What sites do you visit regularly? A new list shows Australians are keen for a bargain, have an unsurprising interest in real estate, and mainly find their news on social media.
Web analytics company Alexa, part of Amazon, released a list of the top 50 websites Australians are visiting.
Google’s Australian website came in at number one, followed by YouTube, Google’s US site, Facebook and then social news website Reddit.
Ebay came in at number seven, and Gumtree at 14.
Streaming movies and television proved popular, with Netflix at number 13.
Top 10 sites visited:
“It tells us Australians pretty much live by [these] basic needs and drives — we like to shop, [and] we’re concerned about our money,” social psychologist Helen Street said.
Dr Street said realestate.com.au was in the top 30, an indication that the everyday Australian had the cost of housing on their mind.
“A lot of people are constantly looking at houses, maybe comparing the price of their own houses — or maybe that’s coupled with discontent, this sort of need,” she said.
Dr Street said the list proved that Australians were no longer getting their information through “the grapevine”, such as friends and neighbours.
But she said that might not always a good thing.
“There is this pressure all the time to have a cheerful front on Facebook, smiling faces and photos and recording good things that happen,” Dr Street said.
“And I think that is what makes Facebook a very different machine, to simply finding out through the neighbours or chatting about what’s going on socially.
“It’s replacing those everyday encounters.”
Australians ‘want shorter, not longer’
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said the appearance of YouTube at number two, far above Wikipedia at number six, was striking.
“Particularly in an online environment, to sit and read and to think, that’s generally not the forms that work these days and it’s not the content.”
And YouTube, he said, met the need of today’s generation.
“Particularly when there’s information overload,” he said.
“Businesses and all communication creators are working out they can’t just add more content, more words, it’s about shorter not longer.
“One of those top sites on the list — it just tipped out of number 10 to number 11 — is Twitter [where posts are written] in 140 characters.
“Facebook as well, it’s about the visual, not just the written form.”
Direct sources of news only just made the top 20 — news.com.au was number 18, and the ABC was number 19.
But Professor McCrindle said it was not a sign that the media was dead, yet.
“These days a lot of that news is being gained through social media sites,” he said.
“So if we look at what we’re consuming, through a Twitter link, or what we’re looking at even on a Facebook page, it often does link back to a news page.
Porn ranks high
Porn was also a strong performer, at numbers 23, 30 and 49, which did not surprise Dr Street.
“I don’t think it’s doing any favours to people in terms of their sexual values,” she said.
“Especially young people, who might not have a lot of other sexual experience to compare to.
“So once again it’s a bit like Facebook in that sort of sense, it’s the internet, if it’s in addition to your real life, then that’s completely different to when it’s a substitute to your real life.”