Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

Social Media still on rise: Comparative global study

April 23rd, 2008 by

Universal McCann has recently published its comparative study following Social Media trends by three waves: September 2006 (Wave 1), June 2007 (Wave 2) March 2008 (Wave 3).

Research highlights:

1. Social media is a global phenomenon happening in all markets regardless of wider economic, social and cultural development.

2. Asian markets (not including Japan) are leading in terms of participation, creating more content than any other region

3. All social media platforms have grown significantly over the three Waves: Video Clips are the quickest growing platform, up from 31% penetration in Wave 1 to 83% in Wave 3

4. Social Networks: 57% have joined a Social Network, making it the number one platform for creating and sharing content: 55% of users have uploaded photos, 22% of users have uploaded videos

5. The widget economy – 23% of social network users have installed an application – 18% of bloggers have installed applications in their blog templates

6. Blogs are a mainstream media world-wide and a collective rival to traditional media (184m bloggers world-wide, China has the largest blogging community in the world with 42m bloggers) – 73% have read a blog, 45% have started a blog

7. Social media has strong impacts over brand’s reputation – 34% post opinions about products and brands on their blog – 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs

Social media by waves: Universal McCann survey:


My remarks:

  1. While the trends are known and frequently discussed, the survey presents a clear picture of the successful penetration of social media platforms worldwide, mainly blogs and social networks, including video and music downloads. As those trends are already highly adapted world wide, alternative participatory habits as podcasts and RSS can be predicted (those do show a steady rise, but yet to be adopted by the mainstream users).
  2. Interestingly, comments on news websites show almost no increase – new techniques to offer real motivation sets are necessary to bring this important participatory behavior to a rise.
  3. Here comes China – participatory rates are high in all social medias (what’s wrong with Japan??)

More stats from the survey? participatory rates by social media platform, countries, time…

1. Blogs:

A. Perceptions:

  • 56% report blogging is a good way to express yourself
  • 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs
  • 33% have a favorite blog they read regularly
  • 32% trust bloggers’ opinions on products and services
  • 31% see blogging as an important way to socialize with friends

B. Reading blogs: – 77% Read blogs – up 11% on Wave 2

C. Writing Blogs: – 45% have started a blog, up 14% – 61% post photos, 29% post videos, 24% upload music – 34% write about their opinions on products and brands.

2. Social networks still on rise:

  • Global penetration has increased significantly: Wave 3 is up to 58% (an increase of 21%). Estimated 272m users world-wide.
  • Emerging markets with high emigration lead the way – Philippines 83%, Hungary 80%, Poland 77%, Mexico 76% • UK hit by the Facebook factor (Usage up 32%)
  • US saturated as growth stalls at 41% • Brazil has the most active users (56% manage their profile every day)
  • Users are posting variety of content – 55% uploaded photos – 21% installed applications – 23% uploaded video • Social Networks becoming social utilities for managing peer to peer relationships: 74% use them to message friends

3. Photo sharing

  • The leading markets are Asian and Latin American, Philippines leads the way with 86%. Japan on the other hand shuns photos (just 21% uploaded).
  • Large numbers of consumers contributing on a very frequent basis 16% upload everyday: Brazil and Asia more frequent than the UK or US (34% upload everyday)

4. Video Sharing:

Similar pattern to photo sharing Brazil leads on 68%, Asian countries dominate (not including Japan)

  • Significant variation in involvement (Hungary 16% < Brazil 68%).
  • High frequency of involvement: 20% are uploading every day

5. Watching video clips:

  • Growth is universal across all countries (31% to 82% global reach seen in all markets)
  • Lowest difference between markets of any social media platform (Range 63% – 99%) Very high frequency medium: 71% weekly reach

6. Downloading podcasts

  • Growth massive between Waves 2 and 3 (from 21% to 49% world-wide).
  • China is the world’s biggest podcast market (74% use, with an estimated 45m users) Actively involved medium: 18% listen and download everyday

7. RSS subscriptions

  • Huge growth from Wave 2 to Wave 3 (15% to 38% worldwide)
  • BRIC markets lead: Russia, Brazil and China lead the way, all 50% plus adoption.
  • Huge variations in adoption (Hungary 15% < Russia 57%)


Universal McCann Wave 3 survey was conducted on 17,000 internet users in 29 countries and was completed in March 2008.

