4 social network platforms by the numbers
It is hard to believe that social media networks are a recent phenomenon. An added boost to the power of social media is that the numbers of smart phones and tablets sold are expected to outnumber PCs and notebooks.
Twitter, just five years old, sends out more than 140 million Tweets per day. YouTube, also five years old, is integral to political communication and drives pop culture. Facebook, founded in 2004, just hit a $75 billion valuation on SecondMarket earlier this month.
According to a recent Pew Internet study on social networks, 80% of U.S. internet users participate in groups (24% higher that non-internet user group participation). Further, 82% of social network users and 85% of Twitter users are group participants. The takeaway: social networks are profoundly engaging.
Here are some more interesting numbers about social networking platforms:
This week professional networking social media site LinkedIn, which is in 200 countries and growing at 1 million new members a week, passed the 100 million milestone. Forty-four million of those members came from the United States. The fastest growing countries for LinkedIn were Brazil (428% year-over-year growth), Mexico (178% year-over-year growth ), India (76% year-over-year growth) and France (72% year-over-year growth).
The most interesting LinkedIn numbers to me involve LinkedIn Groups. The largest sector of LinkedIn Groups was "Service" (20%), followed by "Finance" (9%) and "High Tech" (9%), which suggests that the professional social network is far more egalitarian than its image suggests.
In its new report "Twitter Users: A Vocal Minority," eMarketer estimates that by 2013, 14% of the U.S. Internet population, or more than 28 million people, will be tweeting. This year, 20.6 million U.S. Internet users will use the platform at least once a month, up 26.3% from 16.3 million in 2010. Finally, demographically, women outnumber men on Twitter.
Blogging has declined in the face of the micro-blog, but reports of its death have been exaggerated. According to the Internet and American Life Project from the Pew Center, while blogging among users aged 12 to 17 fell by half between 2006 and 2009, blogging among 18-to-33-year-olds dropped only two percentage points. Plus, in 2006 the social media landscape was far less cluttered.
Zynga's revenue will approach $850 million in 2011, up $529 million from 2010. The U.S. virtual goods market will hit $2.1 billion in revenues in 2011. That number will be up 40% from $1.6 billion in 2010, according to Inside Virtual Goods. In 2009, virtual goods were worth $1.1 billion.
"It is reminiscent of the earlier days of social gaming, where something is going from nothing to a legitimate industry in a short period of time," Justin Smith, co-author of the report wrote.
The overseas market is another story altogether. As Venturebeat notes, "the worldwide virtual goods market is several times larger than the $1.6 billion number in the U.S. for 2010."