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December 03, 2012

Social Media Swallowed 2012 Whole, Boasts High Jump in User Rates This Year

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

Remember using MySpace (News - Alert) back in middle school or high school and thinking you were unbelievably cool? Now, today’s plethora of networking and/or interaction sites have proven that social media is still as scorching hot as the day you first joined Facebook (News - Alert). This year especially in the social media space, which experienced an impressive 37 percent increase in total time spent on the sites in the U.S., peaked at 121 billion minutes in July compared to 88 billion back in summer of 2011. To put this into perspective, one billion minutes alone is equivalent to about 1,900 years.

Currently, about 200 well known social media sites have sprouted on the Web, and that’s not counting the slew of unearthed ones that remain for the most part unknown. While it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that consumers spend more time on social networking sites than any other – Nielsen’s Social Media Report recently revealed that about 20 percent, or around 62 million, engage in social media sites via a PC while 30 percent, or around 94 million, engage via mobile device.

Of course, Facebook remains the most-visited site in the U.S., which has earned it the honor of most popular Web brand in the U.S. this year, having reached about 152 million PC visitors, 78 million app users and 74 million mobile Web surfers.

Further, the top five spots for most visited mobile apps include Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+ and Pinterest.

Pew (News - Alert) Internet Research also revealed last month that out of the 69 percent of online adults who use social networking sites an overwhelming majority are between the ages of 18 and 29, while Nielsen reports that individuals from the ages of 25 to 34 are more likely to use social networking in the office or for work-related activities. Additionally, Pew shows that women use social media more than men – 75 percent compared to 63 percent.

Pinterest has been called a “breakout star” in this field, which the report claims experienced the largest year-over-year increase of 1,689 percent. Overall, Internet connections are expected to continue rising, having experienced a more than 80 percent increase in mobile Web and app usage in the last year alone. And as the trend of mobility and mobile device management continue to drive usability, it’s no surprise that the use of PC’s for social networking dropped four percent, while technology such as game consoles, smart TVs, e-readers and tablets continue to spread like wildfire.

One comforting fact in all of this is that amidst all of the Kardashian clan photos, pictures of awkward memes and unnecessary status updates or tweets, the majority of users still focus on connecting with friends and family members. The report revealed that 60 percent of people rely on Facebook simply to keep up with someone they know in real life, which is ironically the main purpose of social networking in the first place.

Edited by Jamie Epstein
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