Thursday, March 17, 2011

Half The UK Registered on Facebook!

Experian Hitwise’s latest report claim that social networks are the UK’s favourite online destinations. Facebook and Twitter registered 2.4bn Internet visits in the UK in January and Facebook claim that it now has 30 million registered users in the UK alone which equates to half the population!

This comes at the same time that the BBC released its latest stats for the iPlayer, which reveal that more people than ever, some 125 million hits, were streaming live content through over the service. They also claim 2.1 million requests were delivered to the iPad alone in February. The total hits in the month was down from 162 million to 148 million but interestingly some 23 million of these were from Virgin Media iPlayer TV requests.The BBC also claim that there are proportionally more daytime and late-peak users of the service and the majority of users are under 55.

The blurring of the entertainment and social services is seen as one of the main drivers in UK traffic. Sites such as Facebook are increasingly hosting content from entertainment sites and this is driving more social interaction and stimulating more take-up. This in term attracts more businesses to advertise, promote and generally position them on the social map.

There are still strong calls, especially in the EU to tighten security on the social networks and EU law and directives. The main EU thrust today remains focused on "the right to be forgotten", letting users "withdraw their consent" to their data being held. It is felt that service providers should prove that they need to keep the data, rather than individuals having to prove that collecting their data is not necessary.

So we are now clearly seeing a step change from the vertical web services of email, blogs, flikr, youtube etc to one which overlays these within a social network construct that is wider in its appeal and deeper in its richness. Mobile technology such as tablets and smart phones are enablers that now are increasingly permanently connected. It doesn’t mean that the verticals disappear it merely means that these become the feeds that are consolidated through the likes of Facebook.

With half the UK population apparently signed up it clearly now says that we are starting to socially communicate, interact with media, express ourselves and collect and share content and opinions.

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