Facebook Frenzy at National Assembly

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 8, 2014 | Go to article overview

Facebook Frenzy at National Assembly


Byline: James Rothwell Reporter james.rothwell@walesonline.co.uk

National Assembly Members and their staff have spent more time on Facebook than any other website - including search engines, news sites and the Assembly's own home page, figures have revealed.

In July 2014 the social networking site was clicked on 218,000 times - averaging around 6,400 visits per day.

It was accessed from Assembly staff's computers more often than search engine Google, which had 74,000 hits in July.

Their computers visited Facebook 196,000 times in August, as well as the travel website Tripadvisor and amazon.co.uk But in September, the end of the Assembly's recess, Facebook usage plummeted to 26,000 hits.

Also popular was the music streaming service Grooveshark, which Assembly staff clicked on 12,910 times in September, while Tripadvisor was used 24,000 times over the threemonth period.

A spokesman for the National Assembly said: "Social media is a central part of the National Assembly's communications strategy.

"As more and more people consume their news through these digital channels, coupled with a decline in the traditional newspaper model in Wales, it is more important than ever that Wales' law-making body fully utilises these new digital channels and goes directly to our audience (the people of Wales) through the communication channels that they are now using.

"It means that staff, Assembly Members and their support staff across the organisation continually use social media to communicate with the people of Wales, stakeholders and other interested groups. Also, Assembly staff, like the increasing number of people across the UK, now get their news through social media channels such as Facebook."

The only time staff used Facebook for personal use was during lunch breaks and the decrease in Facebook users in September was due to "key professional social media staff" taking leave, the spokesman said. …

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