Social networks continue to climb in popularity around the world. The study “Power to the People: Social Media Tracker” found that the percentage of US Internet users with a social network profile grew 16% from 2008 to 2009. Today, 59% of active Web users (those with access at least every other day) reported having a profile.
eMarketer estimates that 44.2% of all Internet users in the US use a social network at least monthly.
But the US is far from tops in social networking activity. Seven other countries polled had higher percentages of Internet users with a social network profile. Russia, which came in first place, also had one of the fastest growth rates; it has grown from 23% in 2006 to over 85% in 2009.
Worldwide, 62.5% of active Internet users aged 16-54 have a social network profile. In addition, 71.1% have visited a friend’s profile page.
The study also sees people starting to focus their digital life around single networks (like Facebook), rather than around many specialized tools with social features (like blogging and photo-sharing sites). They tend to like social networks that consolidate multiple social media in a single place.
The chart below shows the most popular activities on social networks.
Messaging friends, uploading photos, and finding old friends are the 3 most popular activities. But also notice the variety of other activities that are also quite popular.
So, how do you use social networks? How can you ensure they are more helpful than a waste of time? I’m just learning how to filter and be selective with my Facebook page. For me, the trick is how to get updates from people I want to stay in contact with, without having to wade through the babble from all 318 of my friends.
A friend just posted the following on Facebook: “They say that 40% of tweets are just babble. I don’t think so. BTW, I just ate breakfast. Thought you would want to know.”