6 Social Media Networks to Watch in 2012 [Plus Infographics]

Curiosity is a human trait that makes us want to discover what lies beyond the horizon, over the ocean or what can be seen and experienced from the top of a beckoning mountain.

6 Social Media Networks to watch in 2012

It makes humans take risks that are both life threatening and potentially rewarding and life changing.

George Mallory, the English mountaineer and explorer who died in 1924 when attempting to be the first man to make the first ascent of Everest was famously quoted as replying to the question

Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” with the retort “Because it’s there

There is a sense of adventure and discovery that lies deep within all humanity, it is a burning passion that motivates and inspires us to strive and to leave our mark upon the world.

Some people say that others have all the talent and pioneering spirit.

Is  making a difference only for the select few?

The reality is that there is a genius within all of us just waiting to be unleashed.

Social Media the Global Tribal Facilitator

Social media is spreading knowledge globally at the speed of a “Tweet” and provides us all with tools that can enable us to follow our dreams, if only we can capture and heighten that curiosity for knowledge that drives humans to succeed.

Stephen Fry the English actor and  screenwriter and  Twitter personality said that

The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are “incurious

If you are curious then social media and the web allows you to tap into global communities of interest and adventure points that can facilitate and ehance your skills, interests and passions.

Facebook and Twitter allow you to connect with your tribe, whether that is in New York, London or Lombok, that can provide stimulation and synergy that will surprise you with its breadth and reach and provide neuron muscle and connect you with your passionate energy that you may not have known you had.

The Social Media Universe

Perspective is hard to find unless you take the time to sit back, reflect and take the time to view a “Landscape” or “Universe” from a distance.

The larger the view the further back you have to stand to see the depth and breadth of the scenery and ecosystem.

The social media ecosystem is now so extensive and encompassing that I thought that it would be best to stand back and reflect on some significant events and evolutionary changes that are impacting how we communicate and connect.

1. Google+

Google decided in 2009 that it could no longer ignore the social web as it watched Facebook warp the web into a global community of 800 million plus. On June 28, 2011  Google Plus launched and became the fastest growing social network in history reaching 25 million users in less than 30 days. It continues to grow at over 600,000 users a day and is projected to reach 400 million users by the end of 2012 according to estimates by Paul Allen.

It is now both a personal and business social network after launching Google+ brand “pages” on November 7, 2011. Google plus enhanced the visual aspect of social networks by making its images significantly larger than the photos on Facebook. Facebook has since responded with a revamp of its design that allows for much larger images in its new “Timeline” for personal profiles.

Google+ Infographic

Source: Flowtown

2. Pinterest

This social network is a place to organise and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring and continues to reinforce the trending growth of an increasingly visual social web.

Pinterest has grown 4,000% in the last 6 months and is now threatening to break into the top 10 social networks with more than 4 million unique users.

Its users are extremely engaged, it keeps its users logged on for long periods of time and ranks as number three at 88.3 minutes per user per month behind Facebook and Tumblr respectively.

Pinterest Comscore

3. Tumblr

Tumblr is a multimedia rich microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their short form blog. It is about ease of use.

The numbers for this platform are too significant to ignore.

  • 900% growth in the last 12 months
  • 90 million users compared to only 10 million a year ago
  • Addictive and highly engaged audience with 2% of its audience making up 43% of total visits

The engagement on Tumblr is only second to Facebook at an average of over 141 minutes per month per user.

Ease of use and making it simple to post images plays into a web that embraces high definition and addictive images.

Tumblr the rapid rise of social blogging

Source: Mashable

4. Slideshare

Slideshare is the “YouTube of  Presentations” and allows you to upload PowerPoint into globally accessed slideshow and again is a highly visual social  media platform.

It flies below the radar because it is more about business content and is the world’s largest professional content sharing community. Here are some numbers

  • It is one of the top 150 websites in the world
  • 60 million visitors a month
  • Has 500% more traffic from business owners than any other professional website
  • 3 billion slide views per month

The highly visual nature of the site places it well in a social web that can’t get enough of images and visualization.

Sliideshare infographic the quiet giant of social media networks

Source: Column Five

5. Facebook

Facebook is a “must have” to keep tabs on, as its 800 million plus users means it is the defacto social network platform of choice for nearly one in two of the world’s web users.

What are four trends to watch and potential impacts to consider with Facebook in 2012?

