Social Networking Market Report

June 20, 2011

For the subject English I had to write a market report about social networking. The current state about it and what I think the future will be for social media. And this is the result:

PS. Was graded with a 7 for it! =D

Currently, social media websites are used a lot in the whole world.  And every day, the number of accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is growing (Memeburn.com, 20111). Social networking sites even occupies time in people’s life.  50% of the Facebook users say to log on every day (Facebook, 20112). This is already quite a large number, but maybe we’re still in the beginning of the social networking age. 

Facebook
It was just only in 2004 that the now biggest social network site of the world was invented. It is called Facebook. As we speak, more than 700 million people worldwide are Facebook users (Socialbakers, 20113). And the rates of accounts are still growing every day.   

It was Mark Zuckerberg who invented Facebook seven years ago. It was originally intended for college students. The membership of the website was first limited to only Harvard students, but expanded to other colleges and universities in the Boston area. In the end of October 2007, Microsoft purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million. This included rights to place international advertisements on Facebook. One year later, in October 2008, Facebook announced that it would set up its first headquarters outside the United States, in Dublin, Ireland. This was the first big step to go international with the social network site (Wikipedia, 20114).

 Social network sites like Facebook occupies (lots of) time in people’s daily life. For example, 48% of young Americans say they gain the news through Facebook. And 50% of the users receive the news on Facebook, instead of on television or by reading a newspaper.  57% of Facebook users talk to people more online than they do in real life (Digitalbuzzblog, 20115).
According to the Nielsen Company, Facebook users log in for nearly six hours. Precisely 5:52:00 hours. And that more than 19 times per month. (Mashable, 20106)

50% of the users of Facebook worldwide, log on to Facebook every day. And 250 million users access their Facebook page through their mobile devices. (Facebook, 20112) With this you can say that Facebook is the biggest in the social networking world.

 Twitter
Currently, Twitter is, next to Facebook, one of the biggest and arising social network websites. It is a social media platform where users can share their messages within 140 characters.
Twitter is founded in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched in July of that year. It started in a ‘daylong brainstorming session’ held by the board members of the podcasting company Odeo. The idea was to develop an SMS service to communicate with a small group for an individual.
The first Twitter prototype was only used and intended to use by Odeo employees. The full version was introduced publicly in July 2006 and in April 2007, Twitter spun off into its own company. (Wikipedia, 20117)

Since then the platform has gained a lot of popularity worldwide and has estimated to have around 200 million users. This number increases with 300.000 accounts per day.
On an average day circa 640 tweets per second are sent. This makes 55 million tweets sent per day. And what are these short messages all about? Most of the messages are about the current status of the user, private conversations with others or news and blog articles. And these last tweets often contain links to a corresponding website. (Digitalbuzzblog, 20118).

The platform is used by many companies to engage costumers and consumers in their process more and more nowadays. We can find a good example of this in the music industry.

The Dutch band Only Seven Left involves her fans in everything the band does. From doing a photo shoot to making a new album. And they answer every question they get from their fans on Twitter. And thanks to this, their fan base is growing and growing. (EHPO, 20109)

Social networking and the music industry
Social media is also a great platform for marketing in the music industry.
Thanks to social media, the music industry gets a boost now. Artists and bands can promote themselves through the social media and this means that also the sales of the music get a boost.
On sites like Facebook artists can let the fans know where and when their next performance will be. On Twitter they can promote themselves, can answer questions personally they get from the fans and involve fans in the whole process of the artist. In this way artists are more in contact with their fans.

 

‘We’re in the studio again in ‘s Graveland, writing with @arnokrabman. Good vibes’

 But it is not only Facebook or Twitter that can be considered as social networking sites. Also the video website YouTube.com and weblogs are seen as social network. People can post and write everything on their website they want. They can discuss things like the news or entertainment. That without a limit of an amount of characters. But sites like web-log.nl or blogspot.com aren’t that popular, yet.

In 2011, the social network is increasing a little bit in comparison with 2010, as the graphic shows us. And as we can see, the amount of interest in social network is quite big.

 Trends within social networking websites
By studying several graphics and research reports, we can conclude that since the invention of Facebook in 2004 the popularity among social network sites is increased. (Memeburn, 20101) And nowadays, seven years later, social networking even becomes part of our everyday life. People active on social network sites gain news through it and companies use it to engage their costumers and consumers in the process.
Statistics from a survey show that 90% of the respondents, which were all marketers, find it important to use social media in business life. (business2community, 201110).
Companies are also now beginning to embrace social networking sites rather than they fear it. Social media has made the access to information that is required in business easier. Innovative companies are spending more time listening to the consumer. And with this, they can research easier what the needs and wants are of the consumer by using social media.

