Social Media is here to stay and continues to expand by leaps and bounds, as a new study by Nielsen Online titled “What Americans Do Online”, shows 43% annual increase in the use of social networks and blogs. The study indicates that 1/3 of Americans spend their online time communicating via social networks and blogs than any other method. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and blogging platforms like Wordpress, BlogSpot and Tumblr are making a big imprint in the Internet space by initiating and continuing conversations going in a more social and lax manner. These are open and free platforms for people to express and share how they feel at any specific moment with no boundaries. These numbers speak for themselves as more and more online users continue to become more social and are very quickly turning social media into a main stream activity.
What is social media?
Social media include web-base platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogs, etc., used as mediums of social interaction, networking and broadcasting media dialogues. Unlike traditional media—print, broadcast, radio, mobile and so on—social media is a interconnected web of online digital platforms for interaction and relationships, not ads or content the way traditional media publishes. Social media relies heavily on technology and new trends, as online users become more familiar and comfortable with new tools that make it easier for them to communicate in a more fluid and free environment. This is why players like Google, Facebook and Twitter occupy important places in the space, as they offer users easy to use, useful and interactive technologies to make their online experiences simpler and more fun.
Erik Qualman—online marketer and author of the book Socialnomics—published two videos with incredible statistics he gathered from his research, which take the social media obsession to a completely new level. The high pace engaging video compiles a slew of key stats from many reliable sources that strongly demonstrate that “social media is not a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate”, as he calls it.
Here is a quick glance at those impressive stats:
1. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
2. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media
3. Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years), Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
To illustrate the importance of how social media today, its power, influence and true magnitude here is a truly astounding and dynamically updated statistics widget that was put together by online media producer and social media guru Gary Hayes. It feeds from a Flash application that shows how active & dynamic the Social Web, Mobile Industry and Game Business is, by spewing real-time results of what’s happening now and what people are doing in this very moment.
Do You Know Who is Watching?
But, because of the nature of social media and technologies available out there, online users must always be aware of privacy issues and concerns that may sometimes compromise personal information. Granted, the two big players out there: Google and Facebook make everyone’s online experience unique and a fun experience, but by the same token they are also keeping a closed eye on us.
Here is a great creative image that touches upon the issue of privacy on the Internet in a concise manner…
Privacy is in everyone’s mine and to keep a balance on what remains private and public is very important. Key Internet players must listen to the user’s concerns about this to maintain a healthy balanced relationship between user and provider. But, people must also understand that social media isn’t just a fad indeed and that Google and Facebook are here to stay and make social media more open and dynamic.
What are your thoughts about social media today and your concerns about privacy issues?