There's no denying that social media is an absolutely huge platform that is integral to modern life. According to the Pew Research Center 74% of adults that have internet access use social media sites, with 71% just on Facebook alone. This is then distantly followed by the likes of Twitter and Instagram.
In fact on Monday 24th, August, 2015, one in seven people in the entire world logged on to Facebook that day. It seems as well as food and shelter, most people in the world also require Facebook!
With such astonishing numbers it's difficult to put it all in to perspective, however we decided to give it a shot in our first interactive infographic, and it's quite a sight to see...
Since social media is always growing, we felt tallying the data collected so far would not have the same impact as displaying current growth in real time. We wanted it to be a visual and interactive experience that made people go "wow!", so instead we've created a counter that estimates growth from the moment you open the page.
We chose the top 9 most popular social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and LinkedIn. As soon as the graphic loads the clock begins, and before your eyes you will see the growth of all key indicators.
For example, at the time of writing I had the counter running for 17:32 minutes. In that time period we estimated that Facebook had 5,851 New Users, 1,716 New Mobile Users, 2,630,000 private Messages, 5,136,916 Status Updates, 876,316 Shared Links, 1,753,684 Friend Requests, and 2,384,884 Uploaded Photos. What would this look like in 24 hours, or a week? Who knows, give it a try!
As well as the overall data we also honed in on some of the more popular celebrities using social media to show just how much reach they really have. Real Madrid soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for example currently has a mind boggling 107.6 million plus Facebook fans. That meant in 28:22 minutes he acquired another 322 fans! That's more than most regular people will get a lifetime.
We're also currently monitoring Katy Perry's Twitter growth and the number of views Adele's new single "Hello" has been getting on YouTube. In 49:50 minutes 690,690 people loaded up the song!
So where is all of this headed? It's hard to predict, but as the majority of people in the world adopt smart mobile devices and therefore have access to such social platforms, it would seem non-face to face communication will become almost entirely digital and interconnected with everybody else.
For some this paints the picture of a creepy sci-fi movie where everyone is tracked and traced or machines rule the world. For others it suggests we'll become a global community with new levels of understanding and tolerance.
Social media has had a direct impact on the business world too. If a particular business doesn't have any social media accounts, they are truly behind the times. Simply being present on these networks isn't enough however. The main goal is to be social and connect with your audience. There are many guides on how to engage your audience with your brand on social media, for instance, these 15 Instagram marketing tips. According to reports, surveyed customers state that they spend significantly more money with brands that they actually engage with.
Another area of interest is the way in which news media is created and consumed. Before any mainstream reporter gets to the scene of a newsworthy story, it's already been tweeted to the world by a bystander. Do journalists simply become aggregators of social media postings, or can they use it to their own advantage? Do more advertisers leave traditional media and begin targeting social media? Our infographic displays data in real time. Social media itself has become all about the present. What's happening now in the world, what are people saying about this or that event right now? This has become even more visual with the rise of streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat. You no longer have to type what's happening, you can show people. Does that mean the 24 hour news networks become the 24 hour streaming apps?
What ever the future holds, social media shows no sign of slowing down. Check it out for yourself!
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