Social networking and blogging are now the 4th most popular online activities, according to Nielsen’s “Global Faces and Networked Places” report.
A staggering two-thirds (67 percent) of the global online population now visit a social network site and the sector accounts for 10 percent of all internet time. This means that every 11 minutes, social networking sites and blogs are accessed across the world by millions.
The report has shown that not only are social networking sites extremely popular, but they are changing the way people behave and communicate with one another, not only online but in their real lives.
According to John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online, social networking will “continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large.”
Facebook has become the world’s most popular social network site with a massive 566 percent jump in users between December 2007 and 2008. The social network currently experiences the highest average time on site per user, at an incredible three hours and 10 minutes.
Alex Burmaster, author of the study and communications director across EMEA for Nielsen Online believes that social networking is evolving every day.
“Social networking isn’t just growing rapidly it’s evolving – both in terms of a broader audience and compelling new functionality.”
The increase in popularity of social networks has also resulted in increasing demand to access them on the move. In the UK, 23 percent of the population access social networks through their handset, while 19 percent of people in the US do so (accounting for 10.6 million people).
In Australia, social networking use has increased 59 percent since December 2007.
Nielsen believes that is it crucial for businesses to understand how social networks operate in order to tap into their potential. They have offered the following tips:
- Understand what makes social networks successful
- Increase interactivity within your own website
- Participate in the conversations on social networks
- Think about the relationships with social media and other networks
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