With 1.1 billion users on Facebook and 500 million on Twitter, nearly 4/5 people online use social media or blogging sites. Women make up 71% of active social networkers - in fact, Plastick Media and Voltier Digital found that the only social network dominated by men is LinkedIn.
Buzzfeed's 'In the next 60 seconds ...' video reveals that every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, there are 278,000 tweets, 1,875,000 Facebook 'likes' and more than 2,780,000 YouTube video views.
Vine's six-second films from Twitter are new to the social media sharing sphere but are booming, with an average of five vines shared every second after just 100 days of the app being launched. Simplymeasured tracked the time it took Vine to reach 10 million users - three months versus an entire year for Instagram.
According to Forbes' 2012 study, peak sharing times are between 10am and 12pm, and then between 8pm and 10pm. Interestingly, arts and entertainment, health and fitness,technology, business and politics content all peak at different times during the day, as do sharing times across different social media networks.
Content sharing is not new. People have always shared news, jokes, facts, views etc, to strengthen relationships, form opinions and define a sense of self. The difference now, as examined in The New York Times 2011 study titled The Psychology of Sharing, is that information is so readily available and shareable that the rate and longevity of what we share is increasing like never before. The study broke sharers down into six groups, based on their motivations:
AltruistsShare content in order to help other people e.g. health advice; no ulterior motive.
CareeristsShare business-related content and ideas on how to improve their place of work; networkers.
HipstersYoung; 'cutting edge'; share content to project an identity.
BoomerangsShare content to get a reaction and feel validated.
ConnectorsShare content with the aim of making plans around it, e.g. discounts, group deals.
SelectivesShare content exclusively with people to whom it's relevant.
With so much content available online, sharing is a useful means of managing and analysing the constant stream of information. Approximately 85% of those taking part in the study said: 'Reading other people's responses helps me understand and process information and events.'
In descending number of users, the top ten most popular social sharing platforms worldwide are:
- Facebook: 1.11 billion
- SinaWeibo: 503 million
- Twitter: 500 million
- Tagged : 330 million
- LinkedIn: 225 million
- VK: 190 million
- SoundCloud: 180 million
- Badoo: 172 million
- Instagram: 100 million
- Oovoo: 75 million
But just because 1.37 billion people are registered on social networking sites does not mean they use them. Half of Twitter accounts follow fewer than two people, and 47% of Twitter accounts are completely inactive, according to Plastick Media and Voltier Digital. And even though Facebook's population is now as big as the entire world's was in 1804, only just over 50% of users log in every day, and 11% are inactive.