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10 Intriguing Insights on the State of Social Media and Blogging

If you are  marketer or a business owner then insights into trends and consumer behaviour can give you an advantage over your competitors. 10 Intriguing Insights on the State of Social Media and Blogging

If you are selling to a female demographic you need to know where they are hanging out on-line. If you are marketing a product to the over 50’s it is important to know if they use Facebook or social media. Where are those teenagers with that high disposable income playing online?

Understanding the digital landscape and the social web and how it is being used by consumers provides brands with the knowledge they need to increase sales and improve customer engagement.

If social media was horse race then you might as well put down the glasses as the race has been won. The dominance of Facebook is well known but it is the scale of its growth, market share and time it takes from its users is what is intriguing.

According to the latest study by Nielsen (which was conducted in May 2011) there are ten insights that are both expected and surprising.

10 Insights into Social Networks and Blogging

1. Facebook is the Top Web Brand  by Time Online

There is no need to count users (as a lot of users register and never go back). The real measurement of engagement and use is how much time is spent on-line. Facebook dominates time on-line by a ratio of  more than three to one compared to its next closest web brand competitor Yahoo.

2. Social Networks and Blogs Dominate Time Spent Online

Social networks and blog sites are where Americans spend most of their time (22.5%). In fact it is more than twice as much as the closest category which is on-line games at 9.8%

 Social Networks and Blogs Dominate Time Spent Online

3. Females Dominate

The majority of visitors to social networks and blogs are female and are aged 18-34. (calculations show unique audience composition index)

Females dominate visits to social networks and blogs

4. Men Like LinkedIn

Of the top 10 social networks, women are in the majority on eight of the ten. Men use LinkedIn more than women which would be due to the imbalance of management roles of males compared to females.

Men like LinkedIn

5. Top Site By Unique Visitors is Facebook

According to Nielsen, this past May, Facebook logged 140.336 million visitors, dwarfing the second-place finisher on the list, Blogger, which tallied 50.055 million.

The rest of the list:

  • Twitter (23.617 million)
  • WordPress (22.417 million)
  • MySpace (19.25 million)
  • LinkedIn (17.786 million)
  • Tumblr (11.87 million)
  • Six Apart Typepad (8.578 million)
  • Yahoo Pulse (8.397 million)
  • Wikia (7.601 million).

6. Mobile Social Media is Booming

The growth of smart phones is changing our media consumptions habits and social media use on mobiles is the second most used feature after downloading and playing music.

Mobile Social Media is Booming

7. Social Networking Apps Growing at 30%

If you use an app on a smart phone then it likely that you will be using a social network app. Social network apps ranked third on the most used app category with Games and weather apps holding positions one and two. Facebook ranks as the most popular app across all mobile operating systems.

Social Networking Apps Growing at 30 percent

8. The Over 55’s are Using Social Media on Mobile Phones

Many people think that if you are over 50 you are not using social media on a mobile. In fact the fastest growth of social media use on smart phone is the over 55’s with 109% growth. The 35-54 age group growth rate stands at 68% year on year and 18-34 year olds are increasing their visits to social media  sites on their mobile by 61%.

9. Social Media Users are Influential Offline

Social media networks have given influencers a platform to spread their ideas. Influencing your peers on these platforms can drive increased sales to on-line stores.

Social Media Users are Influential Offline

10. Tumblr Triples its US Audience in 12 Months

Tumblr is a social network that combines elements of blogging and Twitter. It is now the 8th largest social network and blog site in the US with over 11 million unique visitors in May compared to only 4.2 million in May 2010.

Tumblr Triples its US Audience in 12 Months

As these statistics were collected by Nielsen’s survey in May 2011, they do not include Google+ which launched a couple of months later. So it would be interesting to look at this landscape in a few months and see how it is developing.

What is obvious and pleasing is the continuing growth in blogging in all its formats with Blogger.com and WordPress continuing to make their presence felt and Tumblr being the surprising result and the social network to watch.

More Reading:

Image By Will Lion

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Really great stuff Jeff. Interesting the note about the 55+ age group. Baby Boomer Mobile Gen?

    • Yes everyone’s doing it! What surprised me was the growth of Tumblr!

      • Lisa Galarneau

        I’m told there are a TON of teenagers on Tumblr.

  • Ashutosh nigam

    gr8 work by you..jeff…its nice

  • These infographics and statistics on social media and blogging are great and extremely useful. It is interesting how GPS is popular on mobile yet QR/bar code scanning is still on the uptake. As a Gen Xer, I must admit, I am still not entirely comfortable making payments via my phone…. yet I am addicted to mobile apps, because, there is pretty much one for every purpose. 🙂 Thanks for the insight.

  • thanks jeff.

    whats myspace again?  🙂

    ill ask mr.timberlake.

  • wow, some superb facts. 

  • Lambert

    Compelling stats Jeff!

  • I’m surprised that YouTube is ranked 6th for time spent on a site.  It’s interesting because it’s supposedly the second most popular search engine, yet it’s shown here after Bing. 

  • Tumblr indeed maybe because the reality of the facts and the youngest ppl inside… I use to spend a lot of time on Tumblr and was from facebook time I guess… Nice article and very easy to follow as pics and data make me enjoy a lot. I found this article on triberr. Thank you. Christian

  • Thanks for the comment. I mentioned at the top of the post and L:inkedto it at the bottom of the article
    “As these statistics were collected by Nielsen’s survey in May” 2011,http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/


  • Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

  • Surprised to see how big a lead Facebook has on unique visitors and that Foursquare did not make that list…interesting


  • Every company should have its own blog and this guides the people and creates traffic and this should be the in the good shape.

  • Gina Narramore

    Very interesting, especially #8: the fastest growth of social media use on smart phone is the over 55′s with 109% growth…

    Could this be because the younger groups use social media more to start with (having grown up in a digital age), than the older group (who are just getting into it) Just a thought 🙂 Great post as always Jeff!