New York, NY – March 9, 2009 Now visited by over two-thirds (67 percent) of the global* online population, “Member Communities,” which includes both social networks and blogs, has become the fourth most popular online category – ahead of personal email. It is growing twice as fast as any of the other four largest sectors (search, portals, PC software and email), according to The Nielsen Company's “Global Faces and Networked Places,” a comprehensive report published today revealing the new global footprint of social networking.
“Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience,” says John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online. “While two-thirds of the global online population already accesses member community sites, their vigorous adoption and the migration of time show no signs of slowing. Social networking will continue to alter not just the global online landscape, but the consumer experience at large. This study explains why.”
According to the Nielsen report, Facebook - the world's most popular social network - is visited monthly by three in every 10 people online across the nine markets in which Nielsen tracks social networking use. Orkut in Brazil has the largest domestic online reach (70 percent) of any social network in these markets.
The report, available today, provides insights into the changing size and audience composition of the global social networking audience and the increasing share of Internet time for which it accounts. The report also analyzes how the major players are faring and what advertisers and publishers can do to take advantage of the social network phenomenon.
Other key findings include:
Social networking isn't just growing rapidly, it's evolving - both in terms of a broader audience and compelling new functionality,” says Alex Burmaster, author of the study and Communications Director across EMEA for Nielsen Online. “We felt compelled to analyze the state of the social networking market globally and consider what implications this has for our publisher and advertiser clients.”
Among the markets Nielsen measured, penetration of visits to social networks and blogs was highest in Brazil, where 80 percent of the online audience visits such sites (see Chart 1). The share of overall Internet time for which social networks and blogs account is also highest in Brazil, where nearly one in four (23 percent) of minutes spent online is spent on these sites (see Chart 2).
Germany saw the greatest increase in penetration of social networks and blogs across 2008, from 39 percent of the online audience in December 2007 to 51 percent in December 2008 – a relative growth of 39 percent (see Chart 2).
Find more insights from the study and download the full paper for free on Nielsen's blog at http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/nielsen-news/social-networking-new-global-footprint/.
((See Chart 1: The increasing reach of “Member Community” Web sites across 2008)' in Full PDF Download version of release).
((See Chart 2: Changing share of time accounted for by “Member Community” Web sites across)' in Full PDF Download version of release).