Top 10 social networks need-to-knows

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Social media and social networking are, by far, the most popular online activity worldwide, nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online in October 2011 is on the account of social networking, and reaches 82 percent of the world’s Internet population, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe. A new report bij comScore analyzes the current state of social networking activity around the globe, providing key insights into how social networking has influenced the digital landscape and implications for marketers operating in this social world. Here’s the Top 10 Need-to-Knows About Social Networking and Where It’s Headed (download the full report here):

1 Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide
Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s online population, representing 1.2 billion users around the world. The social networking adoption trend largely mirrored the global Internet adoption curve, and grew proportionately, showing that as people began to get connected, they immediately began connecting with one another.

2 Social networking behavior both transcends and reflects regional differences around the world
The growth of social networking is a global cultural phenomenon. Despite significant differences in government, infrastructure, availability of Internet access and cultural practices around the world, social networking is growing in every single country.

3 The importance of Facebook cannot be overstated
To fully comprehend the state of social networking today, one must understand how Facebook – the largest player by virtually any metric – drives the behavior of the category as a whole.

4 Microblogging has emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking
Microblogging, a style of communicating through short-form content, has taken hold as a wildly popular social networking platform in recent years, due in large part to the emergence of Twitter – which saw its audience begin to erupt in the spring of 2009.

5 Local social networks are making inroads globally
As global social networking usage continues to expand, there is another trend worth noting, which is a shift in geographic footprint of some of the major sites.

6 It’s not just young people using social networking anymore – it’s everyone
Anyone with children might be under the impression that social networking is a “kids’ activity.†Several years ago, there was some truth to that. However, in the last 18 to 24 months, that has changed completely. Social networking reach in older segments has all but caught up, to the point where it’s now quite similar across age groups. In fact, users 55 and older represent the fastest growing segment in social networking usage.

7 ‘Digital natives’ suggest communications are going social
Today’s generation of teenagers and young adults age 15-24 represent a new breed of Internet users, often called “digital nativesâ€* for growing up alongside computers,
the Internet and digital media. Looking at the future through the lens of a digital native, social networking is the norm.

8 Social networking leads in online display advertising in the U.S., but lags in share of dollars
Social Networking strongly leads all content categories in the number of display ads delivered, accounting for more than 1 in 4 U.S. display ad impressions (28 percent) in October. In addition, 5 percent of all ad impressions viewed in the U.S. were “socially-enabled,†allowing users to click through to Facebook or other social-networking sites.

9 The next disrupters have yet to be decided
When Facebook launched in 2004, it faced stiff competition from Myspace and other leading social networks across various regions. Not even five years later, it would go on
to surpass these leaders to become the indisputable global leader in social networking.

10 Mobile devices are fueling the social addiction
From a technology standpoint, mobile devices represent the future of social networking as they provide the means for users to connect on-the-go, facilitating real-time