Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think

by Erik Qualman

[tweetmeme source=”equalman” only_single=false

Is Social Media a Fad or the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?  Welcome to the Social Media Revolution:

Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

Stats from Video (sources listed below by corresponding #)

  1. By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network
  2. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
  3. 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media
  4. Years to Reach 50 millions Users:  Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
  5. If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia (note that Facebook is now creeping up – recently announced 300 million users)
  6. Yet, some sources say China’s QZone is larger with over 300 million using their services (Facebook’s ban in China plays into this)
  7. comScore indicates that Russia has the most engage social media audience with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month – is the #1 social network
  8. 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction
  9. 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum
  10. % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees….80%
  11. The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females
  12. Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres (combined) have more Twitter followers than the  population of Ireland, Norway, or Panama.  Note I have adjusted the language here after someone pointed out the way it is phrased in the video was difficult to determine if it was combined.
  13. 80% of Twitter usage is outside of Twitter…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
  14. Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé…In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
  15. What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…
  16. The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube
  17. Wikipedia has over 13 million articles…some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English
  18. There are over 200,000,000 Blogs
  19. 54% = Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily
  20. Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth
  21. If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour
  22. Facebook USERS translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks and cost Facebook $0
  23. 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
  24. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands
  25. People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services  than how Google ranks them
  26. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations
  27. Only 14% trust advertisements
  28. Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
  29. 90% of people that can TiVo ads do
  30. Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009
  31. 25% of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video…on their phone
  32. According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available
  33. 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news, the news finds us.
  34. In the near future we will no longer search for  products and services they will find us via social media
  35. More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.
  36. Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy Listening first, selling second
  37. Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertiser

Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business

The above statistics and “Social Media Revolution” video tell the story, social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.  Please feel free to share with any non-believers!
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Huge Thanks to These Outstanding Sources
Below are the sources I used to compile this video.  Keep your feedback/questions/challenges coming as it will collectively make video #2 that much better – you know leverage this whole “social” thing.
A huge thanks to all below:
  1. Source: Grunwald Associates National Study – Trendsspotting Blog | Millenials Conference
  2. Source: Huffington Post
  3. Source: McKinsey Study also posted by David Dalka
  4. Source: First Stats: United Nations Cyberschoolbus Document
    Facebook Stat: Mashable
    iPhone Stat: Apple
  5. Source: Facebook
  6. Source: TechCrunch
  7. Source: comScore
  8. Source:  Attempting to relocate
  9. Source: Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey Note: 80% will use social networks in their assessment.  95% will use LinkedIn in their assessment.  When we revise the Video needs to be updated changing “their” to “a” primary tool need to see if we bump 80% to 95%
  10. Source: Inside Facebook Blog
  11. Source: Twitter & World Population Data
  12. Source: Attempting to relocate
  13. Source: Metro Newspaper
  14. Opinion, not a statistic
  15. Source: TGDaily
  16. Source: – calculated based on # articles per language category; Colorado State University Wikipedia Accuracy Study; open debate and of course very biased information is also found on this Wikipedia Accuracy page.  If I had to do it again I would have made this say as accurate rather than more – obviously some articles will be more accurate (think of the realtime update of Michael Jackson’s death, but also some will be less accurate.
  17. Source: China Internet Information Center, Technorati, Wikipedia
  18. Source: ClickZ Stats SES Magazine June 8 page 24-25 Chris Aarons, Andru Edwards, Xavier Lanier Turning Blogs and user-Generated Content Into Search Engine Results
  19. Opinion, not a statistic
  20. Calculated based of Wikipedia article data found at
  21. Source:  TechCrunchThis says 4 weeks so I may have been a little off here as my source at Facebook had said 2 weeks adjusted above
  22. Source: Marketing Vox and Nielsen BuzzMetrics SES Magazine June 8 page 24-25 Chris Aarons, Andru Edwards, Xavier Lanier Turning Blogs and user-Generated Content Into Search Engine Results
  23. Opinion, not a statistic
  24. Source: July 2009 Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey (actually 90% now – updated above but video still shows 78%)
  25. Source: “Marketing to the Social Web,” Larry Weber, Wiley Publishing  2007
  26. Source: “Marketing to the Social Web,” Larry Weber, Wiley Publishing  2007
  27. Source: Starcom USA-TiVo
  28. Source: Nielsen
  29. Source: Solutions Research Group
  30. Source: Henry Blodget Silicon Alley Insider Just as the URL shows it’s not 35% of all books sales, but rather if a Kindle Version and a Book Version are available the buyer selects the Kindle version 35% of the time.
  31. Opinion from Socialnomics
  32. Source: Facebook
  33. Music in video provided by Fatboy Slim “Right Here, Right Now” (1999) – if you like it buy the single

If anyone sees any inaccuracies or has better source information please let me know!

Also, if you haven’t seen Marta Kagan’s “What The F**K is Social Media” presentation,  it’s amazing! Many of the same eye-popping facts are contained in it – as well as many more.  Plus, it does a much better job of providing insight than my video which is designed to grab attention.  Kagan’s presentation informs, check it out!

To watch a video with millions of YouTube views and deservedly so, please check out Karl Fisch and Scott McCleod’s Did You Know? It is filled with compelling stats that relate to globalization, education and technology – Love it!

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276 responses to “Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think

  1. This is a very interesting post. I just shared it with all my friends!

  2. Social Media has surpassed everything. Today companies and their consumers, both are active on social media and it has become their main communication platform!

  3. This is old but still an amazing video! Thanks so much 🙂

  4. Awesome video good job buddy ………

  5. Social media has changed how customers connect with companies and how companies deliver results based on the users’ needs and how users interact with each other. Even so, there are still some companies who continue to advertise their business using the old system. Maybe becuase, social media has no specific advantages. Social media generally catches the attention of most people; utilization and connection totally relies in the user who decided to do so. If your efforts are that not enticing or does not have the appealing charm it will not be successful and that what makes it more challenging.

