2015 Worldwide Trends and Data for Digital, Social and Mobile [Global + 30 Country Reports]

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The wonderful folks at GlobalWebIndex have been great partners to WeAreSocial over the years, most recently helping them to put together a superlative report on digital stats from around the world.

Look through We Are Social’s comprehensive new Digital, Social and Mobile Worldwide in 2015 report, and it’s clear why fast-growth markets are now so important to digital and social trends: regions such as APAC and LatAm contain online populations which are not only vast in size but which are growing at phenomenal year-on-year rates.

What’s more, GlobalWebIndex’s data shows that digital consumers in these fast-growth/emerging markets are some of the most engaged when it comes to online behaviour. They’ve been tracking the daily time that people spend on various forms of media since 2012; by asking 170,000 annual respondents how long they typically devote to the internet as well as online and offline forms of TV, press and radio, they’ve been able to build a detailed profile of daily media behaviors. The results show that the internet is capturing more and more of our time each day – with total hours spent online via PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets growing from 5.55 in 2012 to 6.15 in 2014.

One of the drivers of this is still-increasing levels of engagement with social networks, which have climbed from a daily average of 1.61 to 1.72 hours over the period in question. This offers important food-for-thought given that some commentators still like to proclaim the “end of social networking”. In actual fact, we’re spending more time on networks now than in the earlier part of the decade – with the rise of the mobile internet, and the ability it affords us to connect to a still-widening range of networks at any time and from any location, being a major driver of this.

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Click image to enlarge: Average number of hours per day spent using social networks, by country. NB: GlobalWebIndex have calculated these average times using data for all internet users (including those who do not use social media at all), whereas the figures in We Are Social’s Digital, Social, & Mobile 2015 report are averages based on the same source data, but which do not include the data for non-social media users.

That said, engagement with social networking can vary significantly from country-to-country. Typically, it is highest in fast-growth/emerging nations where online populations are skewed towards young, urban and affluent demographics (all of these being characteristics which increase an individual’s likelihood of being a social networker).

The Philippines posts the highest figure of all (with a sizeable 3.42 hours), but LatAm countries follow very closely behind. It’s hardly a surprise that there’s a very strong correlation with usage of the mobile internet here; where the mobile web scores well, we typically see social networking accounting for large amounts of daily media time too.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find the lowest amounts of time being devoted to networks in a number of mature markets; here, internet penetration rates are normally very high, meaning the corresponding online populations have a much broader / higher age profile, and are more representative of the country’s total population.

In short, older segments are better represented in mature nations but are some of the least enthusiastic about social networking – something which has an obvious impact on national averages. Japan appears at the very bottom of the table, with just 0.30 hours spent on networking per day; the lack of enthusiasm for networks generally – and for Facebook in particular – are key local factors in this market. Behind this are other mature APAC markets such as Australia as well as most of the European countries tracked by GWI.

Given these geographic and demographic patterns, it’s hardly a surprise that internet users in fast-growth nations are also the biggest “multi-networkers” (those who maintain accounts on the highest number of social platforms). Indonesia tops the table here, with internet users typically being members of 7.39 networks, but it’s in China where people are most likely to actively use the greatest number of social networks (4.27 per internet user). That there are so many local platforms in China is a major contributor to this, as is the fact that leading global names such as Facebook are not as off-limits as is often assumed.

In some studies – especially those based on data from passively collected analytics – it’s still common to see Chinese usage of Facebook, Twitter and similar sites recorded as zero. This is a major mistake; there are in fact a number of ways that Chinese internet users are bypassing official restrictions on social networks, including accessing via apps (16% in China say that they have used the Facebook app in the last 30 days, and a look at the top apps being downloaded in China on a daily basis shows that Western social networks feature very prominently within the list).

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Click image to enlarge: Average number of active social media accounts maintained by internet users, broken down by age and by country.

Significantly, VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps are also being widely downloaded in China – with these tools representing the other major access route for those Chinese users looking to bypass official restrictions. Close to a fifth of online adults in China in fact say they’ve used a VPN in order to access restricted websites or social platforms.

Not only does this trend underline the potential limitations of using passively collected, geo-located data in isolation – which can over-estimate the size of social audiences in markets such as the USA, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden, where VPN and Proxy servers tend to be located – it also emphasizes the growing futility of attempting to prevent national audiences from accessing certain sites. Most clearly of all, though, it demonstrates why networking behaviors in China – as well as in many other fast-growth markets – are much more diversified and sophisticated than is often assumed.

[Source: We Are Social]

3 hot-topics for your eCommerce: Social Users, Webrooming and Showrooming

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2014 has seen the most concerted efforts so far by some of the world’s biggest social networks to integrate e-commerce into their platforms. And, as a recent GWI Commerce report shows, it’s a move which is likely to resonate with significant sections of the social audience.
Globally, 7 in 10 active Facebook users say they have bought a product online in the past month, with the equivalent figure among Twitter’s active user base climbing to approach the three-quarter mark.
What’s more, a quarter of internet users say that social network-based retail stores make them more likely to purchase online – with a notable peak among Twitter users. In this context, it’s not hard to see why both Twitter and Facebook are trialing ‘Buy’ buttons in the hopes of opening up new and lucrative revenue streams.

