The study surveyed 3,600 young people, aged between 16-29 years, across Australia, the UK and the US, 90 percent of whom use Facebook as opposed to Twitter use which was on average 50 percent.

And 65 percent of the Australian participants in the survey also highlighted that Facebook is where they first hear about news and major events, rather than traditional news outlets such as print and television news programmes.

"Our research suggests that we need to take Facebook much more seriously as a space where young people - purposefully or incidentally - engage with politics, with their networks of friends and family," said Associate Professor Ariadne Vromen from the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney.

"We have found overall that increasing use of social media leads to more political participation by young people; especially for those young people that have an issue-based approach to why political participation matters, rather than a traditional orientation that only focuses on formal, electoral politics," said Vromen, who is a lead researcher in the two-year project called The Civic Network.

Many participants believe that 'liking' is an important way of showing support for political issues they and their friends care about, and are more likely to do this action than commenting on or sharing the posts.

One of the main reasons they are reluctant to comment is that they don't want to cause conflict between their family and friends on this platform, and some said they thought that political conversations were better done face-to-face.

Vromen said that this should be a two-way street, with politicians engaging through these platforms to connect with a younger audience too.

"Most of the young people we questioned said they think politicians should use social media more, they think politicians should be asked questions publicly more often to show they are responsive to people's views," said Vromen.