Misconceptions about social networks abound. Here are some of the most common myths:
Myth Number One About Social Networking: Social networks are just a passing fad…
An astounding TWO-THIRDS of the world’s one billion internet users are involved in a social network. (Nielsen) And according to Alexa (a site which tracks the popularity of websites), seven of the top 20 most visited web sites in the world are social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook or YouTube. But the social networking arena is not just about these big sites; thousands of smaller social networking sites are cropping up daily.. This is why Charlene Li (author of Groundswell) has very famously stated that “Social networks will be like air”. Without advertising or any kind of structured campaign to feed its fire, social networking has caught on very big in a very short period of time. Social networking is not going to go away anytime soon.
Myth Number Two About Social Networking: Its just for kids
Nearly half of all adults participating online are members of social networks.(Forrester). For example, In February 2009, the number of people on Facebook over 35 increased by 23% , compared to 2008, with a particularly rapid growth among the over 45 group. The older crowd is using all forms of social media at record rates, with a 59% increased use in social networks between 2008 and 2009.
In sum, if you think your consumer is not part of the social media craze, you may want to reconsider.
Myth Number Three About Social Networking: Social networking is just a side gig alongside ‘real’ media like newspapers and television.
One of the most exciting shifts in recent years is that our sources of information have broadened greatly. Some argue that we have reached a tipping point ; ‘social media’ has simply blurred in with more traditional forms of information. To cover the presidential inauguration, CNN and Facebook shared a single URl. On the left side was a CNN live video stream and on the right side was a stream of comments from Facebook
The social networking fever has caught on big throughout the world. 65% of Germany’s internet users are on a social network while in Brazil the number is a whopping 85%. In Brazil, one in every four minutes online is spent on a social networking site while in the US it is four times less—only one in sixteen minutes.
Here is a breakdown of social networking participation by country showing the growth between 2007 and 2008:
In sum, social networking is clearly a force to be reckoned with today and well into the future.