According to comScore's "The 2009 U.S. Digital Year in Review" report nearly four out of five US Internet users visited a social networking site in December 2009. To put that in perspective - nearly 80% of internet users visit social networking sites. Social networking activity now represents 11% of all time spent on the internet in the U.S., making it one of the most popular web activities. In fact, the sub-title of their section on social networking says "Social Networking Remains One of the Web’s Top Activities in 2009." No surprise here.
From a social networking perspective, the report primarily touched on Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. I'm going to focus my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, since those are two we focus on at EMC, as MySpace really does not reach our target market.
Facebook surged to the #1 position among social networks for the first time in May and continued substantial growth throughout 2009, closing out with 112 million visitors in December 2009, up 105% from 2008.
I was surprised to see that the average number of minutes people spend on Facebook each day is only 23.7 minutes. That seems rather low to me, but comScore attributes that to the increase in frequency of visits, which could make sense. It just seems to me that so many people are on there so often, how could it only be just over 20 minutes per day? What are your thoughts on this number?
Like Facebook, Twitter's visits also surged in 2009, finishing out 2009 with nearly 20 million visitors, up from just 2 million visitors in 2008.
Twitter demographics remains relatively split between those over 35 and those under 35, which is somewhat surprising to me because I would have thought the split would lean higher for those over 35. Twitter experienced the largest increase in people aged 18-24, which is also interesting to me, as I've not really seen this shift. I guess that's just my network experience though!
I'm very pleased to see that use of these sites continues to grow, especially since we focus some energy on them at EMC. I'd love to see more information on the quality vs. quantity of posts and users. I'd also love to see some information on participant vs. lurker statistics. I'm always curious to know if the folks out on these sites are actually using them, or just perusing and consuming, but not necessarily creating new content. It changes how you engage with folks when they're lurkers vs. creators.
How about you? Anything here surprise you? Anything you weren't surprised by? What do you think this means for the future of social media and social networking sites? My personal opinion - it's great to see the growth continue!