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Let’s also take a look at the impact of webrooming (where products are researched online but bought in-store) and showrooming (when items are tested in-store and then purchased online).
With the chart looking at the ratio of online researchers to buyers across nearly 30 different product categories, it’s clear that there are some big differences in evidence.
Where the ratio is above 1 – meaning there are more researchers than purchasers – the products in question are susceptible to webrooming. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is most likely to be taking place for big-ticket items such as cars, laptops, mobile phones, tablets and games consoles. Internet users might be discovering and researching them online, but the purchase journey is being completed inside a physical retail environment – whether to take advantage of customer service, to “test” the product or to gain a sense of reassurance about their financial outlay.
In contrast, many other categories have more purchasers than researchers and hence have a ratio below 1. Some of these products are simply too low in value, or else are purchased so habitually or on the basis of deals, that no research is necessary. But there are others where a degree of showrooming is likely to be taking place – as with clothes and shoes. Evidently, some consumers are using retail stores to find correct styles and sizes, but then purchasing the products online to get the best prices. And this is a trend that’s likely to have special importance as we approach the Christmas period when people invest greater amounts of time and energy in locating the best presents.

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10+ Tricks to be a Google Power User

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It’s a familiar frustration for most of us: You type your precise, specific search terms into Google, and expect to find what you need on the first page.

Instead, you’re faced with millions of search results, and the first few links are so off-the-wall unrelated you wonder if you mistyped something.

But your search terms are correct, so why doesn’t Google know what you’re looking for? And how are you supposed to narrow down the millions of irrelevant results?

Though Google keeps improving their algorithms, there are still plenty of terms that stymie the search engine. Without context, it’s hard for Google to know exactly what you’re looking for, especially if your inquiry is highly specific.

Luckily, Google has quite a few hidden tips and tricks for searching that will help you quickly find exactly the results you’re looking for.

Just by learning a few formatting and punctuation tricks, you can tell Google how your search terms are related, or exclude certain words or phrases. You can also narrow down your search with criteria like location or pricing, or use Google to search within a single website.

If you’re still not getting the results you need, Google has several other little-known features that can widen your search. Webmasters can easily find images for their websites and blogs withGoogle Images, and researchers need only visit Google Books or Google Scholar to search through print publications and research papers in any field.

Faster and more accurate searches aren’t the only benefit to becoming a Google power user. Google also has a few hidden functions you can unlock with the right search query, including calculations and conversions, stock quotes and sports scores, and film showings and flight statuses. With the right search, you can get immediate results telling you the current weather and today’s sunrise and sunset times, or quickly look up the definition of a word and get a translation into one of dozens of available languages.

With the time you save as a Google power user, you’ll even be able to fit in a game of Atari Breakout on Google Images. Just follow the steps below to find out how!

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[Source: WhoIsHostingThis]

How ‘sticky’ is Facebook?

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For most Facebook users, the social network has become a fully integrated part of our life. Our personalities now mesh with the online world in the form of Facebook making us all one step closer to eventually that in the not too distant future we will all in some small way become cyborgs. So the question becomes, how ingrained is Facebook into our lives?

With hundreds of cable channels, on-demand videos, HD video game consoles, and massive libraries of e-books all calling for our attention, Facebook continues to stand out as a major player for our time and attention making it one of the stickiest websites in the world.

Engagement Rates

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The engagement figures for Facebook are quite astounding, SimilarWeb PRO shows that visitors to Facebook spend an average of just over 23 minutes on the site which is roughly the time it takes to watch an episode of The Simpsons. Compare this to the data for Google Plus, where visitors spend less than 4 minutes, barely enough time to make a decent cup of coffee.

Bounce rates for Facebook are very low with less than 2 in 10 visitors leaving it immediately after entering as opposed to Google Plus where nearly 5 out of 10 visitors bounce. One key feature, which has kept visitors engaged, is the revamped news feed with its content rich images and ads.

After Facebook?

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Such huge numbers of traffic are a boon for advertisers, so understanding where this traffic heads after Facebook is very useful. SimilarWeb PRO illustrates that 1 in 5 visitors head straight to YouTube. We love to share videos and our platform of choice is YouTube. This is probably why Facebook is making such a hard push to get into video advertising.

From this, it’s clear to see there’s a real desire for online videos. Advertisers want to chase this traffic, so it makes sense to organize Facebook campaigns to be mirrored on YouTube and maximize the chances of conversion.

Opportunities on Facebook

Over the past year, according to SimilarWeb data, average time on site for Facebook has never dipped below 22 minutes per visit. This data looks at desktop visits only, so it is fairly safe to assume that combined with mobile usage, Facebook is a dominant part of our lives. Gone are the days when advertisers fight over Superbowl Ads to reach a billion people, because today Facebook enables any advertiser anywhere to reach a bigger and more engaged audience.

[Source: Inside Facebook]

Teens heavily use Facebook, Instagram more often than Snapchat

One of the most pressing questions about Facebook’s future revolves around teen usage. However, a new study by Forrester shows that maybe teens don’t hate Facebook after all.

Forrester surveyed more than 4,500 U.S. online users between 12 and 17 about their habits on social networks and apps. Among apps they use “all the time,” both Facebook and Instagram finished ahead dof Snapchat.

Nate Elliott, Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst Serving Marketing Leadership Professionals,summed up the findings of the study in a blog post:

The results were clear: Facebook remains young users’ favorite social network. More than three-quarters of online youth use Facebook — twice as many as use Pinterest or Tumblr or Snapchat, and more than use Instagram and WhatApp combined. And 28% of young users who are on Facebook say they use it “all the time,” a higher percentage than said this about any other social network.The bottom line: The sky is not falling. Facebook does not have a problem attracting or retaining teen users.

Here’s a look at the graph, with different apps and social networks used by teens plotted in terms of adoption and hyperusage:

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[Source: Inside Facebook]