For the past two years, I’ve investigated the growth of Social Media. Consistent with those efforts, no clear or easy answer exists when investigating the growth of social media sites over the past six years. No reliable or audited data exists for social media sites. Therefore, the numbers presented in the table below represent an estimate of total registered users for each of the sites investigated. The numbers are not assumed to be accurate, valid or reliable – they are as presented: estimates based on the best available public information. Data was collected for five social media sites and two blog hosting sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress.com and Tumblr. Estimates for the latter two represent the number of blogs hosted on the sites (not the number of unique bloggers, a much lower number). No data for self-hosted websites or blogs using WordPress.org is presented. Data reported are from 31 December 2012.
As in the previous two posts on Social Media Growth, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (GAGR) is calculated for each using the free Investopedia Compound Annual Growth Rate calculator available on their website.
When examining the charts individually, the growth patterns look similar. Globally, the total number of people using social media continues to increase. Facebook, with 1 billion registered users, accounts for 11.15 percent of the global population and would be the world’s third largest country. The average CAGR for the seven social media sites is 900.05 percent ranging from 71 percent to 4,900 percent. Again, multiple factors contribute to this exceptional growth rate as compared to the data reported previously, including the inclusion of Google+ and Pinterest in this year’s investigation.
When charted together, the domination of Facebook’s growth and share of voice in the social media world remains apparent. The growth of Google+ is impressive as is the growth of Pinterest (the fastest growth to 10 million users in the history of social media). And those proclaiming the death of blogging may be hard pressed to defend their positions given the growth of both WordPress.com and Tumblr.
The final chart, one of my favorites, presents social media share of voice. The inner ring contains the data from 2006 and the outer ring presents the data from 2012.
It is clear that in terms of diffusion of innovation, social media still remains in the growth stage. Equally as clear, but not reported above, is that more people globally are accessing social media using mobile devices. For instance, over 604 million users (60 percent of total users) access Facebook regularly via mobile devices. For marketers, the implications are the same as they were last year: get social and become mobile or risk losing share of voice in the social/mobile marketing era.