Posted March 3, 2009 11:24 am by with 12 comments

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Market research firm Netpop has released a new study today that suggests that social media is expanding at a fast pace. According to their findings social networking has increased 93% since 2006. This comes to no surprise to most of us that have followed sites like Twitter and Facebook that have seen unprecedented growth over the last couple of years.

However, one interesting statistic is that 54% of micro-bloggers post or “tweet” daily. Also 74% of the daily micro-bloggers are under the age of 18.

Apparently, 105 million Americans contribute to social media, but only 7 million are “heavy” social media users who connect with 248 people on a typical week.

While I think that the fine folks at Netpop are usually spot on when it comes to their numbers, one statistic threw me for a loop. According to the report, the amount of time people spend communicating online has increased 18 percent since 2006. This isn’t that surprising, but what throws me for bit of a loop is that at the same time the report indicates that time spent on online entertainment has declined 29% since 2006. Declined? This comes at a time when we see more and more evidence that online video is making huge strides. With traffic increases and new services fighting to provide the best video entertainment, I am having a hard time understanding a decline in “entertainment.”

But what ever the case may be, this Netpop report looks to have quite a bit of data covering the last two years. Get a glimpse of the data in the slide show below.

  • “Also 74% of the daily micro-bloggers are under the age of 18.” Is this true??

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  • Joe Hall

    @lyad – Clarification: thats 74% of the 54% that tweet daily. So that’s around 40% of the whole.

  • Great post on our findings, Joe–I really appreciate it!

    To clarify a bit on the decline in entertainment. Since the data is self reported, this finding shows that people *perceive* that their entertainment consumption online is going down relative to communication, information, etc. Consumption of entertainment channels certainly seem to be rising on the whole, but broadband users think that they spend much more time communicating.

    Hope that makes things more clear!

  • Joe Hall

    Thanks Rudy for stopping by and adding that to the conversation. I can see now how some might perceive a decrease in entertainment as they move off of older forms of online entertainment such as flash games and on to video consumption, which despite the fact is new, could still be regarded as old to many users given that the format and content has changed little from the transition from TV.

  • @Rudy but as long as you’re measuring the same “perceived” value as you did in 2006, then the decline is accurate, no?

  • @Andy Exactly–we are arguing that even though people may be watching online videos more, maybe watching TV less, they feel that — of the total time they spend online — they are spending more of that time communicating (talking) and less of it being entertained. How much of the time are people on YouTube spending watching the videos versus reading what people have to say about them? We might include that question next time and think it’s a fair question to ask.

    Rudy’s last blog post..The percent of time people spend communicating online has increased 18 percent

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  • The verdict is, Social Networking is still at hatchling stages. It’s still growing strong. 😉

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  • Perhaps the respondents mean they’re spending more time online communicating and less time being passively entertained? Thanks for the market research. It is some of the most valuable of all content and also the least easy to locate. I also noted your contest and will be adding it to my most recent post on giveaways.

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  • > social network = < real social life

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