  6. I totally agree with you. Social Media is getting bigger day by day.

  7. It is really nice for me to see you and your great hardwork again.Every piece of your work look excellent.Looking forward to hearing more from you!

    Very interesting post. I really enjoyed reading it.

    I really enjoy to read this awesome blog post.

  8. Hi, I was just wondering if these facts are presented in your book..I want to use the statistics for a paper, and would feel more comfortable citing a book than a blog. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks =)

  9. Thanks for your post. I like it.

  10. Nice stuff, but that TM on Socialnomics is not really in line with what you “preach”, is it???

  11. I am totally agree with you . good post.

  12. Ah…”Did You Know” is accessible from the thumbnail crawl at the end of Socialnomics. But the link from your text goes to “user removed” page.

  13. Erik, “Did You Know” has been “removed by user” at YouTube.

  14. Its all about traffic if you get traffic you get more business more market …

  15. I’m 43 and quite honestly have been struggling to understand why I must struggle to change my habits and engage online. As an entrepreneur, the above statistics give me motivational urgency.
    Thanks for compiling such Erik. I suppose a smart next move is to get your book:)

    • 1 in 8 couples really met through social media? That’s huge but I wonder how they got that metric – was it on Facebook like as in they met the person through a friend of a friend at a party and then talked more through facebook or was it that they actually met on the social network?

  16. I checked the referenced UN article, and the link is incorrect. It should be

  17. Hey Folks

    Speaking of Social Networking and platforms, check out the Hottest and Fastest growing website on the internet just for Baby Boomers and Up. Go To: and see for yourself. If you’ve used Facebook, MySpace, or YouTube then, you’re gonna love this site.

  18. Very interesting post. Have already shared on Facebook and Twitter.

  19. “Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web”

    You could have stopped right there. You know if it’s bigger than porn on the web then it’s pretty big.

  20. I found new valuable information in this good post. Very Glad that you shared this to us. I appreciate your work, the post is really helpful. Thanks for sharing. Tausiah.

  21. Thanks to you I got this information. This post is different from what I read on most blog. Thanks for sharing this good info. Tausiah.

  22. This is a very interesting blog post.
    Thanks for posting!

  23. These are some astounding statistics. 1 out of 8 married couples met via social networks? It shows how social networking media is quickly becoming the next wave of everything from business to relationships.

  24. Hey, I found your social media revolution video on youtube, its breathtaking! I have embedded on the front page of our site,

    We are a social enterprise based in Camden, helping charities to make use of social media and IT.

  25. Thank you so much for this! I’m a grad student writing a paper about the use of social media to cultivate donors for my Nonprofit Management class – this is a huge help!

  26. Social media will have a greater impact in all that we do unlikanything we have witnessed in generations.As you may or may not know, I’m a big believer inand also student of the “social” aspects of social media, spending much of my time studying the sociology behind the technology (well and the tech too of course).Thanks for putting together a compelling story told in a few minutes.

  27. I have to give it to you, you have not only done an EXCELLENT job setting up this page, but the video blew me away!!! what did use to make it? (if you don’t mind me asking that is)

    Much respect!

  28. Why not devolve bricks & mortar institutionalized education except for halth club like social and physical interaction to promote healthful, activities and team sports with social interaction?

    I realize the teacher’s unions would impede this, but think of the cost savings and advancements in lifestyle and personal well being.

  29. With out Social Media today I don’t know how any business plans to stay in business. Some business’s still have to no web site.

  30. I use social media in my temp labor agency and it works better then any of media I have used. I am just starting to try new thing on the net.

  31. big. brother.

  32. I am new to the on-line business and your video had a lot to do with it…

  33. This information is awesome

  34. Заметка интересная. Как подписаться на rss?

  35. You have some of the best info that is right to use with customers who don’t want to face the facts…

  36. Barbara Mackie

    Social media will have a greater impact in all that we do unlike anything we have witnessed in generations. Unfortunately, the majority of people are not comfortable with change and may find this a daunting prospect. Thankfully there are still many who embrace change and most importantly this “positive” change, which is the significant transformation that social media is establishing. Of course this will not be appreciated by those who have something to hide or for those who were hoping to market an inferior product or service. I love it!

  37. Great video…With proper credit for your efforts, is this video available for companies to show to their employees? Don’t want to step on any copyright/licensing rights…

  38. This showcases the main downside of technology in the hands of the masses (obviously there are tons of upsides). Simply, put any old unsubstantiated rubbish to good music, make it look authoritative with some fast moving graphics, and pass yourself off as an expert.

    To publish false statistics as ‘facts’ in order to keep the presentation sleek is astounding. Tell me, does your book follow the same ‘image over substance’ rule?

  39. Hi,

    For your French speaking audience I translated your facts for a presentation I recently did.

    It can all be found over :

    Thanks !


  40. Did you used a licensing arrangement for the Fatboy Slim song? If is not credited, don’t you need to have evidence before YouTube takes it down?

    • Carlos: There is a credit for the song at the end. While the video is playing you should also receive a pop-up on the bottom of the video that allows you to purchase the song. I hope this helps.

  41. Completely awesome! I am using your info for an Advertising class and presented it for a Marketing class. The instructor, Art Petty, is also a semi-prominent marketing blogger. He was impressed and some classmates were completely blown away by your presentation.

  42. Love it! Very useful info.

    Thanks a lot

  43. Great Job ! I agree with Colin Fast on the LinkedIn figures…
    See ya

  44. Fantastic social media facts. Hard to believe it has grown so fast. The question is where does it go from here??

    • I see it going from growth to leveraging the information of your social graph. What did my friends buy/purchase? What did they like/not like? What real estate agent(s) do they use? etc. Very exciting times!

