Social Networking is Up, Socializing in Person is Down

Rachel Ramsey : Social Spotlight
Rachel Ramsey
Graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Media Arts and Design and a minor in Communication Studies
| Welcome to Social Spotlight! When I'm not covering a variety of technology and communications industries - everything from the cloud and VoIP to customer relationship management and data centers - you will find me on social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, foursquare, YouTube, Tumblr... you name it, I'm there

Social Networking is Up, Socializing in Person is Down

An infographic posted on Socially Aware, a Morrison & Foerster blog devoted to the law and business of social media, highlights the growing impact of social media. The infographic shows that social media accounts for 18 percent of time spent online -- the average time Americans spend on social networking has more than doubled, going up from 2.7 hours in 2006 to 6.9 hours in 2011, and socializing in person has gone down from 22.8 hours in 2006 to 21 hours in 2011.

Not surprisingly, Facebook remains at the top of social networks visited with the average time visitors spend on the site per month at 6.75 hours. Tumblr and Pinterest are tied for second place with 1.5 hours per month, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. That actually surprised me at first – I find myself spending (losing) way more time on Pinterest in one sitting, but I go on Facebook consistently almost daily, so it adds up.

The fastest-growing social networking user segments are male (of all ages) and people over 55; each of these segments increased by more than 9 percent between July 2010 and October 2011. The infographic also officially declared the death of AIM and its replacement by Facebook: Among 15-24 year olds, engagement with e-mail and instant messaging fell 22 percent and 42 percent, respectively, while social media engagement rose 34 percent.

The infographic sets to show the growing impact of social media and it does, for consumers and businesses alike. One hundred percent of the Ad Age Top 100 Advertisers have established Facebook pages for their brands. Today, the first question that comes to mind when a business doesn’t have a Facebook page is, “Why not?” As a customer, I may not look at a company’s Facebook/social media page all of the time, but when I do go to search for it, if it’s either a) not there or b) poorly managed, the company loses a little bit of legitimacy for me. Welcome to the Digital Age.

Infographic via Socially Aware

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