28 Nov 2012

Use of social media in Pacific growing exponentially

4:14 pm on 28 November 2012

A research paper has found that the use of social media in the Pacific has grown exponentially in the past few years and has the potential to significantly influence the region's governance and development.

Danielle Cave, from the Lowy Institute in Australia, looked at the growth in information and communication technology across the region.

She says while the Pacific is a relative latecomer to telecommunications, the figures show that tools like mobile phones, facebook, and online blogs have enjoyed a big growth spurt in recent times.

Ms Cave says people are using social media to hold people accountable for their actions.

"We're seeing people post pictures of rubbish and complaining why are people leaving rubbish around the streets and who should be paying for this and really thinking about what is happening in that sort of sense. And at the same time people are holding politicians accountable for their actions, blog posts are going up asking what politicians are getting paid and where is that money going."

Danielle Cave says there are almost 700,000 facebook users in the region now, of which at least 150,000 of those joined this year alone.