Social networking adoption is currently a two-tiered landscape: Fifty-seven percent of consumers use just one social network while 43 percent belong to more than one. We call these two groups “single networkers” and “multiple networkers,” respectively. Facebook, with its network-effect-driven scale, dominates. LinkedIn and Twitter follow at a distant second and third.
The social networking world will continue to be defined by two tiers for the foreseeable future. This report, based on data from GigaOM Research’s 2012 consumer survey, examines the social media audience and the differences and similarities between the two tiers.
Key highlights from this report include:
- Specialist networks cater to diverse consumer segments and user needs, but Facebook’s sheer ubiquity means 94 percent of all social networkers use it.
- LinkedIn and Twitter are by far the most popular second-tier sites used by multiple networkers,with 46 percent and 43 percent penetration, respectively. By contrast, the other generalist networks, such as Google+ and Myspace, are used by less than 20 percent of multiple networkers.
- Multiple networkers are sophisticated and highly engaged consumers who use social networks for a broad range of activities, including socializing, viewing and posting media, reading, and dating.
- Single networkers are older and less engaged, and they use social networking for a narrower set of purposes.
- If any generalist network is going to gain mass-market traction it will be at the expense ofFacebook, not in addition to it. Single-network users are not going to become multiple networkers anytime soon.