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post Post to Plurk Plurk This Post Post to Yahoo Buzz Buzz This Post Post to Delicious Delicious Post to Digg Digg This Post Post to Ping This Post Post to Reddit Reddit Post to StumbleUpon Stumble This Post

49 Responses

  1. Leif Hansen Says:

    Thanks for bringing my attention to this great study (my clients are asking about these kinds of stats.)
    Great summary as well. B the way, your initial McCann link is currently broken.

  2. Kim Cook Says:

    Great study, thank you! this will be very useful to me in a meeting next week to help explain the benefits of social media to a large audience of non-technical marketers.
    Thanks to Leif also for retweeting this link.
    @isle (twitter)

  3. Miko Coffey Says:

    Excellent! Thanks so much for sharing this. I know about 1000 peeps who will find this useful (I’ve pointed them all here with a big pointy arrow!).

  4. Caroline Teunissen Says:

    Super stats – thanks for sharing.
    Appreciated as it’s always hard to get ‘real’ stats for this sector of online advertising.

  5. Geoffroi Garon Says:

    Wow, very interesting and useful survey !

  6. Taly Weiss Says:

    Leif, Kim, Miko, Caroline and Geoffroi – thanks. what a great compliment!

  7. Jassim Says:

    Cant access the report on the UM website…can anyone mail a copy to me on jassim.ali at gmail dot com

  8. Prepostra Says:

    Thanks for this, the info came at a really good time.

    What’s really ironic is that you cant download the report from the site, even though the text plainly says that you can. And to top it the contacts listed on the Director of Marketing’s email address bounces when you try and point it out to him.

    They obviously think that their pretty flash site will distract us from the content.

    Most Disappointing, if they cant even get the little things right should we trust their figures?

    Assuming we could actually download them and check them.

  9. Prepostra Says:

    Update: I kept trying with the email and the President of the Asia Pacific division contatcted me and sent along a copy of the report. In under 8 hours

    Quite impressive as is the report.

  10. Taly Says:

    I have added a direct link to the survey. UM seems to have a problem with firefox downloads. Prepostra: I was happy to see that they knew how to handle it! impressive it is.
    best to all. Taly

  11. Tara Prabhakar Says:

    Hi. Nice summary, though i haven’t had the time to look at the entire report. Was India part of the sample and if so, was the scenario markedly different on certain parameters in India?

  12. Mikej Says:

    thanks for posting such a great rundown on the research. I think its great to see everyone getting some numbers to prove the assumptions out there.
    I think its interesting how markets like china and south america are really taking to the blogging and social media. There is so many social links you could make to that. I have posted about it here as well as some other social media and general stuff. Thanks again

  13. Swords Says:

    Interesting site you have here. And it would be nice to see what you to say about trendsspotting. Most experts on this subject have an annoying have of taking a simple concept and twisting and turning around it until it sounds hellishly complex.

  14. Jembo42 Says:

    An excellent summary (thanks) of a rather stuffy and uninspiring tome. Faultless methodology and primary resource research it may be, but the report is just another report, no?

  15. Philipp Sauber Says:

    Thanks for you input.
    Here in Europe we seem to be a bit behind the rest of the world. But we are waiting for the big social media wave.

  16. Testking Says:

    Very useful piece of information indeed! A thorough research is very significant before stepping for any keyword. But Webmasters can really be pretty fruitful for anyone.

  17. Love Messages Says:

    Thanks for share such a nice research work. I really appreciate that.

