While social networking is becoming a popular activity for lots of people, consumers under the age of 30 with a college education are even more likely to turn to social media sites and own a smartphone, no matter what country they live in.
Pew Research Center released its annual Global Attitudes Project, which surveyed 21 countries in March and April 2012, and found that the UK is the most active social networking country, as 52 percent of consumers said they use social networking sites. The US and Russia were the next countries on the list, with 50 percent of consumers in both countries saying the same thing. In every country surveyed, people under the age of 30 were more likely to be on social networks.
Music and movies were overall the most popular topic to discuss on social networks, with 67 percent of social network users saying they have turned to a social site to do so. The next most popular topic, community issues, came in at 46 percent. However, in countries including Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan, talk of community issues and politics were more common.
Pew also highlighted the increasing popularity of cell phones, and accessing social media by mobile devices, even in countries where broadband internet isn’t as accessible. Making voice calls is still the most popular thing to do on cell phones, but texting, taking photos or videos, and accessing the internet are also popular.
Social networking has become the way many consumers connect with friends and family, regardless of where they live, the quality of internet access they have, and the demographic groups they fall into, including gender, age or race.
While groups may use social media differently and for a variety of reasons, it is becoming a popular social and entertainment activity around the world. As Pew and other companies study how everyone uses social media, including, now, the Pope, it is a reminder just how connected we are.