Social Media in 2012: An Overview

by Jordan Richardson on December 3, 2012

Yes, 2012 is already rolling to a close. The holidays are upon us and the shopping centres are open later. Christmas music is pumping through the speakers and we’re putting up the fake tree for another year of gifts and far too much food. With this time of year comes the opportunity to look back at some of the issues and stories that have shaped 2012, a year that was remarkable in many ways.

Social media once again played a major role in how we communicated and how we educated ourselves. With that in mind, the time seems right to take an admittedly cursory look at some of the social networking and media news of note from 2012.

Recently, we learned of record-breaking tweets and social media surrounding the re-election of US President Barack Obama. The news meant that we truly entered the digital political age, with many calling the 2012 election the first truly digital election in American history. If that’s the case, and I believe it is, 2012 is truly on the social-political map in a big way.

Other interesting news came out of Twitter, namely the fact that there were 175 million tweets sent from the site every single day in 2012. Every day. Since Twitter began, there have been 163 billion tweets – and counting, fast. Americans tweet the most, followed by Brazilians and the Japanese. According to statistics, 32 percent of all Internet users are on Twitter.

Then there’s Facebook, which sees a total of 850 million monthly active users – 25 percent of whom don’t use any form of privacy controls. 488 million users of the site regularly use its mobile version, by the way. This has been great news for hoaxes and frauds, for one thing, as Facebook has seen its fair share of those sorts of things this year.

Also worth a mention is Instagram, the immensely popular photo-sharing app. During Hurricane Sandy, users uploaded more than 800,000 photos. By August of 2012, Instagram hit the 80 million user mark with 7.3 million daily active users on average. More than five million photos are uploaded to Instagram on a daily basis and more than four billion have been shared since its inception.

What about Pinterest? For one thing, the site is apparently used by women – for the most part. About 80 percent of the site’s users are of the fairer sex, while about 50 percent of all users have kids. 80 percent of all “pins” are “re-pins,” while referrals to the site spend 70 percent more than visitors referred from “non-social channels.” It remains to be seen just how much advertisers will look to Pinterest in the near future, but something tells me 2013 could be a very good year for the site.

In the coming days throughout the month of December, I’ll start breaking into some of this stuff to explore what it all means. I’ll also discuss what 2013 has in store for social media and how the broader telecommunications sector stands to benefit. I’ll even make a rather bold prediction for 2013, something I don’t normally do for good reason. I hope you’ll tag along.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. Follow by: RSSTwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

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