terms of popularity north of the border, with those sites also regularly accessed by just over 48% of Scottish internet surfers.

These sites were closely followed by information websites, such as Wikipedia, at almost 43%, and online shopping at just over 41%.

The survey, involving more than 2,000 people earlier this year, also showed that women are twice as dependent on social media as men, with 18% of women compared with 7% of men admitting they would miss social networking sites the most if the internet no longer existed.

BT Scotland director Brendan Dick 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."