  45. Fantastic list of facts!! Where will social media be in 5 years??

  46. Erik,

    Amazing stats and appreciate you sharing these with everyone. I’m researching updated stats and this came helpful. Points me in the right direction.

  47. Great Video! loved it! Great blog! You’re right about Social Media1 It’s only just begun! I’m big in Twitter1 Check me out if you like at

  48. Great Video, its all true, people don’t realize how big social media is, and I am a believer because it has change my life for ever.

    that is why I am actually teaching people what social media is and how is has change the way we see marketing online all together.

  49. Thanks a lot for such a nice post about Social Media content is the key to success of your blog.Social Media is one of the best way to keep touch other, Be Social in 2010!

  50. It looks like you don’t just abuse facts and statistics. You have also taken advantage of Wikipedia to promote yourself (hardly a more reliable source than Britannica if you can manipulate it).

    It seems that the number and content of favorable reviews on Amazon has more to do with social media than actual opinions, perhaps demonstrating the importance of social media, or maybe the unreliability of it.

    • Mark:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. As for abusing facts/statistics – if you have specifics from the sources listed please let me know [I pulled from several as you readily see in the reference list]. There’s no question that I may have made an error along the way, or there could be an error in the source data, hence if you see one let me know and it will make it better for all.

      As for ratings and reviews – social media is what gets me excited about this. For the most part to date the reviews have been fairly opaque (could have been the hotel company giving a great rating for their own hotel), but now with new tools and increased transparency you can see/know if that person is in your trusted network. Hence you still have access to general ratings, but alongside of that you will see reviews from 5-7 from your friends and peers which one most likely will “weight” a bit more.

      Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to contribute!

  51. Quite an interesting study. It’s a nice compilation, but should be taken with a healthy dose of cynicism (like just about anything). Things are definitely trending to online media, but we should be careful of the online stats, as they are reported by online agencies.

    You wouldn’t want to be the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline after only interviewing people with phones. One of the biggest sources of error in statistical sampling is not getting a “representative” population, i.e., surveying all members of one political party will give you different polling results than asking the same questions to members of another.

    Marketing firms often use dubious data to sell “leads” to clients. Take, for example, the claims of a well-known real estate website, to real estate professionals, “we get over 6 million unique hits per month…blah blah blah”. Now, what you really need to do is interpolate how many are actually looking to buy or sell vs. just looking at the market (especially when the market is “spiking” in either direction) and then gauge the number of practicing professionals in a given area to determine whether or not these “hits” actually mean anything. Another firm sells “qualified leads.” What it means by “qualified” is “they filled out forms on our website with contact info, but we have no idea if any of this is true, we don’t even verify that the email address is even valid”.

    Per #2. You also have to count who admits to using any particular type of activity.

    The online students may or may not be exclusively online.

    Also, as Wiki is run by a younger demographic, it’s tone/bias is notably to the left on many social issues.

    • James:

      Great comment – you always want to look at both sides of a discourse, or to put it in more blunt/sophomoric terms, make certain you aren’t doing a “Kool-Aide Keg Stand.”

      Thanks for contributing.

  52. Не подскажете, как ссылки в футере убрать, если он закодирован. С интересом читал ваш блог и тоже решил завести себе на подобную тему. Заранее спасибо.

    • Я не говорю по-русский “, я использую Google Translate, но спасибо за остановки путем!

  53. Wow, so many of these stats are misleading, and the backup is missing for so many more. 33% of 18-34 have never used DVR or TIVO? Is that a joke? Where did you find that?

    • Benjamin:

      Thanks for stopping by. All the the statistics in the video are listed on the bottom of this page. I pulled from various sources. If you see anything in the sources that I used that is incorrect please let me know as that will be helpful for everyone!

      Best, Erik

  54. Hi Erik,

    Great to see your openess to feedback and improvement!

    I’ll echo the thoughts of others regarding some erroneous statistics. I own a recruiting company and I haven’t done any studies but based on our clients as a sample I’d say a relatively low percentage of companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool, let alone a primary one, let alone their primary one (I see you noted the change above). I’m sure that will be shifting, LinkedIn has recently added their collaborative recruitment tool and some new services to help make the process easier.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing the updated version.


    • Michael:

      Thanks for the insight on recruiting! I’ll let you know if I come across updated data. In the meantime, all the best!

      Cheers, Erik

  55. Tremendous article. Love how easy it was to navigate and read.

  56. Good sound and music choices, that makes your video!

  57. That’s alot of numbers! I find number 2 hard to believe, but I have no solid data to back me up. HA Good info. Thanks

  58. А как на блоге можно заработать? У меня есть блог о игре на гитаре. Правда там народа в день не много ходит…человек 20. Можно с него что то заработать?

  59. Erik! This video is awesome! I have shown it to many of my clients and it really opens their eyes to the power and importance of social media…I am trying to put together a video presentation of about my business and would like to know what program/software you used to create this video!! It looks amazing! Let me know!

    • CGreen:

      Thanks for the kind words – I’m glad you liked the video and find it helpful! The program used is Adobe After Effects. I hope this helps!

      Happy Holidays!

  60. R. Edward Turner, Ph.D.

    Impactful… and “fact full”… very well done!

  61. Thanks a lot Erik Qualman for such a nice post about Social Media content is the key to success of your blog.Social Media is one of the best way to keep touch othere .Keep blogging .

  62. The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.

  63. Erik,
    This video is fantastic… my global studies class did a project on what might next be the “social media revolution.” It’s truly someting that was interesting to learn! Again, the video was great, and myself and my friends learned a lot from it… I’ve showed it to everybody I know, and they all found it to be truly inspirational.

    Good job!