  1. Its ecosystem with easy to install “apps” and burgeoning commerce and marketing power continue to attract business and marketers. Essentially you market on facebook first and then consider other platforms.
  2. The new emerging eCommerce paradigm of taking your shop “to the network” rather than driving visitors to your portal will reshape global business. “Omni Commerce” has truly arrived.
  3. Its new “Timeline” feature redesign with larger images and banner space offers a compelling visual anchor that raises its addiction powers to new levels.
  4. Facebook evolving into a more mature extension of your website design, function and content

The evolution of Facebook continues to be met by grass roots protest that rails against any change that rumbles people’s comfort zones. Despite this Facebook has no choice but to add and modify its features and functions to keep pace with Google+ and savvy upstarts which are a new generation social networks with no legacy baggage.

It is not time for Facebook to rest on its very large laurels or take its users for granted.

Facebook Infographic a world without Facebook

Source: SingleGrain

6. Twitter

The seemingly slow evolution of Twitter frustrates some but its simplicity and immediacy as an open texting service on steroids continue to keep it  top of mind in popular digital culture.

Its embedding in the new Apple iOS5 mobile operating system  has stimulated growth and increased sign-ups by 300%.

The real point of interest to watch with Twitter in 2012 will be to see if it rolls out a self serving ad platform that monetizes its network or whether it will work out another way make its 200 million plus users a revenue machine rather than a money pit!

Twitter Infographic

Source: BuySellAds

Read More:

  • Social Media Sharing Trends in 2011- Infographic
  • 7 Top Trends in Social Media
  • Past, Present and Future of Blogging – Infographic
  • Is This the Future of Books
  • 5 Insights into the Future of Social Media
  • F-Commerce – Is Facebook the New Shop of the Future
  • Comments

    • http://krittersthattwitter.com/ Lisa

      These infographics are totally awesome, thank you for sharing them!  I love Twitter and hope they are able to make it profitable, yet still friendly for us Tweeps.  Tribber DOT com is another Social Media Network that intrigues me.  The Internet is an exciting place!
      Thanks again,

    • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

      Hi Jeff,

      I focus on Twitter and Facebook but have moved toward Tumblr and Plus a bit recently.

      So many opportunities for the social media explorer 😉 Really enjoyed the post!

      Thanks for sharing with us.


    • http://8pmWarrior.com Aaron Biebert

      Hey Jeff, I agree about Pinterest.  I tried it out yesterday and believe it may be a visual type of twitter.  

      I found it interesting that you were there too.  I guess there are now at least 2 guys on the female dominated platform.

    • http://8pmWarrior.com Aaron Biebert

      Hey Jeff, I agree about Pinterest.  I tried it out yesterday and believe it may be a visual type of twitter.  

      I found it interesting that you were there too.  I guess there are now at least 2 guys on the female dominated platform.

    • http://www.freelancewriter.co/ Harleena Singh

      Loved the infographics and information shared Jeff!

      I guess I better try out Pinterest as I have heard a great deal about it as well. Nice to learn about the other networks as well.

      Thanks for sharing and wishing you a wonderful new year ahead :)

    • Anonymous

      Hi Jeff,

      Great article. The Infographics help understanding the topic.
      I just started “my social media year” as resolution for 2012, where i’ll explore the world of social media (http://kafilutz.tumblr.com).

      It’s funny that you talk about tumblr growing and growing, but you blog with wordpress.
      Could you give me insight to why you chose wordpress and what the main differences between these services are?

      Thanks for sharing

    • http://twitter.com/JeffSheehan Jeff Sheehan

      Jeff, some great work to start off 2012. The infographics are fantastic. Thank you for creating and sharing them. I agree with your overall analysis. I’m glad that you listed Pinterest as number 2 in your list. It was a topic of discussion during a Christmas get together and I was amazed at how in love so many of my daughter’s friends, both male and female, are with it.
      Best of luck to you in 2012!

    • Anonymous

      Love twitter – I just installed #tapbot which is great and also I’m pleased that pinterest was mentioned as I use it everyday at http://www.thephotostar.com

      Thanks for the share

    • http://twitter.com/SocialBuzzU SocialBuzzUniversity

      AWESOME stuff! Love the infographics! So easy to understand!

