Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- British Mobile Users Are Crazy About Facebook
- Twitter Users Tweet More Than 1 Billion Times Per Month
- Google Buzz Presents Scary Privacy Issues, a la Facebook
- Is Blogging For Old People?
British Mobile Users Are Crazy About Facebook
According to the GSMA, a global cellular trade group, 16 million users in the United Kingdom hopped on the internet via their mobile phones in December 2009. These folks spent 4.8 billion minutes online and viewed around 6.7 billion web pages while doing so. Looking deeper in the data, it is apparent that Facebook is a very poplar site amongst British mobile users, racking up about 2.2 billion of those minutes. This is roughly 1/2 of all total minutes browsing web content!
Running second place in all web content being browsed is Google site, at 395 million minutes and Microsoft sites tallied up about 165 million minutes of browsing activity.
These data points show a British population who are very excited about browsing the mobile web. Even more impressive, only 30% of mobile customers in the UK have smart phones, so those who do have smart phones are generating some remarkable usage statistics. It makes sense that much of the use is centered around social networking, as this goes along with other studies explored here on CMSWire and specifically the Social Media Minute.
Twitter Users Tweet More Than 1 Billion Times Per Month
On this blog, we have covered Twitter and the rise and fall of its growth over the years. Many data points have made us think that Twitter's growth has either stalled or is falling, depending on how you evaluate the data. A new study out today from Pingdom shows a remarkable milestone and also points to further growth on the micro-blogging service. For the first time, in the month of December last year, Twitter served more than 1 billion (with a b) tweets. In January, the number jumped to a remarkable 1.2 billion tweets, which equals out to be about 40 million per day.
More interesting data points: between January 2009 and January 2010, Twitter served 16 times more tweets. Also, Twitter's daily activity has doubled since August 2009.
These usage numbers are quite astounding and show some real growth for Twitter. Combined with the report last week that showed how inactive most Twitter users are, it seems the active ones are tweeting at a very high volume.
Also, I think the Twitter activity has to do with the myriad of social services that use the Twitter API to broadcast information, such as Foursquare with location updates and blogs who tweet whenever a user updates a blog post.
Google Buzz Presents Scary Privacy Issues, a la Facebook
Last week we covered Facebook's privacy issues with some recent changes the social networking company made to the way status updates are sent and who can view them. Yesterday, Google unveiled Google Buzz, a way to see status messages from your friends, tied to a map so you can also see Buzz messages (I'll call them buzzes from here on out) from those around you or in a specific geographic region. Think of a cross between Foursquare, Twitter and Friendfeed, and you have Buzz.
This all sounds well and good, until you start to use it on a mobile device. You see, an option when you create a Buzz message is who sees the message. Many unknowing individuals can send out buzzes to everyone without even knowing it. To test this out, I tried Buzz on my iPod Touch and saw interesting messages (some personal and seemingly private) both in the public stream and from those in my geographic vicinity.
Google should tread lightly here, as unknowing folks -- who have avoided Foursquare and Twitter for this very reason -- might make very public statements without knowing they are doing so. One might argue that personal responsibility applies here, but on the web and with technology in general, folks have a trust level -- especially with big brands such as Google.
What are your thoughts? Is Google Buzz creepy?
Is Blogging For Old People?
In a recent report from the Pew Internet Project, today's youngest Internet users are not interested in long written blog posts for getting their information. Instead, people ages 12-17 are more interested in getting information in short form in via Facebook status messages or text messages. In a related bit of news, this age group is blogging less and is less likely to leave a comment on a friend's blog when compared to years prior.
What is taking the place of blogs as information sources? Social networking sites, of course. Again, according to Pew, some 73% of wired teens utilize social networking. Looking at another age group, young adults aged 18-2, social networking is their preferred style of communication.
Looking at teens' daily life reinforces this way of consuming online media. Teens are constantly on the go, talking to their friends and likely don't have the time to sit down and examine a long blog post to absorb all its content. Instead, they prefer to check in with the thoughts and opinions of their trusted friends on Facebook and other sites whilst bouncing from place to place. It's easy to see that Facebook and sites that provide quick bursts of information resonate with teen's usage patterns.