Social networking among US broadband users has grown an impressive 93% since 2006, and has increased the amount of time people spend communicating online 18%, to 32% of total online time, according to a new report from Netpop Research, LLC that delves into social networking trends and habits.
The “Netpop | Connect: Social Networkers US” report also reveals that at the same time as online communications has increased, the time spent on traditional forms of online entertainment has declined 29%, and is now down to 19% of total online time:
This, Netpop said, is changing the face of how entertainment is defined, and giving rise to a new form of leisure built around talking, sharing, and providing opinions and perspectives.
Social Media Use
The research estimates that 105 million American broadband users (76%) now contribute to social media:
Moreover, though many types of social media are used by less than 10% of broadband users, seven million users are “heavy” social media contributors, who do at least six activities – such as blogging, microblogging, social networking and photo/video sharing – and connect with 248 people on a one-to-many basis in a typical week. This small but powerful proportion of social media contributors are fueling Web 2.0 activity, Netpop said.
Additional research findings:
These findings have many implications for marketers and others with a stake in the social media world, the report said. Among them:
Chinese Social Media Use Surpasses US
Related research from Netpop also examines the social networking environment in China and finds that 92% of the 243 million broadband consumers in that country (224 million) ages 13+ contribute to social media. This is compared with only 76% of the American broadband population.
Additional findings about Chinese users:
For Chinese Netizens, Netpop said, social media add exponentially to the sources and perspectives available online and represent a new experience for a country accustomed to a single source for media and information.
About the US survey: The report on US broadband users is based on an online survey of 4,384 broadband users ages 13+ and was conducted in September and October 2008. Respondents were selected from research panels using Netpop’s MarketMirror sampling methodology to ensure that participants are representative of the internet population in the target country based on age and gender.
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