  64. Erik, I can’t find fact #22 anywhere in the video.

    • Alex:

      Great point – I’m not sure why I threw that bonus data point in on the article, but I hope you found it relevant. I might have had it in the original script and then cut it out for time once the video was produced. Thanks for the comment and the support!!!

  65. As a Boomer who has been in the video business for over 25 years and employs GenY-ers, I found this video and associated info very inspiring and have shared it with my staff. 2010 marketing in a difficult economy will require some smart thinking and Social Media will play a big part in being successful. Thank you.

    • Ransom:

      Your positive comments about the video mean a ton coming from someone with so much video experience. I greatly appreciate the support. Happy Holidays!

  66. Hi Erik!

    Sat in on the Wiley Network webinar lastweek–great insight and amazing YouTube video! I have some quick source-related questions for you:

    1) Do you, by any chance, have a URL link for where you found the UN Cyberschoolbus PDF report? (#4). Can’t find it anywhere and I need a date of publication, etc.

    2) Same for the McKinsey study? (#3)

    3) Same for the Technorati link that proves #18

    4) Lastly, I just noticed the tiny little emoticon in the upper right hand corner of this page! lol What’s that all about?

    Thanks so much,

    Lauren Amarante

  67. Excellent! I’m comfortable that the stats are directional and presented with insight–no need for hair-splitting. Look forward to reading your book.

    One question: Who does the great music?

    • Cynthia:

      Thanks for the kind words!

      First video: Fat Boy Slim “Right Here Right Now”
      Second Video ROI: “Tennessee” by Bob Sinclair

  68. Nice collection..I was trying to see if my site was among the list of references. :S

  69. Your # 24:
    26.6% blog about products and brand on slide 21 according to the social media research wave, not 34%.

  70. Something for school books…
    Thanks for it!

  71. Great video.

    If you find out how to monetize social media, please send me that video. Here’s another statistic that’s interesting:

    Google’s revenue in three months: $5 Billion.

    Facebook’s revenue in 2008: $500 Million

    But, then again, t’s not always about the money. Social media will never go away but we’ll find a better, and faster way to communicate with like minded people, but the ONLY internet company that is paradigm shifting is Google.

    Google give’s you access to the information, and social media give’s you access to communicating it.

  72. I was wondering if you could explain to me more about what Socialnomics is.

  73. I have been using this video when teaching recently for Northwestern and the University of Illinois marketing and advertising students. While it’s a great video, already it is dated.

    Not a fault of your own, but it is amazing that social media continues to grow, even after the eye popping stats.

    Between your videos and David Armano’s social media visual depictions, you guys make my job so much easier….

    Thank you!

    • Thanks for the kind words!! I was just speaking this week and saying even though the video is 2 months old things move so fast! Facebook already has over 300 million users. A new video will be coming out soon!

      • Erik,

        I realize that I have been a harsh critic, but I remain a strong supporter of Social Media and its benefits. Understanding that a new video is in the works, I would sincerely be interested in assisting you with the fact checking this time out – it will make your message much more credible.

  74. Your link to Marta Kagan’s “What The F**K is Social Media” is broken; it has an extra paren at the end

  75. nice music mate 😉

  76. What software did you use to create this kind of presentation. Please tell

  77. I love the video and the site looks great. As far as I can tell your stats are right on.

  78. The “social media revolution” is more accurately the simple progression of the “information age.” Different, more popular ways of sharing information don’t “revolutionize” the fundamental act of sharing information. I would argue that we are witnessing a social “devolution.” Take Twitter for example – an immeasurable leap in technology from the traditional “snail mail”. But can anyone conceive of writing all their tweets down on paper, addressing an envelope, affixing a stamp, walking to the mail box, etc? Of course not. Because it’s not worth it. The messages are too trivial. And that’s the effect of information technology. The easier it is to send messages, the more watered-down the messages become. Let’s be honest. No one is solving the world’s problems on Twitter or Facebook. 99% of the content out there is self-centred fluff. Meaningful communication is falling by the wayside. I can’t imagine it’s a trend that will have a good outcome. All this really is is a marketer’s dream.

    • Observer:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment to the discussion. Information is becoming “cheap” which in turn means the new currency is “attention.” In the past when we had 3 National Broadcast Channels Information wasn’t cheap. The good news is that today we no longer search for the news, rather the news finds us. We no longer have to sit through 90 minutes of mainly bad content of SNL – rather our friends can pass as the one worthwhile clip.

      The content in social networks isn’t all bad. The Causes Application on Facebook has over 35 million users which is heart warming. Causes empowers anyone with a good idea or passion for change to impact the world. Using the platform, individuals mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements.

      Thanks again for reading and contributing.

    • Observer, your analysis reflects a fairly broad feeling that all this hubbub over social media hype is self-congratulatory blathering. With all due respect, this view focuses only on the more easily discerned blather that is out there.

      For me, Twitter is by now the best source to track the current thinking of responsible professionals in several fields that I follow as a business. It is a path to the articles, presentations, and web sites — and thus the people behind them — where that current thinking is being expressed. This is by no means a trivial benefit of the advances in digital networking.

      Solving the world’s problems is dependent upon personal conviction, commitment, collaboration, and consensus, among other non-technical factors. It is clear that the information-sharing tools we have at hand — whether it is Twitter, Facebook or Slideshare — connect ideas and people in unprecedented, truly revolutionary ways. Whether these become good or bad ways depends on the goodwill, or lack thereof, of the people who have these tools in their hands.

      And equally importantly, how many pizza joints put their twitter addresses on their napkins and boxes.

