A wide range of social software has become readily available to young people. There is increasing interest in the exciting possibilities of using social software for undergraduate medical education. To identify the nature and extent of the use of social software by first year medical students. A structured self-administered questionnaire survey of 212 students. Over 90 percent used instant messaging and social networking sites were highly used (70 percent). There was no significant difference between males and females. Blogs were read by about a fifth of students and a small number (8%) wrote their own blogs. A fifth of males stated that they were users of media sharing and contributed to wikis. Social bookmarking was rarely used by either sex. Medical educators need to recognise the potential of social software in undergraduate medical education but it is essential that students maintain the informality and privacy of these sites. The challenge for all medical educators is how to integrate social software into current curricula and institutional Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs).