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Nielsen released their 2012 Social Media Report last week, and their research shows that the social media landscape continues to change rapidly. 2012 saw nascent trends from 2011 speed up, and 2013, no doubt, will see more of the same.

Keep in mind these numbers are from surveys completed this June, so fast-growing networks, devices and usages have probably increased their share in the following six months. Here are some of the most interesting data points.

Top Networks

  • The top social networks by unique PC visitors (US): Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, Wordpress, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, MySpace, and Wikia.
  • Pinterest grew 1,047%. It's now bigger than Google+ and closing in on LinkedIn, which remained static this year.
  • The other growing networks in the top 10: Twitter (13%), Wordpress (10%), Google+ (80%), Tumblr (55%) and Wikia (20%).
  • Social networks which lost ground include Facebook (-4%), Blogger (-3%), and MySpace (-13%).


  • The overall unique US audience for mobile web jumped 82% and 85% for mobile apps 85%, while it declined 4% for PCs.
  • 20% of time on PCs and 30% on mobiles is spent on social networks.
  • Over one-third of all social networking time occurs on mobile apps — 7 times more than on the mobile web.
  • The one exception to that rule is Pinterest. Most of their users sign on through their browser, not an app.
  • 46% of us now connect to social media via mobile phone (up from 37%), but tablet usage has exploded: 3% - 16%.

Social Care

  • 47% of social media users engage in social care, reaching out to brands via social channels to resolve issues.
  • One in 3 social media users prefer to resolve customer service issues over social rather than by phone. The younger you are, the more likely you are to prefer this.
  • Here are the top channels used to access social care:
    • 29% Facebook (Company's Page)
    • 28% Facebook (User's Personal Page)
    • 15% Official Company Blog
    • 14% Twitter (no @ mention of company)
    • 13% Twitter (with @ mention of company)
    • 12% YouTube (Company's Channel)
    • 11% YouTube (User's Personal Channel)
    • 11% Non-company blog
  • That's right: users are almost as likely to reach out via YouTube as Twitter.

Social Activities

Here's the percent of social media user who participate in one of these activities at least monthly:
  • 70% Hear others' experiences
  • 65% Learn more about brands/products/services
  • 53% Compliment brands
  • 50% Express concerns/complaints about brands/services
  • 47% Share money incentives

Go ahead and download Nielsen's 2012 Social Media Report for yourself. What facts did you find most surprising?


* Picture courtesy of the Nielsen Media Report.