It is safe to say that social networking has gone mainstream and is here to stay. There are only 3 countries on the planet that have a higher population than Facebook has users which proves the overall popularity of social media. That being said, where is social networking heading?
Increased Usage and Popularity
According to Jake Hird’s post on 20+ mind blowing social media statistics, social media (including social networks and blogs) are the 4th most popular online activities online, which even beats personal email. 67% of global users visit member communities and 10% of all time spent on the internet is on social media sites.
Look for main-streamers to get more active in social media and branch out past Facebook to other social networking sites.
Social media is getting more and more targeted. There are more and more social networks that focus on specific industries or topics. No matter what someone may be interested in, there is a blog, network or forum out there to connect like minded individuals.
Last year many companies dipped their toes in social media and experimenting with blogs, Twitter profiles, and Facebook pages. Now look for these companies to get smarter with their social media strategies and look to measure and monetize their efforts.
We have already begun to see a shift in the time spent on social networks on a mobile device. This will continue to increase. Mobile phones are one of the main sources people keep in touch with friends and family through calls, texting, and email. It is a natural progression for people to connect to their social networks from their mobile devices.
See Full Infographic on How Mobile Phones Are Changing Social Media
Many social networks already have a specific mobile site or a downloadable app. Look for this to increase. Social networks created specifically for mobile are increasing as well. This makes sense as people are spending more and more time on their phones and phone technology is getting more and more robust.
A recent survey from Ruder Finn indicates American mobile users spend:
- 2.7 hours per day on the mobile web “connecting socially, managing their personal finances, and even as a means for advocacy.”
- 91% use the mobile web to socialize vs 79% of desktop users.
- 45% post comments on social networks.
- 43% are connecting with friends on social networks.
- 40% share content.
- 38% share photos.
The report also outlines “the data underscores the rise of phone applications. Three in five (61%) respondents download applications at least once per month while 36 percent of users download applications from social networking sites at least once per month.
Michael Schubert, Chief Innovation Officer overseeing digital strategy at Ruder Finn adds in Intent Behind Mobile Internet Use, “Mobile technology means that people no longer have to wait until they’re in front of their computers to do their work. And people are taking advantage of that; using mobile devices to do their core work while using desktops to navigate longer format and higher bandwidth content and tools. This is resulting in huge changes â€“ and opportunities â€“ across industries, making mobile an essential channel in keeping businesses competitive.”
I think in the months and years to come, business and social networks are going to shift more resources to creating a presence through mobile social networking. The data shows that people are spending more and more time connecting through mobile and brands will look to promote through these channels.
Your Thoughts on the Future of Social Networking
Do you use your mobile phone to access your social networking sites online, comment on blogs, and interact with businesses? What are your thoughts on the future of social media and social networking, especially in terms of usage of these sites on mobile devices?