  79. Hi

    This was very usefull and still unbelievable. Congrats for the good work and hope to see the next video

  80. Here is a linkable source for point #14 about the changes at Boston College:

    It includes an interview with Mary C. Corcoran, associate vice president for user and support services at Boston College. In the interview, she is clear that the reason they did not offer email addresses is because incoming freshman already have established email accounts, not because “e-mail is passe.” The alternative they put in place is an email forwarding service. They do establish an email address for the students, but functionality is limited and simply forwards the email to the personal email addresses they provide.

  81. Hey! Great information on your blog. And that video on Social fads was just awesome. It’s a revolution. I’m working with an amazing Landing Page company. can help you
    build, promote, and earn, using your own affiliate landing page. Keep up on the amazing work!


  82. Very interesting how people who cite the inaccuracies of this video are able to check them, send you feedback and get a response so quickly and entirely over the internet. Proof that social media, web 2.0 (really 3.0 now) is a living breathing thing that is extremely relevant. If any of the facts are underestimated, give things a little time (maybe a few minutes) and they’ll all be true.

  83. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have become common ground for businesses to target potential customers with advertising and promotional material. Video sites such as YouTube allow users to build a profile, upload videos, post comments, and even allow others to subscribe to a channel. Another way is to circulate it through email; people usually forward information to their peers if they find something informative and interesting.

  84. Привет. Подскажите, как перевести блог с бесплатного хостинга, вот мой блог апокалипсис
    Вроде как wordpress должен легко двигаться на свежую площадку, но у меня все время ошибки в базе данных. Я глянул там, хотя в php ничего не понимаю вообще и привлекать сторонних программистов то ведь не хочется. Может подскажите, как безболезненно перенести блог?

  85. Nice video, both in stats and in presentation. I saw it on YouTube earlier, and traveled here to look at the stats.

    May I ask a slightly different question? I presume the video is made in PowerPoint (and maybe a bit in Flash). Am I right?

  86. I just started to study your work, but the 1. thing I realized is that you try to use your wisdom (the social media) to support success. What I think is logical.

  87. Again with the misleading numbers? I believe there is a factual inaccuracy in the MediaCurves report on Social Media Usage. Putting aside that their survey set was only 267 individuals (not nearly enough to represent the country statistically). They state that: “a vast majority of Americans (87%) reported that they currently use a social networking site.” This is simply not factually possible. According to Pew Internet, only about 80% of Americans are users of the internet as of April 2009. Their claim would indicate that more Americans use social networks on the internet then actually use the internet. I suspect their data reflects a percentage of Americans who use the internet (and is probably suspect at that anyway due to sample set problems). If we give them the benefit of the doubt then the overall usage rate of social networks among Americans would be roughly 69.6% (87% of 80%) – a difference of roughly 17% (or 52 million people) from their claim.

    This is the problem, people believe whatever junk they’re told in social media and have stopped thinking rationally.

    • Noah,
      Our sample is taken from a large national panel and our results are statistically significant. However, we should have clarified that our sample is made up of internet users since our surveys are taken online. Thank you for the comment. We will work to insure that we are clearer about our panel in future reports. To view other studies we have done, please feel free to go to
      Thank you,

      • Ben,

        I’m not sure that 267 respondents qualifies as a “large national panel”. Furthermore, your website STILL misstates the claim that this is a statistic based on all Americans – why have you not corrected it?

        Lastly, the article states that the poll was conducted on – does that mean that respondents were all visitors to the mediacurves website?

        – Noah

  88. conducted a study on 267 Americans that found a vast majority of Americans (87%) reported that they currently use a social networking site. Facebook ranks at the top of the list, with 74% of respondents indicating that they are currently signed up for the site. Less than half of Americans (42%) indicated that they use MySpace, compared to one-third (34%) who reported that they use Twitter and 15% who reported using LinkedIn. More in depth results can be seen at:

  89. I don’t doubt that the social media revolution is going on, but some of the supporting “facts” need more scrutiny, e.g. 80% companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool for recruitment; Ashton and Ellen with more followers than the populations of Norway and Ireland (see Sean Carmody’s comment).

  90. I am a bit confused about #12. According to twitter, Ashton has 3.6m followers and Ellen 3.3m. While they both beat Panama (3.3m people), Ireland (4.1.m) and Norway (4.6m) are both bigger than either follower count. Perhaps you meant Ashton and Ellen combined have more followers than any one of these countries. If this is the case, then the statement is still misleading as it would suggest that Ashton and Ellen combined have more followers than the population of Ireland, Norway and Panama combined, which is certainly not the case.

  91. Love this site!

  92. Cute presentation and almost believable if it weren’t so over the top. Nothing like a little self promotion to get the book sales going, tho’. By your own admission, most of the stats are made up or exaggerated or come from unreliable sources. E.G. 6,13,14,15,20 and 25.
    Social media are still too new to have any reliable survey or study results. There’s actually people who have abandoned Facebook because they’ve become bored with it. I’m sorry, was there any mention of MySpace? Thanks, but I’ll wait to see valid research results.

  93. Hey I was just wondering what studies showed that Wikipedia may be more accurate than the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Is it possible to get some links to these facts?

  94. This is probably the most concise, presentation of the power of social media I’ve run into so far. I hope you don’t mind if I shamelessly use this in the future for a presentation and as a reference (to what people should be paying attention to) on one of my future social media projects (giving you credit of course). Excellent work!

  95. Thanks, that’s a great video to capture all those statistics. I was happy to see that you have found TrendsSpotting’s research blog as your source.

  96. Number 36 in the video is misleading. It states that “successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy Listening first, selling second.” The fact is, David Ogilvy was a pioneer in listening to consumers. He founded his legendary agency on consumer research. Listening to consumers and translating that data into insights and actionable marketing strategies was his specialty. Social media is simply a larger pool of respondents from which marketers can draw data.

    • John:

      Ogilvy is great and I do a better job in pointing out his amazing career (considered greatest advertiser/marketer of the 20th Century, etc.) in my speaches. For version 2 of the video who do you think would be better to have there than Ogilvy? Obviously needs to be well known. Let me know your thoughts.

