UM has been producing the Wave report since 2006 with the goal of documenting the way we use social media and how it impacts human interaction all around the world. To build the report, they studied more than 1 billion active internet users in 65 countries and what they found is a growing dependence on social media as a means of communication. No one is growing tired of the internet yet. In fact, thanks in part to mobile, we’ve seen an increase in the “always on” mentality – more of the world is now more connected, more often.
Face the Facts:
- 56% of participants agreed that social networking is an integral part of their social lives.
- Microblogging sites (i.e Twitter and China’s Sina Weibo) are showing some of the highest growth with China leading the way with 71% of internet users active on a microblog.
- 1 in 3 Americans said they were “always on”.
That last one concerns me, just a bit.
Social Media Means Business and Pleasure
In addition to a means of staying in touch with friends and family, Americans say they log on to social media for entertainment and as a distraction. Users in Brazil, Mexico and Australia said they log on to learn something.
Wave 7 also notes that professional social networking is on the rise. It’s now common to use networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter to network, claim your place as a industry influencer and earn the respect of your peers.
In Brazil and India and other emerging markets, users say social media is essential to improving social status.
Between You and Me
70% of the people in this survey expressed concern about the amount of personal data that is available online. However, almost half said they were okay with companies using personal data if it improves the online experience.
Wave 7 notes that there was a 10% rise in consumer membership in brand communities. So rather than running from targeted advertising, they’re slowly starting to embrace it.
What do you think? Is social media moving in a positive direction for both consumers and businesses? And do you think we’ll ever get tired of checking in with our social circles on an hourly basis?