Social media report March 2008

Universal McCann
has released a new report on the impact of social media (such as blogs, social networks, online video) on the media landscape. It surveyed 17,000 Internet users worldwide in March 2008. The report found that
social media, in particular blogs, are “becoming a more important part of global media consumption for internet users than some traditional media channels.” The report also found that social media is a global
phenomenon (29 countries were surveyed), although there are cultural differences in how people use it.

The report states that “video clips, blogs, podcasts, social networks and RSS are all essential components of the online media diet.” Here are some of the key findings:

  • 83% watch video clips, up from 62% in the last study in June 2007
  • 78% read blogs, up from 66%
  • 57% of internet users are now members of a social network
  • RSS consumption is growing rapidly up from 15% to 39%
  • Podcasts are now mainstream digital content, listened to by 48%

Social networks have been “a key driver for the growth of social media”:

  • 22% of social network users have installed a widget or applications
  • 55% have shared photos
  • 22% have shared their videos
  • 31% have started a blog
  • The world’s biggest social network is MySpace with 32% weekly reach followed by Facebook on 23%

The report also states that social media is a global phenomenon:

  • Top markets for blogging – China 70% of internet users write a blog, Philippines 66% and Mexico 60%
  • Top markets for social networking – Philippines 83%, Hungary 76% and Poland 76%
  • China is the world’s largest blogging market with 42m bloggers versus 26m in the US

Those last stats will be an eye opener for many, because the US web tech market gets most of the attention of the blogosphere and mainstream media. But with China having 42m bloggers compared to the US’s 26m, there is large scope for social media to flourish there – even despite China’s political issues with social media.