The New Internet and Social Media Statistics - facebook and moreFriday, March 02, 2012 by Sean P
It used to be this mysterious thing growing rapidly, "Social Media" was all the buzz, and some people even called it a Fad (haha). Now with sites like Facebook having more users than any country has people (except 2), 1 in 9 people on the Planet having Facebook on average, and Social users being 3 times more likely to convert into a sale on a website, it's proven itself to be a more effective side of using the web for almost everyone - from high school students to business marketing departments.
Years from now, it won't be "Social Media" so much as it's own animal with so much hype, but rather the internet will just be that way. Everything will have Social elements, because it's a higher level of engagement than just anonymous users on a website. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are to the internet as ABC, NBC, and CNN are to TV. Social Network websites give structure and identity to people, places, and things in a more standardized and easy way than building your own web page, just the same as running a show on a Network is a faster and easier distribution compared to starting your own TV channel. In both cases they are (not so coincidentally) all called "The Major Networks", and they all define the places that the majority of the eyeball traffic and advertising happens for the masses within their own mediums.
The fact that Social Networks bring traffic in with names, faces, and personal information, only makes that traffic immensely more transparent and valuable compared to traditional TV or Radio. What Nielson tries to do with TV statistics from a small set of people they equip with their own boxes to track trends, Facebook and all Social Media sites are doing automatically for every single person.
It's interesting to see statistics on growth and the comparison between "The Major Networks" out there on the web right now, check out this info graphic from Search Engine Journal: