Well, apparently, nearly everyone. With an abundance of available social media websites it is fair to say that all Internet users have used it one at one point in their connected lives.
Posted that great picture of the sunset to Instagram? Bingo!
Watched, liked and/or shared that cute cat playing the piano video from YouTube? Tag, you’re it!
Had a MySpace account back when it was cute and hip? Yeah, you are a social media user my friend (or should I say my Friendster – pun intended).
That subway rider playing candy crush and desperately asking for lives is also a social media user. I had to do a double take on Candy Crush to see if it qualified as social media and I think it does, it’s more on the social networking side of things but users are still sharing things and interacting through it. Click on the hyperlinked word above to read Foram Mehta, Digital Media Editor at Tradical 360’s take on Candy Crush.
From the looks of it we are all “6 steps” into social media usage at the very least.
According to the Statista website Facebook has over 1,2 billion registered users and Twitter has 255 million monthly active accounts. That’s a lot of accounts, even if we consider that one person can have multiple accounts on either one of those social media websites.
Just to place all of this in perspective the Earth’s Population is estimated to be 7.243 billion people, as of July 1st, 2014, according to the United Nations. This means that if all those Facebook users were unique accounts, 17.67% of the world population would have a Facebook account. Of course, those accounts are not unique, but when we consider that more than 6 billion people worldwide have a cell phone you can just imagine the potential for growth (incidentally, clicking on the hyperlink will take you to the Time Magazine piece that shows this statistic comparing it with people who have access to working toilets and the results are very sobering).
But I digress, social network users worldwide total 1.61 billion people, which only makes Facebook’s numbers seem even more impressive. Talk about penetration, right?
Media Bistro’s numbers for Twitter differ a bit from what I found on Statista, they list Twitter as having 560 million active users. And they also list the numbers for Pinterest (70 million), Instagram (150 million), Google+ (400 million). I’ll post the picture from Leverage with all this data here.
YouTube stats are also impressive. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month. 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the USA (they are present in 61 countries and available in 61 languages).
I would say that Facebook is the current platform to see and be seen and YouTube is the current channel to post content and view content.
The nice folks at WeAreSocial (a Social Media conversation consultancy with offices in several countries) compile some interesting data on Social Media usage numbers Worldwide. I will post some of their tables but you can look at all the research they kindly share with the public by clicking on this link.
According to their research East Asia boast the largest number of social media users 39% of all social media users are located in this region (which has 29% of the World’s internet users). Second place goes to North America with 11% of all social media users and third place is a tie between Western Europe and South America (each having 10% of all social media users).
As far as demographics go. Facebook users are predominately female, going against the norm for other social media websites that have more male users. Key demo is 18-49, isn’t it for all media I keep asking myself, with Twitter appealing more to the younger end of that demo (18-29). Interesting graph I’ll share next is courtesy of Journalism.org.
The two questions we were asked for class:
– Is social media the same for all of them, or should we really talk about many smaller “social medias” that are independent from platform to platform, country to country, or even subculture to subculture?
From the information I’ve compiled it is clear that different regions of the world use more one social media site than they do another. And some websites, like those used mostly in China and Russia, are unique to those regions. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have done a nice job of capturing what I would call a “global audience” appealing to people that wish to share content with the world and interact with a global audience. They may lack significant traction in a few markers but I would still classify them as the closer we have come so far to having global platforms. If we throw in instant messaging (like Whatsup) and image sharing (like Instagram) into the mix I think we are close to having a relevant share of global representation.
– Does social media’s importance relate to its “audience” size, or is it important as apart from the people around the world that use it? Why?
It depends on who is judging. From the media (as in money, making profit) side of things it is definitely the amount of people you reach. And once you have passed this threshold by having enough people connected to your social network to matter (be interesting) for advertisers to wish to pay to place messages on your media the question moves to the quality of the people you have (how qualified they are, how big is their purchasing power) and the way you can create advertising products that are attractive to your audience (ways to display the message that are relevant and will allow it to be seen and remembered).
If we are talking about the users, the amount of people connected matters less than your ability to find “your crowd” in that social space. You engage with social media to share things and know about things shared by people you care about (friends, famous people you consider influences, potential new friends, etc). So it doesn’t matter if a billion people are on that site or if 100 are, as long as the 100 matters to you, you will be there also. Since big sites (like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter) tend to gather “everyone” most people will eventually be pulled into some of them (or even all of them).
That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed it!