Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Social Network Demand Grows

So which countries would you expect to be top of the social network usage and who would you expect to have the greatest number of friends? What do believe will be the result of mass adoption of social networking on our trading relationships and communications?

Reseach firm TNS has interviewed 50,000 consumers in 46 countries and drawn some interesting findings.

They found that Malaysian users have the highest average number of friends (233) and also spend the most time on average per week on social networks, some 9 hours. In Russian, users spend an average 8.1 hours per week online and Turkey some 7.7 hours a week on social networks. The average number of friends second place goes to Brazil (231) followed by Norway(217) and at the other end of the table we find Japanese users with just 29 and China with 68. however, it not clear whether the different cultures lead some to have fewer, but closer friendships, whilst others have wider and open ones which embrace more friendships.

The research concluded that for some 61% of the online population around the world, digital sources are now overtaking TV, radio and newspapers as the media channel of choice. This clear presents a great opportunity for some but also a significant shift in behaviour and potential to move into an ‘on demand’ culture.

The study also found that consumers now spend more time on social networking sites, than even using e-mail. The trend is also to access social networks via mobiles with a third of US online users expect to be accessing social networks via their mobiles in the next year and with the increasing to 50% in Sweden.

Finally, the study also claims that 80% of users in China, compared to 32% in the US, have written their own blog.

Whatever the specific findings, the research clearly demonstrates the impact that social networks are having globally and how they are changing how and who we communicate with. Building social communities is becoming big business and many are embracing it as the way to communicate on line. However for business to adopt, they have to recognise that it may take more effort to maintain relationships and that they are potentially going to be far more demanding than even email.

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