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Social Networking Dominated by the UK: Ranks #1 among All Nations

Sites include , . Published on December 15th, 2012. Written by Anthony West.

Social media and social networking may have had their genesis in Silicon Valley but their popularity has spread far beyond the shores of America. Pew research took a look at the changing popularity of social networking as well as the shifting attitudes towards the use of the internet and mobile devices in general. What the researcher found was an odd but surprising mix of results. The results have helped to form what Pew has branded its Global Attitudes Project and the researcher questioned 26,000 consumers across 21 countries in order to come to its conclusions. But enough of the background details, here’s what Pew found from its research.

People in the UK love social media

Among the 21 countries analyzed, the UK came out on top regarding the number of people in the population that use social networking sites. The study found that 52% of UK adults regularly logged on to use sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This result was rather surprising for it marks the first time ever that a European country as outpaced the US for social media connectedness. The US was tied for second place with Russia where a whopping 50% of their respective adult population are logging on to use social networking sites. The Czech Republic was tied for third place with Spain which both had 49% of their respective adult population doing heavy social networking.

Mobile driving social networking in poorer countries

That the UK has come out on top is no surprise where social networking is concerned. Pew’s own findings did reveal after all, that only about 15% of the population doesn’t have access to the internet over a broadband connection. Countries like India and Pakistan by contrast has lower levels of broadband internet penetration and consumers rely heavily on mobile phones to do their social networking. Pew found that 12% of the countries on the list saw more than 60% of consumers access Facebook and other social networking sites via their mobile phones.

Among the poorer countries, Egypt, Greece and Mexico had the highest number of mobile social networkers.

Social networking by subject area

Regardless of how heavily or poorly social network a country is, Pew found that certain topics dominated the social networking conversation. Pew found that Music and movies were the most popular topics for social networking and 67% of all respondents cited these as their main reason for logging on to a social network. Community issues (local events etc.) was the second most popular reason among respondents with a 46% popularity among respondents; it was followed by sports in third place with 43% popularity.

Given the recent upsurge in political activities by people globally you’d think it would be quite dominant as a social networking subject but Pew found that only about 34% of people globally take to Facebook to discuss politics. Despite this reticence politics still figured more prominently than religion.

It is clear from Pew’s findings that when the rest of the world does catch up with internet penetration social networking will be the most dominant activity online globally. Facebook, Google and all the others therefore stand to increase revenues as more and more people come online.

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