Social Media’s growing interest in Science: Aust. science followers top half a million

We all know how important social media is for any communications today. But what about science communications? It seems that social media interest in science is an exciting and growing area which all science communicators can tap into.

Also don’t forget to follow ASC (@auscicomm) on TWITTER!

[Press Release from Science Alert]:

Aust. science followers top half a million

Science from Australia and New Zealand has attracted half a million followers on the global internet phenomenon Facebook.

Australasian science news reported on www.ScienceAlert.com.au this month topped 500,000 Facebook fans worldwide for the first time.

“We’re finding there is a wonderful appetite among young people worldwide to learn more about Australian and NZ science via Facebook,” says ScienceAlert managing director Chris Cassella. “From a short item on Facebook, they can click right through to the full story on ScienceAlert, or to the university or science institution where it originated.

“Science Minister Kim Carr has encouraged us all to ‘inspire Australia’. Well, thanks to Facebook we’re inspiring the world, as well Australia, with what our science is achieving, and with the science courses and jobs it offers.”

Mr Cassella said that Facebook itself now had 800 million users – and is growing rapidly worldwide, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. “It’s clearly the coming thing in communication, replacing traditional media and even websites as the place where people get their information and share new ideas.

“For half of the 18-34 year old users, Facebook is the first thing they check when they wake up in the morning. Half of them do it on their smartphones, before even getting out of bed.”

In another milestone, ScienceAlert’s following has overtaken the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in popularity among Australian Facebook sites. “That was pretty remarkable, considering the huge boost which Australian tennis gained from Sam Stosur’s win at the US Open,” Mr Cassella says.

“On Facebook at least, Australasian science now ranks ahead of the tennis, rugby league, Cricket Australia, our World Cup soccer bid and popular rock ‘n roll station Triple J.

“You can see the rankings on http://www.famecount.com/facebook/sciencealert”

“In our view, this underlines the remarkable power of social media to increase awareness of Australasian science and technology – and to expand the global reach of our university courses and research positions.”

He added “In another remarkable development Sciencealert is presently ranked 14th in the world among news sites, in terms of its Facebook following.

“This means Australasian science has more followers on Facebook than news icons like The Wall St Journal, TIME magazine, The UK Financial Times, The Washington Post, and the popular online newspaper the Huffington Post.” www.famecount.com/facebook-rank/Worldwide/News

“It’s not just about how many fans you have, though. Each of these fans has hundreds of friends, who in turn have hundreds of friends, and information disseminates exponentially among them. This is what makes social media different from all other kinds – the information tree keeps growing more branches and twigs.”

ScienceAlert founder Julian Cribb said it was very pleasing to find such a large and enthusiastic audience for Australian and NZ science via Facebook. “When I started ScienceAlert, the aim was to share the good news about our research achievements freely with a wider audience. That was achieved through the website, but social media have added an entirely new dimension.

“The fact that Australasian science now attracts a larger audience among this segment of young people internationally than any other science publication in the world holds considerable promise for the future, if we can keep it up. The next generation will grow up with a keener awareness of Australasian science and what it has to offer the world.”

More information:

Chris Cassella, Managing Director, ScienceAlert, 02 6100 4307
chris.cassella@sciencealert.com.au
Julian Cribb, founder, ScienceAlert, 0418 639 254.
Web: www.sciencealert.com.au
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sciencealert

News and opinions: editor@sciencealert.com.au
Advertising inquiries: adsales@sciencealert.com.au