    • http://jbdcolley.com John Colley

      This is really helpful Jeff and reminds me that I need to do more on Google+ and Facebook.  Still believe that the Social Media engagement has to be connected to your own “Home on the Web” – a website or a blog that you own.
      Have a great New Year and thank you for your great content
      Best regards John

    • http://www.trinegrung.no Trine Grung

      Love it…..thanks!

    • Pierre Sim

      This is awesome, Thanks very much for sharing, Jeff!

      We use Facebook and Google+ heavily for our projects currently and would certainly look into other social media sites you have recommended here! Social Media is the way to go!

      Pierre Sim

      Global Internet Channels

    • http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/blog/ Jeff smith

      By far the one that interests me the most (other than the mainstays of Twitter and Facebook) is Tumblr – amazes me they have been around for some time, but seemed to really break out in 2011.  Also – the stickiness is pretty impressive.  Could give WordPress blogs a real run? 

    • http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/blog/ Jeff smith

      By far the one that interests me the most (other than the mainstays of Twitter and Facebook) is Tumblr – amazes me they have been around for some time, but seemed to really break out in 2011.  Also – the stickiness is pretty impressive.  Could give WordPress blogs a real run? 

    • http://seedsclub.averagepersongardening.com Mike the Gardener

      Love Pinterest

    • http://www.facebook.com/Mhmd.Fekry Mohamed Elsherif

      Imagine the world without Facebook :). Actually I think we will survive with no Facebook. Hold on let me share this to my friends 😀

    • Rick Allen

      Interesting there there are no new players in the watch list. Or at least, this watch list. Twitter has gone through what could be called a resurrection. It hasn’t been that long some suggested a funeral.

      It’s also fascinating to watch ideas pass from unknown to ridiculed, to accepted, to “you don’t have that?”

      Not surprising, commerce is the driver. Everything else is along for the ride. For those deciding where to invest their time and dollars, we have to keep in mind it is a FAST moving target unlike anything in history. We’ve had print media since Herr Gutenberg, radio for nearly 100 years, and TV for 75. And now, within just the past decade entirely new platforms  have come to the forefront.

      In the “old” days, there may have been many choices, but print was print, etc. The disparity of media, message, market, and method in today’s world have raised the bar of complexity to the point that the old variable – human nature – is now considered the only constant!

    • Socorro

      This is such good information.  Thanks.  

    • http://iconart.us Matthew Lawler

      Great rundown with engaging infographics! Thanks for the great post.

    • Anonymous

      Nice post. I can also see The Path growing rapidly in 2012.

      • Anonymous

        They had a chance before they screwed up with privacy by downloading peoples contacts. Now, their reputation is pretty shot. The thing that bothers me about this the most is that one of Path’s claim to fame is that they ostensibly protected user-privacy and this was the whole point of the network. The hypocrisy bothers me more than anything here. With stuff like http://www.dirtyphonebook.com out there and Google’s servers storing all data in perpetuity and making it easy for anybody to find it I would think that startups that depend on goodwill like Path to get users would value their most precious asset. This calls into serious question whether or not Path has any future going forward. At the very least, Path will have to work very hard to start to regain some user trust because this is a serious incident given its potential implications. Apple had to repair the damage they’ve caused by baking API requests that access contacts into the OS.

    • http://twitter.com/mediatemple mediatemple

      I think Pinterest is going to be huge in 2012. Besides the obvious Facebook and Twitter I think it will be #3 in the running. Thanks for all the great info. 

    • http://www.cashforsmartphones.com/ Sell My Cell Phone

      Pretty impressive infographics!

    • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

      Great infographics. It’ll be fascinating to watch how everything evolves this year.

    • http://socialhospitality.com Debbie Miller

      Great infographics. It’ll be fascinating to watch how everything evolves this year.

    • Anonymous

      I loved these infographics.  Thanks for this – extremely useful and very interesting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/IanLeg Ian Legate

      Excellent Post Jeff!
      And nice images :>)

    • Jburrow

      That was the best Blog post I have ever seen.

    • seocompany delhi

      Thanks for all of your work on this web page. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

    • Social Media Marketing

      Impressive info graphic, easy to understand.
      I really like your posts and the way you describe every topic.
      I agree with your overall analysis. I am glad that you listed Google+ as
      number 1 in your list. It is both a business and personal social networking

    • j.

      Eh, this “World without Facebook” article completely negates the use or 3 and 4G cell phones.  You can text photos and information without a Facebook.  I don’t think  this site is accurate when it comes to making it look like people will have to wait several hours or days to send information.

