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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jan 2

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1/2/2012 12:44 PM  RssIcon

Interestingly, the study found that people age 55 and older represented the fastest-growing age segment in global social networking usage.

Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide, now accounting for nearly one in every five minutes spent online globally in October 2011, comScore, the digital research firm, reported.

Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s Internet population age 15 and older that accessed the Internet from a home or work computer, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe. Broadcasters have moved to social media web sites quickly because they are known to shape the desire of which programs users watch and talk about.

The data showed that the influence of Facebook cannot be overstated. In October alone, Facebook reached more than half (55 percent) of the world’s global audience and accounted for one in every seven minutes spent online around the world and three in every four social networking minutes.

The study showed that micro-blogging has emerged as a disruptive new force in social networking. In recent years, micro-blogging has taken hold as a popular social networking activity on a global scale. In October, Twitter reached one in 10 Internet users worldwide, growing 59 percent in the past year. Tumblr, which ranked twelfth worldwide in audience size, grew 172 percent in the past year.

In a separate report by “New York Magazine,” Twitter is said to quickly become a competitor to traditional newswires like Associated Press and Reuters. The magazine reported that AP is asking its reporters not to post to Twitter before posting to its own wire, but noted it was a losing battle for AP to fight Twitter.

ComScore said its not just young people using social networking anymore—it’s all age groups. Although young users age 15-24 still represent the most highly engaged segment of social networkers, with an average of eight hours per visitor spent in the category in October, social networking is catching on among older age segments across the globe.

In fact, people age 55 and older represented the fastest-growing age segment in global social networking usage, with the penetration of social networks in the segment increasing nearly 10 percentage points since July 2010 to 80 percent in October 2011.

Mobile devices are fueling the social addiction, comScore found. In the U.S., 64 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites at least once in October 2011, with two in five smartphone owners connecting via social networking nearly every day.

Social networking sites now reach 82 percent of the world’s Internet population aged 15 and older that accessed the Internet from a home or work computer, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe, according to comScore. But the U.S., with 6.9 hours per person spent in online social network, did not even rank within the top ten countries for social networking engagement.

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