Social media continues to grow, exits 'infancy'

According to the Nielsen and NM Incite's 2012 Social Media Report, social networking is no longer a considered a passing trend as consumers are spending more time on social networks than on any other category of sites.

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Social media is no longer in its "infancy," the study stated. Nielsen found that consumers spent 30 percent of their total online time on their mobile devices accessing social media sites, while on PCs, social media sites accounted for 20 percent of their browsing.

"The recent proliferation of mobile devices and connectivity helped fuel the continued growth of social media. While the computer remains as the predominant device for social media access, consumers' time spent with social media on mobile apps and the mobile web has increased 63 percent in 2012, compared to the same period last year."

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Facebook remained the most-visited social network in the United States, with most U.S. members of the social network continuing to access the site via PC— 152.2 million visitors. Mobile visitors, meanwhile, accounted for 78.4 million members through native Facebook apps, while 74.3 million users visited through mobile browsers. Content sharing service Pinterest produced the largest year-over-year increase in both unique audience, as well as time spent on any social network on PCs, mobile web and apps.

The rise of social media during the past few years has been well-documented. Facebook announced in October that the social network exceeded one billion "active" members, with over 600 million users utilizing the service on mobile devices. Twitter is now publishing 1 billion tweets every 2.5 days.

Google+'s VP of product, meanwhile, had recently stressed that the former is a "social network of the past", with its intrusive advertisements "pissing off users." It's quite a statement for a company who has seen its own social network, Google+, being branded a ghost town since its inception. Although it boasts 400 million registered users, Google+ been criticized due to said users hardly ever logging in. Still, Google has stressed it's the best social service available so it must be, right? ...Right?

Via Nielsen

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