Putting Social Media In Perspective

It’s common knowledge that social media is universally used nowadays. But, just how many people are using these communicative mediums?

Well, to put things in perspective, apparently there are 600 million more people that own a mobile phone compared to those who own a toothbrush. Some research reveals that there are 4.8 billion mobile users but only 4.2 billion people with a toothbrush.

Perhaps the lack of face to face communication has made toothbrushes trivial?

Anyway, here are some more facts, figures and statistics, which illustrate why effective digital marketing is more important than ever.


Facebook is the King of social media platforms, with over 1 billion active users worldwide.

Facebook continues to innovate and evolve and the last 12 months have seen the new timeline introduced to personal profiles and brand pages as well as the purchase of Instagram, the mobile photo app platform – which has never made any money and has only 13 employees – for a generous price of $1 billion.

This underlines two key elements that are emerging as pivotal to the continuing evolution of the social web.
1. Mobile
2. Visual engagement
These two factors will continue to wield sizable influence and disruption to social networks and digital marketing.

So what other numbers are important to take notice of when it comes to Facebook?

Facebook facts and figures:

• Monthly active users now total nearly 850 million
• 250 million photos are uploaded every day
• 20% of all page views on the web are on Facebook
• 425 million mobile users
• 100 billion connections
• Zygna’s games revenue is currently 12% of Facebook’s total income
• 2.7 billion ‘likes’ per day
• 57% of users are female

Source: InfographicLabs.com


Twitter is still the enigma of the social networking fraternity, with its usefulness questioned by a lot of people. Its simplicity is still its main attraction along with its immediacy in breaking news about the latest ”events”.

Research shows that the main reason people retweet is due to interesting content.
As it approaches its sixth birthday its revenue is slowly climbing with projections that in 2012 its income will hit $260 million.

Twitter facts and figures:
• There are over 465 million accounts
• 175 million tweets a day
• 1 million accounts are added to Twitter every day
• Top 3 countries on Twitter are USA at 107 million, Brazil 33 million and Japan at nearly 30 million
• Busiest event in Twitter’s history is now “Castle in the Sky” TV screening 25,088 tweets per second (previous record was the last minutes of the 2012 Superbowl with 10,245 tweets per second).

Source: InfographicLabs.com


LinkedIn started in 2003 as a professional business social network and as of February 2012, has over 150 million members according to the official press release from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn facts and figures:

• 2 new members join every second
• USA leads membership at more than 57 million, Europe has more than 34 million members
• 60% of its members live outside the USA
• In 2011 there were 4.2 billion professionally oriented searches on the LinkedIn platform
• LinkedIn now has over 2,116 employees (at the beginning of 2010 it had only 500)
• The fastest growing demographics are students and recent college graduates
• Revenues for 2011 reached $522 million
• LinkedIn is the 36th most visited website in the world

Source: InfographicsLabs.com


Visual communication is more effective than talking or writing, and the popularity of YouTube is evidence of that. The availability of cost effective high-speed Internet access is making it easy for people to express themselves via video.

Brands have seized on its power to be a viral media that augments traditional advertising media such as TV. YouTube’s advantage is it is always available and searchable – it is the worlds second largest search engine after Google.

YouTube facts and figures:
• 3rd most visited website according to Alexa
• 2 billion views per day
• It handles 10% of the internet’s traffic
• Average YouTube user spends 900 seconds per day
• 44% of YouTube’s users are aged between 12 and 34
• Over 829,000 videos are uploaded every day
• Average video duration is 2 minutes 46 seconds

Source: SpeakEasyMagazine.com


Instagram on the surface appears very simple. It’s an app for your mobile phone that allows you to take a photo, apply a filter to make it look attractive and then you can share it on Twitter, Facebook or to your email straight from the phone.

Instagram’s monumental moment was its acquisition for $1 billion by Facebook. This was despite the fact that it hadn’t made a dollar of profit. Despite this sizable investment it could be a very strategic and savvy move by Facebook. Similarly, Google’s purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 proved to be a successful decision in hindsight.

Instagram Facts and Figures:

• Founded in March 2010 with the initial name of ‘Burbn’ by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger with the $500,000 in seed funding. It was launched in the Apple app store in November of 2010. In February of 2011 they raised an additional $7 million including an investor called Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame.
• Instagram reached the milestone of 1 million users in December 2010 (only 9 months after being founded and only 1 month after going live in the Apple “app” store)
• In August 2011 Instagram users had uploaded 150 million photos
• 10 million users were using the app by September 2011
• Version 2.0 released including high resolution photo capability
• The release of the Android app version saw 1 million downloads in 1 day
• April 2012, Instagram reaches the new milestone of 30 million users

Source: Visual.ly


It is expected that Google’s new social network Google+ will hit 400 million users by the end of 2012. It needs to be kept in mind that Google+ is more about being “core” to Google’s social web strategy as it aims to embed social signals into its whole web and search strategy as it aims to continue to be relevant in an increasingly social and mobile web.

Google makes it mandatory to join Google+ when you register for a Gmail account, which essentially means it’s a forced membership. This non-organic strategy means that its engagement levels are extremely low at 3 minutes per month/per user compared to Facebook at 405 minutes.

It must be also kept in mind that Google+  connects Google’s other social and web properties such as YouTube, Android and of course search.

Google+ facts and figures
• It was launched on June 28, 2011
• Google+ reached 10 million users by July 14, 2011
• 67% of Google+ users are male
• Google “+1″ button is served more than 5 billion times daily
• It is gaining 625,000 users per day
• In less than one day the Google+ iPhone app became the most popular free application in the Apple App store

Source: Website-Monitoring.com


Sometimes simple ideas are the best.

Twitter is a minimalist 140 character social network, Instagram is a simple social sharing photo sharing app and Pintrest is about pinning images and videos that you like to an online pin board.

Maybe it is evidence of an appreciation of simplicity and efficiency in an increasingly time-pressed society?

Pinterest was established in December 2009 and launched as a closed beta in March 2010. It is barely 2 years old.

It wasn’t until the beginning of 2011 that it reached 10,000 users. Its breakthrough moment was perhaps the inclusion in Time magazine’s ’50 Best Websites of 2011′.

Pinterest facts and figures:
• December of 2011 Pinterest became one of the top 10 largest social networks with 11 million visits per week
• In January it was driving more referral traffic traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+
• Over 10.4 million registered users
• Nearly 12 million monthly unique vistors
• Most of the sites users are female
• 97% of the site’s Facebook “likes” are by females
• It is the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark

Source: Sandbox


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