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5 December 2012

Social media is coming of age says Nielsen

Rachel Hawkes, account director, Elemental By Rachel Hawkes

Nielsen Social Media Report 2012Still growing exponentially and now an integral part of our day to day lives, social media is coming of age says a new report by Nielsen and NM Incite.  The findings are released in the latest Social Media Report, which tips its hat to the evolution of social media over the last two decades.

Nielsen writes on its blog, “Social media and social networking are no longer in their infancy. Social media continues to grow rapidly, offering global consumers new and meaningful ways to engage with the people, events and brands that matter to them.”

‘State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012’ finds that people are now spending the majority of their time online engaged with social media than they are with any other category of site – 20 per cent on PCs and 30 per cent on mobiles and tablets.  In the US time spent on social networking sites increased by 37 per cent in the last year, from 88 billion minutes in July 2011 to 121 billion minutes at the same time this year.  

The increasing use of smartphone and tablets is a major factor in the exponential growth of social media, and time spent accessing social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube increased by 63 per cent in 2012.  The report found that 46 per cent of social media users say they use their smartphone to access social media, and 16 per cent use their tablet to do the same.

The Social Media Report also confirmed that ‘social TV’ is on the rise, with many people watching TV whilst simultaneously using a mobile device – driven predominantly by Twitter.  The report states, “The skyrocketing adoption and use of social media among consumers is transforming TV-watching into a more immediate and shared experience. As of June 2012, more than 33 percent of Twitter users had actively tweeted about TV-related content. Some 44 percent of U.S. tablet owners and 38 percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their devices daily to access social media while watching television. In the Latin America region, more than 50 percent of consumers say they interact with social media while watching TV; in the Middle East / Africa region, more than 60 percent do. From global events like the Summer Olympics, to regional events like the Presidential debates in the U.S., consumers around the world used social media to engage with everyone from close friends to complete strangers, revolutionising the television viewing experience.”

Looking at users in the US, Facebook retained its position as the most visited social network and also had the most time spent for PCs (152.2 million visitors), mobile (74.3 million users) web browser and apps (78.4 million users).   Facebook also trumped all other sites outside of social media, accounting for 17 per cent of time spent online.

The two fastest growing social networks during the year were Pinterest, the visual pinboard, which grew by an incredible 1,047 per cent; Google+ grew by 80% and short-blogging site Tumblr grew by an impressive 55%.

The report is available to download for free on the Nielsen website.

Categories: Social media, Research, News

Tags: social media, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Nielsen, NM Incite, State of Media report, social media report 2012, research

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