As part of the module IS30240, each student was given the task of creating their own digital story based around a topic of their choosing. The topic I decided to choose for my final project was recent social media trends in Ireland today. I chose this particular topic because I have a personal interest in social media trends and I think it ties in well with this specific module; as social media provides a platform for digital media to be produced and shared on with other users.
When researching for this project, I had a number of questions in mind that I wanted to find the answer to which included;
- Why do Irish people use social media?
- How often do they use it?
- Which social media platform is the most/least used in Ireland?
- How do Irish people communicate online?
- Do Irish businesses promote their brand/products using social media platforms
In answer to the first question, it is clear that Irish people, including myself, use social media for a number of different reasons just like users in many other countries. A main component of social media is the fact that it provides a platform for people to communicate and interact with each other online. Irish people can easily get in touch with their friends, peers and acquaintances using the chat service on websites and apps such as ‘Facebook Messenger’, which now has a number of chat options including audio and video chat. They can communicate in innovative ways, for example, using the picture sending social app known as ‘Snapchat’.
Another reason which would account for Irish people using social media is that it often acts as news source for the public. Rather than reading a newspaper such as the Irish times or Irish Independent or even checking these newspapers websites, Irish social media users can use ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’ which commonly post and update live news reportings. Below is a screenshot of my own ‘Facebook’ feed which demonstrates an example of an Irish news reporting:
A social networking quarterly survey carried out by Ipsos MRBI for the month of August 2015 demonstrated in the infographic below showed that ‘Facebook’ is the most popular social networking site in Ireland with 59% of the population having an account. ‘Twitter’ follows in second place, with 28% of Irish citizens having ‘Twitter’ account. Followed by ‘Twitter’ are the websites ‘LinkedIn’, ‘Google+’, ‘Instagram’, ‘Pinterest’, ‘Tinder’ and ‘Tumblr’ while the website with the least Irish account users is ‘Bubbly’ with a low percentage of 1% of Irish users.
Ipsos MRBI also calcuated the daily usage of the websites ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘Instagram’, ‘Google+’, ‘Pinterest’ and ‘Linkedin’ as shown in the infographic below. ‘Facebook’ had the highest daily usage percentage in Ireland at 67% while ‘Linkedin’ had the lowest daily usage at just 15%.
In terms of Irish businesses on social media, it is now very common for Irish business organisations and entrepreneurs to promote and advertise their brands and products via social media platforms such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Instagram’. For example, Marissa Carter is an Irish entrepreneur who launched her own self tanning products entitled ‘Cocoa Brown’. Marissa frequently promotes the product range herself via her social media platforms. Below is a screenshot of the ‘Cocoa Brown’s own Instagram account, where the product line is advertised on a daily basis. User interaction is encouraged, with each post containing relevant hashtags such as ‘#cocoabrowntan’ and ‘#instanttan’.
This research has indicated to me that social media is something that is frequently utilised in Ireland for a number of different reasons which include a means of communication between users, as an information source and also as a way of promoting something for free. ‘Facebook’ is the social media site that is used the most often and can incorporate all three of these methods into its platform for Irish users. In my opinion, social media use in Ireland is likely to grow and expand even further in the coming years.
An important aspect of this project was to demonstrate our ability to create and produce our own digital media content about our chosen topic. I decided to incorporate an audio element into my project by way of creating and producing my own podcast about social media trends in Ireland, focusing on the kinds of social media I use myself and the reasons why.
The podcast can be found here at