      Best, Erik

  97. You video is amazing….You really hit the nail on the head. I look forward to your second video…I have watched your video a number of times and shared it with others. Keep up the good work and research!

  98. Great video, I appreciated it. It’s true social media is growing rapidly and enormously, particularly with Facebook. And I think Twitter fills an appealing piece of the puzzle. I still think Social Media fundementally is still in it’s infancy, and perhaps always will be. The building blocks are becoming established but there are many huge blocks left to uncover. I think of it as uncovering the answers in a hardy game of Family Feud. There are always these pesky answers at the top that are uncovered. I think if answers could spawn sibling answers, then that would replicate very well what i’m talking about. If you think of it like that, Social Media is growing and creating new opportunities at all levels and it’s an organic growing machine like a wildfire.

    There will be ways of tying it all together, and naturally it will be. Very soon.

  99. EJAZ – Nope. Twice isn’t too much.

    I wish everyone asked a few more questions a few more times.

  100. This video is really amazing. Good job!

  101. Some of these statistics are just plain wrong. For instance, your very first one:

    “By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network ”

    Your own source cited here shows this to be wrong. That source cites a study showing that 96% of ONLINE teens and tweens have joined a social network. Apart from the fact that “Generation Y” is not the same as today’s teens & tweens, not all of these people are online, believe it or not, so to say that 96% of Gen Yers are online is simply incorrect.

    This does, however, show another issue with today’s online world – the tendency of people to take for granted what they read online without checking sources or facts. It’s exactly how misinformation gets so easily and quickly spread.

    • Mary: Thanks for sending this out. One of the main reasons I site the sources (unlike many videos) is that the quick/cut editing nature of the video (to make it viewable) doesn’t lend itself to deeply footnote each point. The main thought is the same however, today’s younger generations have adapted tools like Facebook/MySpace and they are a living, breathing part of their day to day lives. Your comment is very helpful and thanks for the interest.

  102. @equalman

    Excellent video (somewhat undermined by the statistical inaccuracies noted above). Nonetheless, I think it makes a solid point – the world has changed and marketers have yet to figure out what to do next.

    My quibble – the commentary about blogs. According to the 2008 Technorati State of the Blogosphere report ( shows that > 94% of blogs have not been updated in the last 120 days. If it has gone 6 months without updating – nobody is reading it.

    (I’m still going to share with friends and clients.)

    MotiveQuest LLC

  103. It’s wonderful Stats show. We translate some of information from your video into Korean. Thanks for sharing.

  104. Excellent video. Thanks for sharing.

  105. EJAZ… you’ve asked the question several times and clearly the answer is: No, equalman, cannot properly source the citation.

    • Hey goose, thanks for pointing that out. But if equalman can’t take out/edit his presentation for lack of original and important citations, I don’t think asking TWICE is too much or is it?

  106. Great Video Erik! I just ordered your book, and I’m interested to see more creative ways that you are positioning social media for use in the business realm. I run a social media marketing agency and have found that by helping our clients interact with their potential clients better, they are able to do a whole lot more business, even in the “bad economy”. I’ll let you know my thoughts once I read your book!

  107. Some studies show Wikipedia is more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica.

    Can you cite the source?

  108. Nice stuff, but that TM on Socialnomics is not really in line with what you “preach”, is it? 🙂

  109. I consider myself a social media evangelist, so I am disappointed to say this video, despite its best intentions, has put me into full rant mode.

    As a result, I thought a blog post would do it better justice than a comment here, so here is the link:

    Bottom line: Social media is great, but what are its major criticisms? The Socialnomics video accidentally winds up supporting the big three:

    a) Disregard for intellectual property –
    The Socialnomics video is an unabated knock-off of the “Did You Know” videos. It even use the same Fatboy Slim song used in Did You Know 3.0, but failed to mention the obvious source of inspiration.

    b) Social media impact is difficult to measure –
    Socialnomics includes several grossly misleading figures that are undeniably inaccurate, plus a measured helping of opinion.

    c) Social media is overhyped and can not live up to its inflated expectations –
    The inaccurate data seems to consistently describe impossibly large impacts. In most cases, the hyperbole is completely unnecessary, with an accurate figure likely to elicit a similar response from the viewer.

    This Socialnomics video provides an excellent (although completely inadvertent) example of the viral power of social media. While the technology can support such noble pursuits as the promotion of democracy and facilitate the spread of truth, one must be cognizant that it can just as easily spread inaccuracy feeding ill informed mob thinking.

    I think this video makes a great case for the value provided by legitimate journalists and research firms where there are embedded editing and review processes. Considering Socialnomics has published a book, I hope you take the high road, admit the mistakes and reedit the video to provide accurate information. A tip of the hat to the Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod and Jeff Brenman “Did You Know” series would also be a good step forward.

    Then I could promote this video video as a good source of information regarding social media.

    • Robert:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Where did you watch the video? On YouTube it should have an annotation at the end thanking many of the items you mention. It has been passed around so much please let me know and we can resolve any appropriate items.

      As it is a social experiment we are attempting to capture feedback and improve! Cheers – equalman

      • To be honest, I saw the video on the main YouTube site and did not notice the green bubble from @equalman. Personally, I believe you owe Fitch/McLeod/Brenman considerably more than a five second “you might like this too” reference. Describing the creative origin in the YouTube description would be a start since the video is so similar to Did You Know 3.0.

        The five seconds for the Fatman Slim reference could be sufficient, but that would depend on the licensing arrangement.

        Most importantly, considering the 350,000+ views, you owe it to the viewer to provide accurate information – you are not positioning the video as an experiment or a work in progress – it is promoting a website and book that position you as an expert on the topic.

