And The Numbers Keep Going Up
My favorite number is ONE BILLION. I like to write it out, all caps, ONE BILLION. that’s the number of people you can reach using just Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you add YouTube to the mix (and who doesn’t?) you can reach almost twice that number. I can’t wait for the day I can write TWO BILLION, but we’re not quite there yet. Almost, but not quite.
The fact is, the number of adults using social media on a daily basis is large and getting larger by the day. the reason is simple: communication. The phrase “keep in touch” simply doesn’t exist any more because we all do. With just a few clicks we can “keep in touch” with friends, co-workers, family–just about everyone is using social media which makes it a simple enough thing to do: keep in touch.
In fact, a recent report shows that two-thirds of all adults in North America are using social media. Their top two reasons for using social media are to keep in touch with friends and family. That means if you are not using social media you likely have an inner circle of friends and family pressuring you to start using social media. It also means you are missing out on a number of opportunities to see baby pictures, meet friends for drinks, or generally know what is going on with the people you know and love and the community you live in.
I foresee a day when the use of social media is no longer an option. Well, not a true option. Like owning a driver’s license, it will simply be something that just about everyone who has a job or a life does. Perhaps even more so because unlike a driver’s license, you don’t need a car to make social media valuable.
The recent study also shows that middle-aged Americans are among the fastest growing sector using social media. This tends to go along with other studies which have shown that older Americans, while coming late to the game so to speak, are now the largest sector using social media every day.
If these numbers are any indication of what’s ahead, I will be writing TWO BILLION sooner than anyone might have expected.
Compared with keeping tabs on current friends or old acquaintances, users place much less emphasis on using social platforms to make entirely new friends—just 9% say this is a major reason they use these sites, and 57% say that it is not a reason at all for their online social networking activity.
Groups that are more likely than average to use social media to make new friends include men (12% say that making new friends is a major reason for using these sites), African Americans (15%), those who have a high school diploma but have not attended college (16%) and those with an annual household income under $30,000 (18%).
Middle-aged and older adults place a relatively high value on social media as a tool to connect with others around a hobby and interest
Compared with maintaining or rekindling friendships, the ability to connect with others who share a hobby or interest using social media resonates with a slightly older cohort of users. Sixteen percent of 30-49 year olds and 18% of 50-64 year olds cite connecting with others with common hobbies or interests as a major reason they use social networking sites, compared with 10% of 18-29 year olds.
Additionally, men are a bit more likely than women to use these sites to connect around a hobby or interest—56% of male users say that this is either a major or minor reason for their usage of these sites, compared with 44% of female users.
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