Introductions What is social networking? Social networking
statistics The social landscape Social networking websites Social
bookmarking Online video Blogging Mobile search Question and answer
Social media describes the technologies, platforms and methods
in which users share content online. Social media relies on
user-generated content and allows users to share, discuss and
participate in the conversation. It also allows people or
businesses to become both readers and publishers of content.
Interaction also plays a key role in social media with
communication between fellow users increasing content levels and
further spreading the word. Social media is fast moving with a
constant stream of new technologies being created allowing for
greater interaction and new ways to share content online. Social
80% of all the UKs online population visited a social
networking site in 2009 The highest level of penetration was with
the age group of 25-34 year olds of which 90% visited a social
networking site over the period of a month. Interestingly, this was
higher than in the 15-24 year old range this demographic is usually
presumed to represent the highest user figures. Of this group of
teens and early twenty-something's, 86% of internet users visited a
social networking website. Overall, the average UK internet user
spent 4.6 hours on social networking sites over a one month period.
Social networks continue to dominate online activity and usage
across the globe and this is no more evident than here in the UK. A
recent report from ComScore reveals some very interesting UK Social
Media Stats: Of the 36.9 million UK internet users in May 2009,
29.4 million visited at least one social networking website. Social
Social Networking Websites
There are now 20 million Facebook users in the UK Facebook
Advertising platform This latest total was reached very recently
and is up by over 10 million unique users from January 2008 (18
months ago). Even more staggering though, Facebook User numbers in
the UK are also up by 1 million users on a month ago. It is often
assumed that Facebook is a social network for teens, this is
clearly not the case. It is the twenty-something's that by far top
the age group for most usage with almost 7 million users in the UK.
There are also almost 9 million Facebook users in the UK who are
aged 30+, almost 44% of users. As well as fan pages and profiles,
interaction can also take place via well targeted ads. Facebook
launched a new platform which allows unlimited ad versions targeted
by city, sex, interest, sector etc.
Further research into Facebook user stats and Facebook user
demographics in the UK. The snapshots below show key UK Facebook
user demographic breakdowns.
In the UK, Bebo is the one of the most searched for brands and
has enormous brand equity. In January, Bebo had 22.4 million unique
visitors worldwide with visitors averaging more than 3 hours and 30
minutes on the site during the month. To date in 2009 there were
11.4 million unique visitors from the UK to Bebo - accounting for
the largest proportion of the sites worldwide traffic. Bebo is the
number 1 Social Networking site for young people between the age of
16 24 in the UK.
Bebo is the UKs second most searched for and used social
networking website, below are tables taken from a recent Hitwise
V Bebo v Facebook Although Facebook has the greater number of
users in the UK, Bebo has the biggest impact in 16 24 years in the
UK, particularly in Scotland.
Social bookmarking is tagging a website and saving it for
later. Instead of saving them to your web browser, you are saving
them to the web. And, because your bookmarks are online, you can
easily share them with friends. Digg is pretty much the most
popular social bookmarking site. Statistics from Quantcast estimate
that Digg receives about 21 million unique visitors a month. The
digg audience is mostly males (63%) between the ages 23-34.
Stumbleupon brings in 1.2 million unique visitors a month. The
audience is male biased (51%) and has a relatively equal spectrum
in age. 30% of traffic comes from ages 18-34, 33% from ages 35-49,
and 33% from ages 50 and up.
The total number of videos viewed online in the U.K. in April
2009 grew 47 percent versus year ago to 4.7 billion videos. With
44% of 16- 24 years olds in Scotland using sites such as YouTube
and Google Video regularly. Online Video
Video is now a key component of the online landscape in the UK.
Top 10 UK Video Websites 1.YouTube: 62.9% 2.BBC iPlayer: 11.2%
3.Google Video: 2.0% 4.MegaVideo 1.5% 5.MSN Video: 1.4% 6.Google
Video UK: 1.3% 7.Channel 4 TV: 1.3% 8.Metacafe: 1.2% 9.Vuze:1.2%
10.Daily Motion: 1.1% Online Video
The introduction of Google Universal Search has been paramount
to the success of online video in the UK. Google now allow videos
to appear in the search results, running alongside traditional
listings; for example if we search for the keyword Darth Vadar, we
see the following results on www.Google.co.uk Online Video Other
search engines are now incorporating this into their search
So what is Twitter? Twitter has proven to be a fantastic source
of traffic for content driven sites, and the media companies with a
strong presence on the service are using it to great effect.
Websites that have benefited most from Twitters success is twitpic,
a service which allows users to upload photos and pictures to their
Twitter profiles. The site was the biggest recipient of UK traffic
from Twitter during May, picking up 1 in every 13 downstream visits
from the social network. UK Internet visits to Twitpic have
increased 250 fold over the last 12 months, and it is now the third
most popular photo website in the UK behind Flickr and Photobucket.
UK Internet traffic to Twitter, the micro-blogging service and
social network, has increased 22-fold over the last 12 months.
During May 2009 www.twitter.com ranked as the 38th most visited
website in the UK and the fifth most visited social network.
Microblogging Currently 6.2% of Scottish users aged between 16 24
are using Twitter
So what is Twibbon? Twibbon is the easiest and most powerful
way to promote awareness of your cause on Twitter. The service
overlays a small icon onto supporters profile images to create a
Twibbon, making an impactful online statement. The users Twitter
account automatically tweets to let everyone know about their
affiliation Twibbon Twibbon has over 250k supporters in less than 5
weeks since launch on 16 th July 2009. Many celebrity supporters
using Twibbon including Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Kirstie
Mobile internet use has gained a great deal of popularity over
the past year, with mobile devices accessing the internet doubling
in less that a year. Recent research has shown that one third of
the people who accessed the internet from their mobile device in
January 2009 did so on a daily basis (22.4 million people out of
the 63.2 million mobile Internet users). The majority of usage is
by young male adults aged 18 to 34, while 40 percent of females
aged 18-24 engage in the same activity. At the beginning of the
year, maps were among the most downloaded applications (by 8.2
million users), while search was one of the most popular along with
SMS-based news and information (14.1 million users).
As the end of 2009 approaches, it is now clear that a third of
young people (16 35 year olds) regularly access Facebook and
Twitter on their mobile. By far the most popular in terms of usage
is Facebook, which is used more often than Twitter and Bebo
combined. It is predicted that 44% of mobile users will access the
internet via their handset by the end of 2009. Other recent
predictions from researcher Juniper also suggest that mobile
application downloads will reach almost 20 billion by 2014. A study
conducted by Lightspeed research for the Internet Advertising
Bureau found that in the UK, 25% of social media site users were
updating their profiles and pages through their mobile phones. This
is set to grow further. Mobile Internet
Social media and social networking is at the core of search in
the UK. Understanding and interacting with the online community
will be essential to the success of any brand name or user online.
Within the search community we should encourage interactions to
increase awareness and create an online stir. In only 5 years, the
social landscape has changed dramatically and users are now
embracing that. As we approach 2010 we will see dramatic changes in
social networking, to the benefit of all internet users. Summary of
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