comScore’s new report, It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed, is a ideal backdrop for this kind of reflection.
The 27-page report is packed with important insights about how social platforms are influencing the digital landscape and changing the way marketers engage with consumers. For example, after analyzing social media activity around the globe, comScore concluded that:
- Social networking is now the most engaging online activity in the world. According to the report, social networking accounted for nearly one in every five minutes spent online globally in October 2011. Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s population age 15 and older that accessed the internet from a home or work computer –that amounts to 1.2 billion users around the globe.
- Facebook dominates. In the month of October, comScore estimates that Facebook reached more than half (55 percent) of the world’s global online audience. What’s more, Facebook use accounted for one in every seven minutes spent online around the world, and an incredible three of every four social networking minutes.
- Microblogging has emerged as a disruptive force. In October, Twitter reached one in 10 internet users worldwide –that’s up 59 percent in the past year. Over the same time period, the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo grew a whopping 181 percent; it ranked as the tenth largest social network in October. Tumblr, which was twelfth worldwide in audience size, showed similar growth, increasing 172 percent in the past year.
- Social networking appeals to all age groups. Although young users age 15-24 still are the most highly-engaged segment of social networkers, comScore found that people age 55 and older represented the fastest-growing age segment in global social networking usage. The penetration of social networks in the 55+ segment was 80 percent in October 2011, an increase of nearly 10 percentage points since July 2010.
- Mobile devices drive social media use. In the US, almost two-thirds (64 percent ) of smartphone users accessed social networking sites at least once in October 2011, with two in five connecting via social networking nearly every day. In the EU5, 45 percent of smartphone owners accessed social networks on their mobile device during the month, with nearly one in four doing so on a near daily basis.
- List of Top 10 most highly engaged global social networking markets does not include US. comScore calculated the top global markets based on average social networking hours per visitor, and found that Israel lead the pack, with an average of 11.1 hours per visitor spent on social networking sites during October 11. The rest of the Top 1o list includes: Argentina (10.7), Russia (10.4), Turkey (10.2), Chile (9.8), Philippines (8.7), Colombia (8.5), Peru (8.3), Venezuela (7.9) and Canada (7.7). The US came in at 6.9 hours per person.
Many more results are discussed in the full report, but even from these few highlights, the trend is clear: Social media increasingly is becoming part of our daily lives –and that represents both enormous challenges and enormous opportunities for marketers in the year ahead.
“The emergence and widespread global adoption of social networks has vastly influenced human interaction on an individual, community and larger societal level, and underscores the convergence of the online and offline worlds,” said Linda Boland Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of global development. “Regardless of geography, social networks are weaving themselves ever more intricately into the fabric of the digital experience, opening a world of new opportunity for business and technology.”
To download a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.comscore.com/it_is_a_social_world. (Registration required.)