As the world continues to embrace social media the ways we use the social networks are becoming clearer.
Twitter with its short and snappy messaging is very dependent on mobile usage and smart phones. The rise of the visual web is making Pinterest and Tumblr the fastest growing social networks on the planet. Google+ is no longer an afterthought and is embedded in Google’s web assets including Gmail, local checkins and the mobile Android ecosystems.
Google is getting the data it wants from Google+. Demographics, usage and content popularity. This is feeding into how it is ranking search results and much more. The universes of content, social and search are being woven together and creating a web experience that looks more like magic everyday. The social and mobile web is becoming an extension of our lives as we share, search and upload photos.
Artificial intelligence that adds other dimensions to humanity has already arrived but we just don’t notice it. We take it for granted
So what are the latest social media facts and statistics provided by the latest study by GlobalWebIndex for the second quarter of 2013?
#1. Google+ is catching up to Facebook
Facebook still dominates at 70% of account ownership but Google+ is not far behind at just over 50%. Keep in mind though that Google+ account is mandatory whenever you create a new Gmail account. This is pushing up the account ownership stats. No other social network has Google’s web assets leverage.
The large Chinese internet user population is producing some large Chinese centric social networks including Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Qzone. So Facebook doesn’t just have Google+ breathing down its neck but the rise of China’s social networks will possibly be a threat in the future.
#2. Facebook active usage still dominates
Facebook has nearly 50% of all the world’s internet users as active users. This is only set to increase as regions and countries in the developing world including Africa, Asia and South America get connected to the web.
#3. Pinterest is the fastest growing social network
The visual web is driving the rise of Pinterest and Tumblr with growth rates of 88% and 74% respectively over the last 12 months. Twitter and LinkedIn though are still rapid risers with growth rates around 40%.
#4. LinkedIn is the most popular for older users
LinkedIn is the network of choice for most knowledge workers and professionals. It is maybe the most conservative of the social networks due to the fact it is all about business. It is becoming more social as it has realized that will enhance its user penetration and attractiveness. The latest statistics show it having 7% of its users over 55 and 14% in the 45 to 54 age range.
#5. Usage of social networks by older users is increasing
Social networks were and still are a hit with the younger demographics. Don’t think though that social media is for the teens. The increase in usage by the 55 to 64 year olds is greater than 100% for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
The young aren’t the only ones having fun.
#6. Google+ dominates on monthly visits
Google+ has very large numbers on visits per month at 1,203 million. This has a lot to do with activity generated by visits to Google services (read Gmail) that is counted as a Google+ visit. Facebook visits are 809 million and Twitter had 416 million.
#7. Facebook dominates social media engagement
What this graph doesn’t show is that engagement of all the social networks actually dropped in the last 12 months. Maybe we are becoming over saturated with social?
Facebook though dominates with 62% of all its account owners being active in the last month of this study.
#8. Facebook usage highest in North America
Facebook has 59% of all internet users in North America as active users. Google+ only achieves 15% and Twitter 25%.
#9. Asia Pacific region dominates the social media landscape
When you have one region (Asia Pacific) with a very large population including two countries with more than 1 billion citizens each then these statistics shouldn’t surprise. This is despite the fact that it has one of the lowest internet penetration rates in the world.
#10. Uploading photos is the most popular activity on Facebook
Facebook has become the place to put your photos. This is not just from the desktop but the smart phone and the tablet. Facebook is making a big push to become even more mobile.
What is surprising is the very low ranking of “like” as an activity on Facebook compared to the other actions
#11. Twitter is about daily activities
Do you get sick of hearing about what someone had for breakfast, where they have been or who they are talking to on Twitter? The figures show that Twitter is a lot about your daily activities.
You could call it the personal news channel.
#12. Google+ is a lot to do with photos
Google had a clean slate just over 2 years ago when it designed the user interface and feature and function set for Google+. Its banner and image display makes the user experience compelling, contagious and immersive.
Photo uploads, that is one of the things that Google+ and Facebook in common.
The study found these to be the major insights into social media usage
- Active usage of the major, global social platforms is growing worldwide with mobile being the key driver
- Google+ remains the second most actively used social network with 318.4 million active users in 31 markets
- Emerging platforms have experienced notable growth in popularity since Q2 2012 with Pinterest and Tumblr being currently the fastest growing global social media
- Facebook maintains the highest penetration of active users among account owners at 62% globally. This compares to 51% for Twitter and 44% for Google+
- Emerging markets remain more active on social networks compared with developed countries. In Q2 2013 South Africa had the highest proportion of active Facebook users: 68%.
- Mobile and tablet usage is beginning to heavily impact social media usage with mobile having the biggest effect on Twitter which is used by 94 million active Twitter to share photos compared to 140 million on PC. This is the highest proportion of mobile vs. PC photos sharing of any social network
Authored by Jeff Bullas
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