On Social Networks, Most Still Just Like to Watch

September 28, 2010 Comments Off

Although the number of people worldwide who are using social networking services and engaging with social media continues to climb, the number who describe themselves as ‘creators’ of content — those who publish their own blogs, create and upload videos, and so on — is falling, according to new research from Forrester. The research firm found that the number of content creators either fell or stayed the same in most of the major markets it surveyed for its latest Consumer Technographics study, including North America, China and Europe.

Although the decline in the number of content creators isn’t dramatic — the percentage of users who fell into that category in the U.S. dropped to 23 percent in 2010 from 24 percent a year earlier — it is still a concern, said Forrester analyst Jacqueline Anderson. ‘A lack of growth in social creation translates into a lack of fresh ideas, content, and perspectives.’ According to Forrester’s survey, one-third of those who spend time online in the U.S. regularly watch user-generated videos on sites like YouTube, but only 10 percent of online users upload videos they’ve created to such sites. ‘The traits required to create social content are unique, and at this moment, the consumer market interested in these behaviors has plateaued,’ Anderson said.

Forrester’s research classifies social-network users into a number of categories — including Creators, Conversationalists, Critics, Collectors, Joiners and Spectators — based on their responses to survey questions about what they typically do on social networks and services.

While most countries and regions saw continued strong growth in the number of people who fall into the ‘joiner’ and ‘spectator’ categories, Japan was the only country that showed a rise in ‘creators,’ growing from 34 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in the past year. The number of people who joined social networks grew fairly strongly in Europe and in China, but not as strongly in North America — where social networking has already made strong gains in usage. In August, research from Nielsen showed that the amount of time U.S. Internet users spent on social networking had climbed by more than 40 percent.

The fact that the majority of social media and social networking users do not create content is not a surprise — for example, Harvard research has shown that 90 percent of the content on Twitter is created by 10 percent of the users, and similar percentages of observers vs. creators can be found on YouTube and other sites and services. Although the web and social networking allow anyone to become a content creator and publish whatever they wish, it seems that a majority of users are happy to consume what others create.

(Via GigaOM.)

Web Users Now Spend More Time on Facebook Than Google

September 10, 2010 Comments Off

Facebook Minimalist Image

We already know that Facebook is the web’s biggest time sink. If you look at the average amount of time (according to Nielsen) users spend on the social network, Facebook is a clear winner over sites such as Google or Yahoo.

Now, according to comScore, Facebook is also first when it comes to the total amount of time users are spending on the site. In August, U.S. web users spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook, which was about 9.9% of their entire web-surfing time in that month. In this same period, people spent 39.8 million minutes on all of Google’s sites, and those include another huge online timesink – YouTube.

comScore puts Yahoo in third place, with U.S. web users spending 37.7 million minutes on its sites, which was about 9.1% of their web surfing time in August.

The numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Facebook had just overtaken Yahoo in July, and in August last year U.S. web surfers had spent less than 5% of their online time on the social networking service.

Still, it hardly comes as a surprise: Facebook has been growing steadily in the last couple of years, and in July it announced it had over 500 million active users.

If Facebook keeps growing, a year from now Google may find itself far behind Facebook when it comes to web users’ minutes. But does Facebook have room for growth? Mark Zuckerberg predicts the site’s userbase might even reach one billion. The number doesn’t sound too far-fetched, given that Facebook still has room for international growth — for example in China and Russia.

Of course, comScore only counts users from the U.S., so the global picture is still blurry. But the facts show that Facebook users spend a huge amount of time on the site, and it’s a worrying stat for Google. Google’s many online properties (Gmail, Search and YouTube, to name a few) have vast influence and reach. But right now, without a large social networking property (Orkut doesn’t count as serious competition to Facebook anymore), Google will have a hard time snatching users’ time from Facebook’s hands.

(Via Mashable!.)

Check If Your Name Is Available on All Social Media Sites

September 10, 2010 Comments Off

Yesterday I received an email from one of our readers, asking on what social media sites he should try to secure his name (which can be either his personal name, or his website/business name, depending on what brand he is trying to promote).

In my opinion there are two that are absolutely a must: Twitter and Facebook. All the others are optional. Depending on the type of business you have some niche social sites might be compulsory too. For instance, if you are a photographer you should try to secure your name/brand on Flickr too.

That being said, if you have time available it could be a good idea to secure your name on as many social sites as possible. This will solidify your brand and enable you to interact with your audience/customers on many different platforms.

There is a web tool that helps with this task. It is called namechk.com.


You just need to put the desired name on the search box and the tool will check whether it’s available on not on around 150 social media sites. You can also use it as a list of the sites where you can go and create a profile, as some of them will also let you place a backlink to your website.

(Via Daily Blog Tips.)

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