There is an insightful study out today regarding Online Social Networking. The survey was conducted by Synovate (via eMarkekter) and it asked adults worldwide if they knew what social networking was. A clear majority, 58% to be exact, of people surveyed did not know. But the other side is 42% of them did – and that translates into millions and millions of people.
So, I don’t see any reason to worry that the majority of the world doesn’t know anything about social networking. The world is a big place. There is no reason to think that social networking is just a passing phase. Just wait until the tweeners and teenagers hit their early to mid twenties (within the next decade), social networking will be a force to be reckoned with. An important channel for marketing communications.
For social networking nay-sayers this might be a good reason to close shop and hit the road when it comes to social networking. However, consider how many people are on social networks within the major industrial economies:
As for membership, 26% of respondents belonged to social networking sites. Membership was highest in the Netherlands, at 49%; UAE, at 46%; Canada, at 44%; and the US, at 40%.
The same survey also asked if interest in social networking is waning. And as I would expect interest is declinging:
Overall, 36% of social network users said yes, led by those in Japan (55%), Slovakia (48%), Canada (47%), Poland and the US (45% each). Social networkers in Indonesia and France were the least likely to be losing interest, at only 18% and 21%, respectively.
I think this loss in interest is expected, because many people join networks and after a few days of interacting they lose interested. This can happen for a number of reasons. Additionally, the more friends you have on social networks the more likely you are to use it. So, a lot of activity depends on how your friends are doing. So, if you’re in that category of people who tend to shy away from high levels of social activity, don’t have much time (you’re busy with other things) and you’re not too eager about computers to being when – well then you probably created a profile on one of the networks but haven’t been bothered to check it in months.