How do people use social media across the globe?


Tell me, what do any of the following countries have in common: the UK, Canada, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Australia..? Well, they've probably got lots of things in common to be honest, but before you all hit Google, I'll save you the trouble and tell you the answer I'm looking for! :) It has recently emerged that each of these countries use social media channels in a very similar fashion.

Where has all this social media data come from?

The data which points to this trend has been collated by the GlobalWebIndex, which is an ongoing project aimed at collecting the largest and most detailed data relating to online and social media spaces. Over 120,000 surveys were conducted this year, across a total of 36 different markets.The survey is conducted three times each year, thus providing those who access it, with trend data and large, local samples.

So what exactly does this year's data suggest?

The data collected which relates to this year's findings has been released in the format of a 'Global Map of Social Networking'. The map shows how social media is used within some of the key communities across the world including the UK, the USA, China, Brazil and Australia. From a really broad standpoint, the Index gives us an insight into the portion of online users who actually use the social networks. The UK for example, falls just below the global average, with around 47% of active online users tapping into social networks. At the top end, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have the highest portion of online users also making use of social networks - and this stands to reason. At the other end of the graph is Japan, which may surprise a few people!

Global Social Trends

The GlobalWebIndex has also dissected the data it has collected into more useful 'Behaviour Types', which allow us to gain insight into exactly how our populations are using social media once they have signed up.

The world is divided

Behaviour Types are categorised into 'messengers and mailers', 'content sharers' and 'joiners and creators of groups' and it has come to light that users focus more on messaging and less on content sharing within the more established markets (like the UK, Canada etc) and more on content sharing and groups within the fast growing markets such as Indonesia and China.

I suppose this stands to reason really, I mean, these 'fast growing markets' are only fast growing because of what the users of the platforms/networks are making of them. Social networks will only grow if users continue to build connections ('groups') and share information amongst those connections, inspiring others to 'get involved'. We may see a shift in user behaviour (to replicate our behaviour) within these markets, once they slow and settle down.

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