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10 Insights into the State of Social Media in 2012

The smart phone is changing how we use and consume information. Add a dose of social media obsession and you have two powerful forces that are transforming everything.10 Insights Into the State of Social Media in 2012

How we find information, learn, publish, express ourselves, do business and interact with other people is going through the biggest change in history and we don’t know exactly where it is all heading. All we know is that is is exciting and it is making for a more open, intelligent and transparent world.

The industry changing invention of the iPad has added another layer of change that has personal computer manufacturers worried about their growth predictions. The convenient and always on tablet is becoming a must have device that travels easily and lightly on the planet.

Discovering recommendations for a great restaurant while travelling  is no longer just left to friends and word of mouth but thoughtful strangers that are providing crowd sourced reviews on platforms and apps such Trip Advisor, Yelp and and the Alfred dining app.

Nielsen have just issued a report that looks at what are some of the significant changes over the last 12 months with social media that are worth noting.

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#1. Time on Social Networks on PC’s vs Mobile in 2012

The mobile is quickly becoming the place to access your social networks and it is now more than one third of all social networking time when compared  to PC’s in 2012. In the age group of 25-34 and 35-44 year olds,  the amount of time on social networks now exceeds time spent on a PC.

The figures also reveal that women are spending more time than males on social networks both on the lap, desktop and the mobile.

Growth in Time spent on social networks on mobile

 #2. Top 10 Social Media Networks

It is apparent that in the USA that Facebook has reached a saturation point at 152 million unique visitors with a decline of  4% in 2012 compared to 2011. Twitter continues to grow with 37 million users (up 13%).

Of course the standout of the last 12 months is the growth of Pinterest at over 1,000 percent.

Google+ is sometimes overlooked but with over 26 million users in the US and  growth rate of 80%, it is a social network that shouldn’t be ignored but seriously considered especially for its social signals and future potential.

MySpace is the star of the non performers declining by 13%.

The top 10 social networks

 #3. Time Spent on the Top 10 Social Networks on Mobile

The transition to accessing social networks on mobile is obvious when you see that despite the drop of 4% in visitors to Facebook last year the time spent on Facebook is up over 80% on both mobile apps and mobile web.

The top 5 performers on mobile web YOY (Year on Year) with growth rates over 100% are:

  • Pinterest – 4,225%
  • Tumblr – 162%
  • Reddit – 153%
  • Twitter – 140%
  • LinkedIn – 114%

Time spent on the top 10 social networks on mobile

 #4. The Growth of Pinterest

Pinterest is leveling off, but the launch of the Pinterest business page may help in continuing to drive growth. Its growth across mobile web, PC and apps is by far the largest compared to any other social network.

The growth of Pinterest

#5. The Demographics of Pinterest

Pintrest has piqued the interest of women much more than men and with 70% plus demographic share across the 3 access types, it is a platform that the fashion, food and female oriented categories should not ignore. The age groups that dominate are the 25 to 49 year olds.

Also its role as a driver of traffic for online stores is already been shown.

Who is using Pinterest

#6. How We Connect to Social Media

The tablet is the big mover here up from 3% to 16% in just one year. The convenience and increasing user base of the tablet is the biggest influencer of this change. The PC has declined slightly from 97% to 94%. One small move to note but one to watch is the increase by Internet enabled televisions from 2% to 4% .

How we connect to social media

#7. Where We Connect to Social Media

The always on and connected anytime anywhere generation is obvious in this statistic. You just have to love the fact that for nearly one third of all people aged 18-24, that social media is accessed in the bathroom.  I just wonder how many mobile devices have met a watery grave because of this habit!

Where we connect to social media

#8. Why We Connect to Social Media

The number one reason to use social media is seeing what your friends are doing, mutual friends follows close behind and interested in keeping up with the the latest news comes in at third on reasons why we connect on social media.

Interested to see that a person’s physical attractiveness is a significant reason the male of the species connects at 14%. The ladies already know this one to be true!

Why we connect to social media

 #9. Simultaneous Smartphone, Tablet and TV Use

The impact of the tablet is noticeable on two levels.

  1. Shopping online while watching  TV
  2. Accessing social networks while also watching Television

Advertisers will need to take note of this trend and make it easy for clients to find either information or buy when creating television ads to tempt and tease the potential multi-tasking shoppers.

Simultaneous smartphone tablet and TV use

#10. Twitter Drives Social TV

Twitter as a real time news and event related social network has been apparent for years. The more recent trend of adding value to TV and socializing a previously passive medium has been building for a while. (I reported on this trend over 12 months ago).

Social TV interaction is up over 27% in just 6 months.

Twitter drives social TV

What Surprises You?

Some of these trends are apparent and others are not so obvious. The implications are broad and far reaching and the impact reaches into how we market and advertise our brands and also includes how we design and build websites, online stores and blogs so that they are accessible on mobile devices.

Apps are becoming widespread and are a convenient and quick  way to obtain and create information and media and then share that on social networks in an instant.

What surprised you with some of these facts, figures and statistics?





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