Why are people using social media?

GWI Social examines the very latest figures for social media engagement, social behaviors and trends within the social space. The primary reason people are suing social media? Filling up spare time is the main reason for using social media among 16-24s, while older groups see these platforms as a way to keep up with friends and the news. These motivations highlight the rise of ‘passive networking’ but also reinforce the potential of social to be a space where consumers can engage with content.

Among the other key findings:

Almost every internet user can now be reached via social media – 94% of digital consumers aged 16-64 say they have an account on at least one social platform and 98% have visited/used one within the last month.

In all markets and across all the major demographics groups, daily time spent on social continues to rise with each year that passes. Globally, around 1 in every 3 minutes spent online is devoted to social networking and messaging, with digital consumers engaging for a daily average of over 2 hours (rising to 2 hrs 40 mins among 16-24s).

Mobiles are now the primary social device. 78% of the internet population aged 16-64 are now networking via a mobile, while each quarter that passes sees fewer and fewer turning to PCs and laptops to access social media.

While Facebook remains the top network for membership (84%), YouTube edges ahead for visitors (88%). In the battle of the messaging services, Facebook Messenger (52% used this app) has a lead over WhatsApp (48%) outside of China but WeChat is absolutely dominant within the Chinese social media industry.

The so-called ‘context collapse’ is occurring. Usage on the major networks is becoming more passive, as users choose to browse rather than contribute content. But almost all members of the major networks are using their sites monthly, enabling ads to be served and revenue generated accordingly.

Insight:

Facebook has become a media rich RSS feed as more and more users master how to navigate facebook.  Facebook groups continue to grow and it has been my experience, via qualitative research, that people are not posting on facebook as much as sharing articles/headlines they agree with.  The age of social media activism is in full swing, but as more people find out that it means very little when it comes to “change.

Internet users will continue to seek out new social platforms that help them stay informed and connect to others with ease. Now that we can take our smartphones everywhere we can fight boredom on facebook.

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