Some mind-boggling - and important - figures from web research and measurement firm Nielsen illustrating the reach social networks have into the lives of consumers.
Data for April 2009 puts three social media sites - Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia - in the top ten web brands in the world, a list topped by Google and also featuring the likes of MSN, Yahoo, Ebay and Apple.
This isn't anything other studies have also shown, but new data indicating showing the huge popularity of social sites such as Facebook in various countries around the world is remarkable, and important for travel marketers and those still trying to comprehend the spread of the social web.
For example, Brazil has the highest reach into its web population with use of social media (86%), and accounting for 5 hours of people's time a month.
- Italy - 78% and 6.5 hours
- Spain - 77% and 5 hours.
- Japan - 75% and 3 hours.
- US - 74% and 6.5 hours.
- UK - 74% and 6 hours.
"Brazil not only tops the list of teams favored to win this year’s World Cup, they also top the charts with the highest percentage (86%) of Internet consumers visiting a social network. The popularity of social networking in Brazil is due to the Orkut phenomenon, which first appeared there in 2004 – by September 2005, half of the Brazilian Internet population visited Orkut."
For Facebook use in particular, the data is even more interesting. Facebook users within the social media group in Italy are spending around 7 hours a month on the site.
- Australia - 7.75 hours.
- US - 6.75 hours.
- UK - 6.25 hours.
- Spain - 4 hours.
- France - 4.5 hours.
It's not all about Facebook and Twitter though. Nielsen says:
"Japanese people have the least appetite for Facebook, with reach and time spent markedly lower than in any of the other countries measured. Ameba, which offers a micro-blogging platform akin to Twitter, is the most popular social networking and blogging site in Japan, visited by 38% of Japanese people online while Facebook is the 40th most popular."