Tom Webster, writing and speaking

One Number Raises An Eyebrow, But Two Tell A Story

Added on by Tom Webster.

Over at the day job, I recently shared a pretty remarkable piece of data - the percentage of Americans who use social networks and check those social sites/services multiple times daily has gone up from 18% of social networkers to 30%. Big jump! This on its own would be an interesting little factoid - even a significant one - but when you pair it with another finding, you see that a simple graph of that data point actually obscures the true impact of this growth. Not only has the percentage of social networkers who use their sites/services daily grown, the actual number of Americans who use social networks at all (the base number for the frequency finding, in other words) also grew dramatically, from 34% of all Americans to 48% year over year. I go into a little more detail about this over at the Edison blog, but essentially both the numerator AND the denominator of this little equation have grown.

Here's that finding with the actual projected number of Americans who check social media sites and services multiple times daily superimposed:

Americans Checking Social Networking Multiple Times Daily

So 18% to 30% is 67% growth - if the base number were flat. With the growth in the base (number of social networkers) AND the percentage of those Americans who use those sites multiple times daily also growing, the projected number of Americans engaging in habitual social networking has actually more than doubled.

More on this (and on our latest study of Americans' social networking behaviors) over at the Edison blog.