        My recommendation would be to correct the data and recreate the video. The inconsistencies underine your message.

  110. I guess I am in an awkward position to have cited one of your slides and I can’t find its source thus reducing my own credibility unless you help me out on this one.

    I am talking about #17 specifically which states: Some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica.

    How can I find out about those studies? It’s easier to get data on a site’s no. of articles as well as which languages are they served in but for Wikipedia to be more accurate than Brittanica would mean Wikipedia outsmarts one of the oldest Encyclopedia team of researchers, academics, scholars etc. The irony is that I thought of this after I had tweeted your slide without checking out the source first.

    Do you think you can get me the links or titles?

    Thanks in advance,

  111. The video is great with all these data points and clearly shows that this is a revolution.

    I’m however disappointed by the conclusion or advices given relative to the outcome of all of this and what brands/people should do.

    Revolutions are destructive. We see what’s happening to newspapers. This should be a call to action for anything that’s the produce of the mass media economy … starting with brands and corporations.

    If products& services find us, many existing distribution channel also have to be re invented.

    This goes way beyond customer support and marketing.

    I guess I need to read the book to find more

    Thanks for the good work!

    • Thank for the comment! You are spot on that there are many things to be ironed out and the ramifications are more widespread than many realize. Many of this is covered in the book and I’d love to know your opinion if you are inclined to read it. Thanks again for the kind words – it keeps me going!

  112. Statistic 29: “90% of people that can TiVo ads do.”

    Is there a critical word missing from that statistic or I am misinterpreting?

    • Grant:

      Thanks for the feedback. The grammar could be improved I’m sure – but was necessary for the video format. The point of this data point is that when given the chance 90% of people will fast forward through commercials, 10% will let them play. Thanks for the feedback and I hope this helps!

  113. Great presentation, I know some of our consultants are using it at clients to create SM awareness. Splendid achievement!

  114. Thanks for the detailed and compelling stats.

    As the Director for our local Main Street program we’ve been working hard to utilize social media as part of our revitalization efforts, and generating interest among small business owners has been slow and difficult because they often don’t see social media as relevant to them or their business.

    I’ll look forward to sharing your post (and purchasing the book) .

    Timothy Bishop, CMSM
    Ellensburg Downtown Association

  115. Great video. Not only was it super interested, but the graphics were great. Visually very nice.

    Nice job. Keep on keepin’ on (in 140 characters or less, of course).

  116. Stat #4 is retarded. I was a sysadmin on an internet connected system in 1990 and the network was old at that point and far from 50m users. There are a handful of Harvard kids who claim to have started Facebook, and that was in 2003. The appropriate comparison is not radio and tv to iPod but radio and tv to MP3 players, which was a lot longer than 3 years. And the question should be how long did it take to sell iphone applications to 50M people, not how many apps were sold.

    A lot of these “facts” are classic examples of how to lie with statistics.

  117. To Elvis: Why am I an idiot? Because I’d like an accurate statement of facts? Because I dislike distorting “data” to fit a POV rather than looking at facts in their context to truly understand what they mean?

    There’s nothing idiotic about any of those things.

    And there is no reason the video has to contain “flawed data”.

  118. Erik,

    I have a few more shockingly true facts that you might find useful for your next project:

    – A NY-based cable company reported that 75% of their traditional TV users have migrated to using DVRs or watching video online.
    – In just the last three years, ad spend for mobile phones has increased from essentially nothing to 50% of traditional TV ad spend… and is yielding better results!
    – Unique visitors to Network TV websites exceeded traditional TV viewers for shows targeting Generation Y viewers… two years ago!

    I am so excited about these new facts. They are really compelling, so I hope you enjoy them. Please use as you see fit to forward our cause!

    I would also like to make a “shout out” and an extra special thanks to the numerous posters that appreciated the video, know the data is flawed, yet are going to distribute it anyway. Like Erik, you all get that we need videos like this one to encourage clients to invest in our product (like a book). Big thinking (and sales) is so much easier when not constrained by critical thought, reality, or ethics. You guys rock.

    Gossage, you are an idiot. Pbbtttt…. 😉

    jkottcamp, Point well taken. But it would have been AWESOME if the video was real. I was so disappointed to find out that it exploits the format to mislead rather than inform.


    • Elvis:

      Thanks for the positive post and data insights! Let me know your thoughts on the first few chapters of the book when you have a moment!

  119. People in their 90s today grew up without electricity…

    …some of them now fly around the world Tweeting on the iPhone while headed to get their heart transplant in Singapore.

  120. Hey, Erik!

    Here`s my contribution directly from Brazil:

    I took the time and trouble to translate the data into Portuguese which I believe, if not completely accurate, represent our actual reality in a very true way to its fundamental concept.

    I`m a journalist working with social media from São Paulo and loved the idea for the book (will manage to have it!) and I hope the readers from get curious to know more about your work too.

    Congrats and cheers from Brazil!

    Letícia Castro
    Editor at MasterNewMediaBR, MasterNewMediaES and

  121. Phenomenal video. Amazing facts. Thanks for the compilation. It sums up quickly that if you learn to harness the power of the internet, you got something big!

    • Theresa:

      Thanks!! Would love your thoughts on the first couple chapters of the book if you have a second! – Erik

  122. @Michelle: Earlier today I had a long back and forth with a journalist about the health care debate and I was pointing out to her how little fact was in what she had been writing and that what Americans need now, more than ever, is _good_ information. This video, in a weird way, reinforces the worst part of social media – its ability to turn data that is incorrect into accepted “fact” for the larger community and _that_ has the potential to be very damaging. Do we care deeply about the actual percentage of businesses that use LinkedIn? No, not really. But we do care when social media creates straw bogeymen like the birther movement, the death panels canard, and 9/11 conspiracy theories.