  18. China Readymade, Shelf Companies Says:

    Social Media will definitely be pick of the marketers in the coming years. Any SME would want to have a strong Social Media Camapaign.

  19. Jason bright Says:

    Yeah I agree with you that social media will pick some marketers. Very useful information i got in this blog. I read one topic about software magazzino. But don’t understand it that what the heck is this thing? “software magazzino” I think its any italian software. Any knowledge about it.

  20. birthday messages Says:

    Social media has stronger impact over brand’s reputation. Economy down day by day…

  21. love sms Says:

    i want to appreciate on your search work

  22. tamedcats Says:


    I tried to add image but I don’t know how to do this
    Can anyone be kind to tell me how?

    thanks a lot

  23. Says:

    Feedback also interesting 😛

  24. sticker printing Says:

    i like your way of explanation

  25. bumper sticker Says:

    i love reading about social media and it’s really rise day by day …

  26. snapini (Dennis Mancini) Says:

    Twitter Comment

    Social Media still on rise: Comparative global study [link to post]

    Posted using Chat Catcher

  27. Submit Free Link Says:

    This is exactly what I am looking for. Thanks for this post.

  28. fendi perfume Says:

    i haven’t had the time to look at the entire report. Was India part of the sample and if so, was the scenario markedly different on certain parameters in India

  29. Urdu Says:

    I think this information is useful for so many people at my office. I will save it for them.

  30. Ray Newman Says:

    Fully agree. The future new trend in online community is social media. Great read thanks.

  31. eve isk Says:

    the first comment here,thanks your good article.

  32. GlinkSofts Technologies Says:

    I was looking for a blog like this before,you got really great information here,I am pleased to check it,Keep it up.Thanks

  33. Abu dhabi city tour Says:

    The most important thing is to share the true said as i can see it around.

  34. sofie Says:

    Friend this is very good, now i’m learning

  35. sap r 3 Says:

    Nice one for unveiling this data. I think it is very informative and definately forward it to associates, in addition. If you continue writing about this I will surely continue reading your future blog posts.

  36. Blake Buffo Says:

    It was Japan before that, Remember reagan went to Japan after he left office, he received a few millon in speaking fees. A kind of thanke Ronnie for letting win the trade war. cheap diablo 3 gold

  37. discount mens uggs Says:

    strongzz It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  38. mazapoint Says:

    As those band are already highly adapted position wide, operability participatory habits as podcasts and RSS can be predicted

  39. basement remodeling ma Says:

    It was really nice to study your post. I collect some good points here. I would like to be appreciative you with the hard work you have made in skill this is great article

  40. UK dependant visa Says:

    you should always beware of freebie..

  41. skype pour mac Says:

    I am glad that I have observed this blog. Ultimately anything not a crap, which we understand quite usually. The web site is lovingly maintained and up to date. So it really should be, thank you for this welcome transform.

  42. Mathilde Chittum Says:

    Social marketing is a great tool in promoting a business. I learn a lot from your post and I can’t wait trying it in my briefcase business.

  43. Joao Pedro Says:

  44. short brands Says:

    I am grateful that I have noticed this weblog. Eventually anything not a junk, which we comprehend quite usually. The website is adoringly managed and up currently. So it really should be, thank you for this welcome convert.

  45. naming a business Says:

    hey what post! i am very thankful to you. i am really impressed.

  46. Social Media Study « Professor Walker Says:

    […] Social Media Study […]

  47. Getting started with blogging and social media | illuminea Says:

    […] Social Media still on rise: Comparative global study Why businesses should blog View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: media social) […]

  48. Social media still on the rise | Treehouse Blog Says:

    […] you have 5 minutes to spare, it’s definitely an interesting read. var dd_offset_from_content = 40;var dd_top_offset_from_content = 0;var dd_override_start_anchor_id […]

  49. schutzhülle Says:

    Good article. I will be facing a few of these issues as well..

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Real Time Web Analytics