By Rieva Lesonsky
What’s the state of social media today? Growing strong, according to a study from Nielsen, State of the Media: The Social Media Report. Here are some of the findings:
It’s popular. Nearly 80 percent of active Internet users in the U.S. use social networks and blogs. What’s more, social networking and blog sites dominate Americans’ Internet use, accounting for nearly one-fourth of time spent online. Americans spend twice as much time on social media as they do on the next most popular Internet pursuit, online games.
It’s growing. Most growth in social media is taking place in the older age groups; social media use among the 55-plus set more than doubled year-over-year. But that doesn’t mean the younger demographics are tired of social media—not by a long shot. Both the 18-to-34-year-old category and the 35-to-54 category saw more than 60 percent growth in social media use year-over-year.
It’s mobile. Almost 40 percent of social media users report viewing social media content on a mobile phone, and social networking apps are the third most popular type of app for U.S. smartphone owners.
It’s global. Social media’s popularity isn’t confined to the U.S. Nielsen surveyed 10 major global markets and found more than 75 percent of active Internet users in those nations use social networks and blog sites.
Social users like video. Online video is popular with both men and women. Women are more likely to watch online videos via social network or blog sites. However, men are more likely to watch online videos overall. Men watch more videos and watch them for longer time periods than do women.
Social users like shopping. U.S. social networkers are 12 percent more likely than average Internet users to shop online; 70 percent of them do so. More than half (53 percent) of active social media users report following a brand on social media, compared to just 32 percent who follow a celebrity.
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