Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Regional Differences in Social Network Activity


eMarketer reports that recent worldwide survey results data from Trendstream and Lightspeed Research highlights the regional market differences between various user-generated content activities of Internet users.

In the U.S., managing a social network profile was the top online user-generated content activity, participated in by 44.2 percent of Web users. This was followed closely by uploading photos. Uploading video, blogging and microblogging were significantly less popular.

By comparison, Web users in the UK and Canada had similar rates of social network use and photo-sharing, and also tapered off dramatically when comparing more advanced user-generated content activities.

In contrast, Japan has very different participation characteristics in user-generated content activities. Much lower percentages of Web users manage social network profiles or upload photos, for example.

The Global Web Index report notes that this is actually a sign of advanced user behavior. The survey measured only activities conducted on a PC, and in Japan, many such activities are now likely on a mobile smartphone. For example, 34 percent of Japanese users accessed social networks only via mobile during the month of the study.

Meanwhile, user participation was generally high in China, where overall Internet penetration is only 29.6 percent -- according to eMarketer current estimates. A majority of users uploaded photos, and nearly one-half had a blog. More than one-fifth used a microblogging service -- far ahead of the other markets surveyed.

Trendstream and Lightspeed noted that microblogging usage was still low across all markets, despite the hype surrounding popular services such as Twitter. The 7 percent of surveyed U.S. users participating in microblogging was somewhat lower than eMarketer's estimate of 11.1 percent Twitter penetration this year.