Social Network Moves Up
A new study released by Nielsen has shown that Social Networking has overtaken email as the most popular internet activity. As popular social networks like Facebook and MySpace have features built to stay in communication with friends and connections many people are utilizing those communication mediums to “email” or “chat” or “post” with one another.
Nielsen reports that “member communities” exceeds email participation 67% to 65%. This is in conjunction with the fact that social networking and blogging is growing twice as fast as other drivers of users such as email, search and portals. Two-thirds of internet users visited a social networking site in 2008. Social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace account for nearly 10% of all internet time. Facebook continues to lead the way by accounting for 30% of all internet users in the largest global markets.
Social Network Users getting Older
Also it is common knowledge in the online marketing world that social media reach has long grown beyond the younger demographic. As social networks become more popular and mainstream the audience has become broader and older.
Facebook originally started as a college only social network, but now boasts the greatest membership growth rate from 35-49 year olds at 24 million new members from Dec 2007 to Dec 2008. Facebook also is adding twice as many 50-64 year olds at 13.6 million than those under 18. Their current base is one-thirds 35-49 years of age and one-quarter over 50 years old. The way social networks are used is being continually defined by the changing demographics.
Facebook and Linkedin Leading the Growth
Social networks Facebook and Linkedin (the most popular professional network) has accounted for the largest growth rate this past year. Facebook showed 168% change in active reach with a global audience of 108.3 million. Linkedin also showed tremendous growth with a 137% change in global audience growth. MySpace saw a -3% decline.