      There are lap tops, and iPhoto, and a blogger sites where information can be sent within seconds.  I think the demographics are a bit dramatic. 

    • http://twitter.com/milesboard ═╬╬═

      Great Read Jeff! You probably should take a look at http://www.slidepresenter.com/ which has some cool additional features compared to other platforms! 

    • Gsl180

      Hi Jeff
      Great Post! Informative and very captivating indeed.
      I will be keeping my eye on you.
      All the best.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ugochukwu-Opara/1196778283 Ugochukwu Opara

      I’m not going to lie. This was one impressive read. Good job Prof

    • http://luisgalarza.blogspot.com/ Luis Galarza

      Great job on including Pinterest in the mix, this site is growing rapidly and is already becoming a top center of branding, attention, and traffic!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kalilo-Kali-Menar/631807229 Kalilo Kali Menar

      http://www.bizzidate the new generation of sharing Platform. You can share all contents (friends, events, videos, photos, music).
      Just in one place Bizzidate dot com

    • Dan


    • Jens

      You really should look beyond the US. There are many big social networks out there. Some even bigger than some of the networks you have listed. Ex. take a look at VKontakte (80 mill users) , Sina Weibo (250 mill users) or Qzone (400+ mill users). Just to name a few. All of these have more than 80 million users. Wei

      • http://erpsoftwareleads.com/ Carol Pollack

        I so agree with you.

      • http://www.megastarmedia.com/ SocialNetworkSoftware

        Weibo.com has over 100 million posts per day, and its growing! There are so many new and exciting social networks to chose from.

      • P Jean

        China banned facebook from developing any account…i’m not impressed with those numbers given the population 1 billion

      • http://ThoughtTab.com/ Jason HJH

        True, but Jeff posted this mainly for his target audience. Likewise any social media marketer needs to be aware of the social media tools he can use, depending on his or his company’s customers.

    • http://www.acka.rdsor.ro/ Acka

      I loved hi5 and now I like a lot Pinterest!

    • http://www.acka.rdsor.ro/ Acka

      I loved hi5 and now I like a lot Pinterest!

    • http://twitter.com/StacyRHagan Stacy Rifkin Hagan

      Nicely done, as always Jeff.

    • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

      Definitely agree about Slideshare. It is a great social network for companies to showcase presentations that look great and are easily shared!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1786891318 Angelina Sereno

      Great article and infographics! I bookmarked it so I can reference it again later :)

      We just finished an infographic about slang words people have created over the last 20 years… pretty hilarious! It seemed relevant since this is about pop culture trends: http://www.skyboxcreative.com/news/infographics/infographic-20-years-slang-funny-words-phrases-pop-culture.html

    • Anonymous

      It is a very nice post…..thanks for sharing this post…….

    • A.O.

      Great post!

    • lauraine 2012

      Thanks for the share. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I bookmarked it for continuous visit. Thanks once again.
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    • jack

      you missed http://www.sociatenow.com please add it

    • Jessica Quest

      Might want to check out http://www.Formvote.com too, just saying lol

    • Farrah Collins

      Guys should keep your eyes on http://www.Formvote.com too

    • http://twitter.com/sherrilynne Sherrilynne Starkie

      Good resources. Thanks for this.

    • http://twitter.com/8CircleMedia 8 Circle Media

      Anybody else see a pattern of image based communication, especially among younger demographic groups?

    • http://twitter.com/StevenJosephR Steven Ratnik

      Excellent article. People might feel overwhelmed about all of the social media tools out there but they all have a purpose that can help greatly. If you have good content, you want to broadcast it as much as possible and reach the largest audience that you can.

    • http://erpsoftwareleads.com/ Carol Pollack

      very good presentation. how about youtube?

    • http://twitter.com/rodeenas Rodeena

      Excellent resources. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.facebook.com/homersimpson.jay.9 Homer-simpson Jay

      try this social website for fun http://llollz.com

    • http://twitter.com/tvemarketing internetmarketing

      quality infographics!Thanks!!

    • vinod dave

      it’s very perspective-rich content & great info graphics……thanks, Now am awaken & ” CURIOUS “

    • http://www.facebook.com/julius.teke.1 Jessica Bright

      also watch out for Fonolive, http://www.fonolive.com. that’s another fast growing community platform