Social Media during the next 5 years
As discussed before, an increasing number of companies are using social network to get more information from and give more information to the consumers. And probably this number will increase within the next years.
As the trend concerning the increasing number of new Facebook accounts per day will continue as it does right now, Facebook will have over one billion users within five years. Even within one year. (Socialbakers, 201111). And this statistic gives a good view about the state of the social network and the state it will be within a few years.
Because I think not only Facebook will grow, also the now smaller websites like Reddit.com or Tumblr.com will have more users and visitors within a few years. This we can conclude by looking at the following graphics (Memeburn, 20111)

Social network websites around the world

Right now, Facebook is the biggest social network website around the world. In almost every country on the planet, people have a Facebook account.
You would believe that Facebook has a dominant role in the social media worldwide. But as we would zoom in to different parts of the world, we would see other established and emerging social services. Facebook will grow in the upcoming years, but also national social network sites will grow. (Briansolis, 201012)

For example, if you would analyse the top three social networks in global terms it would be as follows (randomly picked countries):

Russia:

  1. V Kontakte
  2. Odnoklassniki
  3. LiveJournal

 Netherlands:

  1. Hyves
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter

Source: Brian Solis, Briansolis.com, 2010

To summarize it, social network websites as Facebook and Twitter are very popular social services. Both sites with more than 200 million users, Facebook even more than 700 million, are currently one of the biggest social networking sites. And the number of new accounts is increasing every day on both.
The music industry has a lot of benefits of the social services. Bands and artists can promote themselves and their new creations and performances via social network sites. Artists can also have a real connection with their fans through the social media. They can answer questions personally and they can involve the fans in the process of making a new record for example. This is what we saw with the Dutch band Only Seven Left.
The social media gives the music industry a boost in hard times as it is in right now. They will give the music industry an even bigger boost because of more artists are going to use these platforms as a marketing tool.
More companies are using social media to get more in contact and to engage the consumer to the process. Companies do and will also use social media more for marketing reasons.
Within five years, the number of companies who do so will increase. This is because it is in advance of the business.

Bibliography
1. Atagana, M. (2010). The current state of social networking: winners and losers (inforgraphic). Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:     http://memeburn.com/2011/04/social-networking-winners-and-losers-infographic/

2.  Unknown, (2011). Statistics. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:
       http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

3. Unknown, (2011). Facebook is globally closing in to 700 million users!. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from: http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/171-facebook-is-globally-closing-in-to-700-million-users/

4. Unknown, (2011). Facebook. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook

5. Hepburn, A. (2011). Facebook Statistics, Stats & Facts For 2011. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:
     http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/facebook-statistics-stats-facts-2011/

6. Grove Van, J. (2010). Global Social Media Usage {STATS}. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:
      http://mashable.com/2010/03/19/global-social-media-usage/

7. Unknown, (2011). Twitter. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

8. Hepburn, A. (2011). Infographic: Twitter Statistics, Facts & Figures. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:
     http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-twitter-statistics-facts-figures/

9. Wijs De, B. & Aalberts, N. (2010). Keihard DIY resultaat, een opsomming: @OnlySevenLeft doet het zo(12). Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from: http://eerstehulpbijplaatopnamen.blogspot.com/search/label/Only%20Seven%20Left%20doet% 20het%20zo

10. Rice, B. (2011). 10 Questions About The Current State and Future of Social Media and Digital Marketing. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from: http://www.business2community.com/social-media/10-questions-about-the-current-state-and-futureof-social-media-and-digital-marketing-024643

11. Unknown, (2011). The ultimate answer: When will Facebook hit 1 billion users?. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:
       http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/182-the-ultimate-answer-when-will-facebook-hit-1-billion-users/

12. Solis, B. (2010). The State of Social Media Around the World 2010. Retrieved on June 8, 2011 from:
        http://www.briansolis.com/2010/02/the-internationalization-of-social-media/

Images

1. Facebook statistics table. Retrieved June 8, 2011 from:
     http://mashable.com/2010/03/19/global-social-media-usage/

2. Twitter message information diagram. Retrieved June 8, 2011 from:
      http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-twitter-statistics-facts-figures/

3.  Only Seven Left Studio tweet image. Retrieved June 8, 2011 from:
       http://twitter.com/#!/OnlySevenLeft

4. Average social network interest graphic. Retrieved June 8, 2011 from:
     http://memeburn.com/2011/04/social-networking-winners-and-losers-infographic/

5. Statistics graphic Reditt.com and Tumblr.com. Retrieved June 8, 2011 from:
      http://memeburn.com/2011/04/social-networking-winners-and-losers-infographic/

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