Wangari Kamande is a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

I am sitting on my couch this quiet Saturday evening reading June’s edition of O magazine – an uncommon activity as I rarely buy magazines. I am one of those boldly unashamed people who walk into a Chapters store, picks a favourite magazine, finds a spot near the in-store Starbucks, and reads through each and every article (but my ‘redeeming’ quality is that I always return the magazines to the rack that I found them). Why am I talking about this? What does this have to do with social media? There was one fateful day when I forgot my smartphone at home; I literally felt lost with nothing to do in between breaks for lunch and waiting for an appointment – I had to get something to fill my time – hence O magazine. You see, when I have my phone I’m mostly perusing through my social sites reading up on what’s new and what’s going on with other people’s lives…so I wondered if this “subconscious” craze is still taking over the world’s populace.

Let’s review some high level statistics and see…

Growth of Usage

According to a study by GlobalWebIndex, purported to be the world’s most detailed global insight study into consumer behaviour online:

  • Social networking has seen 23% growth in the last 2 years
  • Micro-blog updates have increased by 11% and video uploads by about 6%
  • Forums have become significantly less active, showing a 6% decline in activity and blogging seems to have remained stagnant at 27% in the past two years
  • China is the most socially engaged country in the world, with 84% of users contributing at least once a month. Russia, Brazil and India follow in that order
  • Onlinemba.com reports that 66% of all online adult users are connected to one or more social media platforms. In addition, social media use for both personal and business purposes has been increasing steadily in the last 10 years

Social Media Platform Statistics

According to the Realtime report:

The list goes on, what appears to be social mania is just a new way of doing what humans have done always, communicate!

Social Brands

Websites continue to be the primary brand engagement point for consumers online, according to an earlier version of the Globalwebindex study nearly a third of consumers online are engaging with brands on social media, no doubt a clear sign of social traction for those brands that are doubtful if social media is here to stay.

According to some overwhelming stats coming via Facebook’s S1 registration statement courtesy of its initial IPO, as of Dec 31, 2011, more than seven million apps and websites were integrated with Facebook.

Mobile and Social Media

Since Facebook is such  hot news with the whole “to buy or not to buy” driving investors mental – again from its SI registration statement, Facebook identified 425 million active users of Facebook via mobile devices (mobile, social media – something is cooking really fast here).

To emphasize how quickly all this is changing, according to digitalbuzz of the 6 billion humans in the planet, 4.8 billion own a mobile phone and only 4.2 billion own a tooth brush. Now really – I get the sense here that the new ways of getting us all to connect are supposedly surpassing our need for dental hygiene. Mobile is something to watch especially with the social overlay that is now quickly becoming the faster and cheaper way to connect with others.

Still not convinced of the value of this social movement? I would like to hear from you…

 

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