Following on from yesterday’s announcement on UK student’s Internet usage; Nielsen have now released data on the most popularly used social networking sites in the US. Whilst it may not be immediately relevant to a number of British marketers and companies; it does shine some light on the exponential global growth of this media, whilst giving an indication of possible user-activity here in Britain.
According to their statistics, which are based on total time spent on each site, Facebook has dramatically overhauled Myspace as the clear market leader. The turnaround happened due to a drop of 31% in MySpace usage and a huge leap of a shade below 700% towards Facebook. With 13.9 billion minutes spent on the latter of these over the past year, as compared to 5 billion at the site that has now had its crown usurped, there can little doubt cast over the worldwide reach of social networking.
Unsurprisingly Twitter was also a big mover, jumping a staggering 3712% with 300 million minutes of usage; which is still half of Blogger’s reach and a little less than the 4th placed Tagged.com. With the exposure Twitter has received in the US over the past year, with celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey and even President Obama promoting it, this huge growth is to be expected. With its real-time capabilities and straightforward usability, future growth (at least for the foreseeable future) seems assured.
The 69% gain by LinkedIn is also an extremely interesting statistic, particularly as this is primarily a business networking tool. As a means for reaching out to customers, clients and prospects it is very much an up and coming medium. With greater usage comes greater potential, which surely makes LinkedIn an essential resource for any serious businesses and individuals moving forward.
While Myspace maintains a huge advantage in terms of video streams – achieving three times the total of Facebook – its dramatic fall from grace also highlights the instability that does still exist within social networking. Twitter is very much the emerging force currently, but how long will this continue? Has Facebook jumped the shark? Particularly in light of controversy surrounding the investment from Russian based Digital Sky Technologies.
Harbingers of social networking doom aren’t too hard to come by, note this interview with Andrew Keen by Econsultancy last week; however, the huge gains indicated right throughout this report show that there is still plenty of life left in it yet. Besides the admission of Bebo, this US-based data would almost certainly translate to UK usage – as indicated by the statistics in yesterday’s post – particularly when it comes to the top two.
So in terms of booming online industries, clearly there aren’t too many that can rival the power of social networking. As a result, reaching a vast audience with advertising and marketing needn’t simply mean doing PPC through search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing anymore. Social media is a resource that has an unparalleled global pull, a claim that is surely only further backed up by these extraordinary results. Therefore tapping into this supply could be hugely beneficial for many online traders if done properly.