Digital inclusion and online behaviour: five typologies of Australian internet users

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Digital inclusion is no longer limited to issues of access (e.g. infrastructure, speed, and cost); these are simply components in a much broader and more complex conceptualisation of what it means to be included. This shift has seen many researchers turn their attention towards the different ways in which people are using the internet. The aim of the current study was to measure how Australians use the internet by employing a nuanced approach to measuring online behavioural preferences. Telephone interviews were conducted with 1584 respondents to measure online behavioural preferences, internet attitudes, digital self-efficacy, and access. Analyses confirmed five profiles of internet users: labelled ‘Non-Users’, ‘Sporadic Users’, ‘Social Media & Entertainment Users’, ‘Instrumental Users’, and ‘Advanced Users’. Each group differed significantly on key demographic and (more importantly) non-demographic internet characteristics. These findings provide useful learnings for tailoring digital inclusion programmes to the needs of specific user groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-380
Number of pages14
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Australia
  • cluster analysis
  • Digital inclusion
  • internet use
  • online behaviour
  • typology

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