Republished from eGov AU.
In their Global Faces and Networked Places report (PDF), Neilsen has found that social networks and blogs (Member Communities) are now the 4th most popular online category – ahead of personal email.
In December 2008 Neilsen found that 59% of online Australians used social networks and blogs, compared to 80% in Brazil, 69% in the UK and 67% in the US and France and only 51% in Germany.
In the UK people spent 17.4% of their online time at social networks and blogs, whereas Australians only spent 10.9%, or one in ten minutes. Based on previous reports that online Australians spend 16 hours a week online, this would mean online Australians spend at least an hour and a half each week on social networks.
Over the year from December 2007 to December 2008, total internet use grew by 18%, whereas Facebook use grew by 556%, with its greatest growth coming from 35-49 year olds.
Emphasising that high social media use is not restricted to the young, a quarter of Facebook users globally are aged over 50 and a third are aged between 35 and 49.
Neilsen said that the Social Media Communities area is growing at more than twice the rate of the other top 4 categories.
In an unrelated report, covered by Mashable
, Forrester estimated that within the United States, US$716 million will be spent on the social marketing medium in 2009, growing to $3.1 billion in 2014. At that point social media will overtake email and mobile advertising, but will remain just 10% of the spend on search advertising (US$31.6B).
Traditional advertising approaches remain challenged when applied to social media.
The Neilsen report discussed above found that in December 2008, 38% of Australians online considered advertising on social networking sites to be an intrusion compared to 29% the year before. Forrester’s report indicated that ‘False’ remains the word most identified with advertising.
Few organisations today would consider doing without email. How many would consider doing without social media communities?