You’d think they’d be the most active participants in social media – well, not even close!
In ‘English language’ social media, they might be, but in a global context they just scrape into the Top Ten, according to digital analysts, comScore, who have published their latest report into the state of social networking activity around the globe.
According to comScore, the global monthly average for online hours spent on social media sites was 5.7 hrs during Oct 11 (when the survey was conducted). For the USA, it’s 6.9 hrs. For Canada its 7.7 hrs.
But that only just gets Canada into the bottom slot in the Top Ten most engaged countries.
|Top 10 Global Markets by Average Social Networking Hours per Visitor
Visitors Age 15+, Home/Work Location* (Oct 2011)
|Ave Hrs per Visitor|
(*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.)
We’ll call that the first of the five ‘didn’t know’ facts, and come back to the remaining four in a minute.
5 things you did know about Social Media…
1) Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide: Social networking accounted for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online globally in October 2011, ranking as the most engaging online activity worldwide. Social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s Internet population age 15 and older that accessed the Internet from a home or work computer, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe.
2) The importance of Facebook cannot be overstated: In October 2011, Facebook reached more than half (55%) of the world’s global audience and accounted for 1 in every 7 minutes spent online around the world and 3 in every 4 social networking minutes.
3) Microblogging still growing fast: In recent years, microblogging has taken hold as a popular social networking activity on a global scale. In October, Twitter reached 1 in 10 Internet users worldwide, growing 59% in the past year. Other popular microblogging destinations seeing rapid adoption include Chinese site Sina Weibo, with its audience growing 181% in the past year to rank as the tenth largest social network in October. Tumblr, which ranked twelfth worldwide in audience size, grew 172% in the past year.
4) Mobile devices are fueling the social addiction: In the USA, 64% of smartphone users accessed social networking sites at least once in October 2011, with 2 in 5 smartphone owners connecting via social networking nearly every day. In the EU5, 45% of smartphone owners accessed social networks on their mobile device during the month, with nearly 1 in 4 doing so on a near daily basis.
5) Women engage the most: The global average monthly hours spent on social networking sites is 5.0 for men, 6.5 for women. In North America and Europe, women spent an average of nearly two hours (30%) more than men on social networking sites in a month.
The remaining 4 things you didn’t know about Social Media…
2) Old people are getting in on the act: It’s not just young people using social networking anymore. It’s all age groups. Although young users age 15-24 still represent the most highly-engaged segment of social networkers, with an average of 8 hours per visitor spent in the category in October, social networking is catching on among older age segments across the globe. In fact, people age 55 and older represented the fastest-growing age segment in global social networking usage, with the penetration of social networks in the segment increasing nearly 10 percentage points since July 2010 to 80% in October 2011.
3) Google + has been the quickest out of the starting blocks: Measured in the number of months it took to reach 25 million users, the pace of growth has quickened. It took Facebook around 40 months to get to 25 million, 33 months for Twitter, and 22 months for MySpace. Google+ did it in under a month.
4) The British are ahead on using mobiles for social networking: But Europeans do it differently. comScore’s sample of countries using mobile devices is more restricted, but it shows that the Brits come out on top when it comes to using them.
|Social Networking Penetration in Selected Mobile Markets
3 Month Average Ending
|Accessed social networking site or blog ever in a month|
(* Data for all markets is sourced from the 3 month average period ending in October 2011, except for Japan, which is sourced entirely from October monthly data.)
What’s interesting is the way mobile users access social media sites. In the USA a greater percentage of smartphone owners reported using apps (40.4%) to access social networking sites compared to browsers (36.5%). In Europe it is the other way around, 25.4% use browsers and 22.8% use apps.
5) Check-ins are not that big: When it comes to how we use our smartphones the USA & Europe are almost identical in patterns of behaviour and pecentage points. In the U.S., 70% of mobile social networkers reported using their phones to post a status update, while 80% read posts from people they know personally. 54% read posts from organisations/brands/events. 45% read posts from public figures/celebrities. Only 30% used social networking check-in services. European social networkers showed similar levels of engagement in these activities.
Whether you did or didn’t know them, all these statistics are to be found in comScore’s report, entitled It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed, which you can download for free here.
The report looks at the current state of social networking activity around the globe, and highlights trends that show us how & where the digital landscape is changing. It is based on their ‘Media Metrix’ survey of Internet usage from home and work-based computers from comScore’s proprietary, opt-in research panel, consisting of 2 million people sourced from 171 countries. Data is individually reported for 43 of those countries. Data from mobile devices comes from two other products in the comScore mobile solutions suite which are available in a subset of these markets and are sourced accordingly.
Does that change the way you saw social networking?
Image: Colm McMullan