Along with the time the human life is evolving, connectivity groomed itself into a powerful medium to keep the world intact. Man being a social animal, in this digital world cannot afford losing connectivity even for a second. As connectivity is vital, a person now has become a digital consumer connected worldwide. This is evident in the Q3 2015 report on the latest trends in social networking by Global Web Index. The report revolves around the amount of time spend on social media, on the internet, the multi-networking behaviors of the users, and the messenger apps with a huge user base.
According to the report, today’s digital consumer typically spends 1.77 hours on social networking per day, up by 10% from 1.61 hours per day in 2012. This is no surprise as social media accounts for 28% of the total media time spent by the user online. The digital consumers in the age group of 16-24 spent 3.5X more time than the elder population claims the report.
Phillippines emerges as the only country where internet users spend more than 3.5 hours every day on social media sites. Internet users in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico spend more than 3 hours on social media sites. But, it is Thailand which has seen a sizable increase in the use of social media. The usage of social media in Thailand has risen to nearly 3 hours per day from little over 2 hours in 2012.
Facebook retains the helm as 80% social media users are on the network and accounts for 48% of active usage. But not everything is favoring the social media titan; As compared to 2.5 networks which were being used by Facebook users in 2012, the number has increased to 4.3. Therefore, it is clearly evident that now Facebook users are sharing their time with a number of social media networks, eventually posing a challenge to Facebook.
Though YouTube tops the chart leapfrogging Facebook in terms of the number of visitors, Facebook maintains its Numero Uno position with 48% active usage by the users. The report claims that YouTube leads in 32 out of 34 markets by the number of visitors from all age group. As always, the competition between both the networks remains focused on the degree of interaction and the number of videos viewed. It’s interesting to learn that another report from SocialBakers claimed that Facebook will surpass YouTube in both terms soon.
Growth of Apps and Messaging Services
Facebook, WhatsApp, and Skype are the most widely used services as compared to other messaging apps or services. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, consistently, are the two widely used mobile messaging apps by the younger populace (between 16-24 years). Despite the fact that the number of WhatsApp registered user is more than Facebook Messaging apps, 45% of online adults are using Facebook Messanger while only 43% of internet users are making use of WhatsApp. This is no surprise as WhatsApp doesn’t allow users to setup the same account on multiple mobile devices, users are forced to register as a new WhatsApp user on each of their devices. Considering the fact that the number of people using more than one mobile phone has reached double-digit figure, it’s safe to say that WhatsApp’s official registered users figure looks extrapolated.
Besides, Facebook Messanger, WhatsApp, and Skype, no other mobile messaging app or service holds a sizable market share. While Periscope or Meerkat accounted only for 1% of the messenger market, Snapchat remains the only app that had progressed well in the two early quarters of 2015. Owing to its self-destruct sent image within 10 seconds of the receipt Snapchat has gained a lot of popularity, especially among teens, in North America, Australia, and Western Europe. Teens between 16-19 years tend to use 3.5x times more than the other Snapchat users.
One important factor contributing to the growth of Messenger market is the expanding Smartphone market. It is expected that around 2.97 billion users will access the internet through their mobile phones by 2017. In addition to that, nearly 49% of the mobile phone users are likely to use Smartphone by 2017 promoting the growth of messenger apps.
For the last few years, the messenger apps are attracting high scores with a lot of new features being introduced at regular intervals. For an example, one such new feature of Snapchat enables users switch between front-facing and rear-facing camera on the phone while recording a snap. Most of the messaging apps are offering voice calling functionality along with tons of other intuitive features. Such introductions are making communication much smoother and engageable, consequently, people are turning to messaging apps than any other app.
Overall, the foreseen era is the digital era with Smartphone being the window to the active digital user. And it is interesting to watch Facebook and YouTube locking horns in the arena. However, the social trend shows that social media is evolving to become more reachable and easily accessible.