    I certainly don’t want to equate this video with those issues but I think that the popularity of this video shows how statistics, well presented and passed along socially, distort our understanding of the world we actually live in.

    I would like to remix the video and add a last stat: 99% of viewers will never fact check these claims.

  123. Great video. Stats are used to get a point across, regardless of how they are collected (that’s why we have stats). The point is obvious, stats or no stats.

    I referenced this on our corporate blog because I believe strongly that the point needs to be driven home. Status quo marketing will get you nowhere but under a steamroller.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  124. Social media would be more useful as a tool for customer relations if people weren’t scared of getting sued the minute they said they were unhappy with a company.
    But nice work.

    • Sarah:

      Good point. Hopefully at some point in time all of this helps get us away from our sue-happy culture in the U.S. Thanks for the comment and feel free to let me know what you think of the book…if it interests you that is 🙂 TGIF

  125. So interesting how people view the same information and come away with completely different perspectives.

    Especially the people who are so quick to point out what they find WRONG or potentially INACCURATE . You are missing the point entirely in my opinion. My perspective, when I read these types of posts is that they really want their 15 seconds of recognition for how “smart” they appear to be (for providing an analysis of a video that’s clearly designed to capture attention and REFERENCES those that are in fact more researched) in a comment section of a blog (social media)

    And are in fact just helping to prove the point.

    Media has gone SOCIAL. All points of view welcome. Bring it on!

    Nicely done.

    Create a great day!

  126. As already told you, that’s a great job Erik.

    we posted an italian translation on our blog:

  127. #31 doesn’t hold water. According to Neilsen in Q1 2009 (the latest period they offer the data for right now) only 5.8% of mobile users watch video. Most of these stats are junk.

    #10 80% of companies use LinkedIn? What is their sample set? There are over 25 million employers in the US alone. LinkedIn is a global site but if we ignore the rest of the world and we assume 25 million firms in the US we can see a problem. LinkedIn only this summer passed 45 million users, to have 80 percent of businesses that means that, 20 million of those users are employers. So only 1/2 of the users of LinkedIn are employees or job hunters? Not a chance…

  128. #17 is actually two stats, and the “some studies” which one would imagine would queue an obvious reference lightbulb moment, seems not to have gone off.

  129. Hey,
    number 17 is technically 2 facts. You cite the source of the language data, but don’t cite any of the studies comparing to Britannica. I know I’ve read them, so I think it would be responsible for you to divide this point into 17a and 17b with appropriate links

  130. Very interesting list. I do have to stand up for David Ogilvy though.

    He was much more than the original Mad Man all about the sale. Granted, he is best known for his advertising, which is not social, but he was a major proponent of listening first…advocating audience research being at the core of every campaign. In fact, he came from a research background.

    • Chris:

      Thanks for standing up for David Ogilvy. If I had to do it again I would have left him out of the video (comparison to Dale Carnegie) as the quick cutting doesn’t allow to fully explain the context, which I’m able to do in my presentations and speeches. I’d also explain this better in the book. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  131. Great video, Erik! And, congrats at over 120,000 views on youtube set to a great song (I’ve been singing that “right here, right now for most of the day while humming the beat, lol)! I’ve already posted a link on facebook, twitter (@ki2mylife), and sent snail mail emails out to other friends & co-workers.

    Good luck on the book (just ordered on Amazon — any way I can get it autographed?)


    • Thanks AJ! I think glassdoor is in the book – great concept. Happy to supply an autograph – send me the address and it will be on the way. If you want the book signed we can figure that out too! Thanks again.

  132. I enjoyed the video and while I also am concerned about the accuracy of some of the data and/or the conclusions drawn from the source data, I thought it does a good job of inviting the viewer into learning more about the impact of social media. If every viewer simply fact checked all the cited sources, they would learn an awful lot about Social Media

  133. Just found this site. I love. I re-hashed your post on my blog. I’m going to be a subscriber now.

  134. Unfortunately there exist conflicting research results for Twitter usage. Some say mobile devices are dominant, others say online access on desktops/laptops accounts for 50%.
    But: great list of stats! There is so much going on, that whatever is available to help understand is very welcome in social media marketing and viral seeding.

    • Tom:

      I agree that there is some conflicting data out there on Twitter. The hope as we move along is that more and more of the data starts to be relatively consistent. I’m glad you like the compilation of stats!

    • ¡Gracias por la revisión! Me alegro de que haya encontrado el vídeo de la ayuda. Las fuentes de los datos que figuran en el artículo, por lo que espero que esto ayude también.

      Mi español no es bueno, pero estoy aprendiendo 🙂

  135. Hey Erik,

    Outstanding effort. And nothing like good ole crowdsourced QC is there? Here’s another nugget you can stir in:

    “Women over 40 years of age accounted for 53% of female core (social media) users.” According to

    Good luck with the book.

  136. @ Abby facebok’s carbon footprint! That’s a great addition as well

  137. loved the vid, wonder if it’s possible to get a copy online of the book? when I ask for it in The Netherlands, they’ll probably only can/will deliver the expensive hardcopy and I want either the ebook version or the paperback.

    • Adri:

      Glad you liked the Vid. I’m a big fan of The Netherlands!

      You can order the hardcover online and also the Kindle version is available now!

  138. I find your “50 million users” timeline very confusing. Why don’t you show how long it took Facebook to get 50 million users? Is it because Facebook launched in Feb 2004 and by Feb 2007 had 18 million users and thus was slower to reach 50 million users than the internet and the iPod? This is not the implication your video gives.

  139. It’s an amazing stat – 1 billion app downloads for the iphone; but it’s not the same as the others in point 4.
    Mixing users and downloads is misleading.
    Still – a billion – wow!

    • Agreed that the placement in the Vid was a bit tricky, but just like you the stat blew me away and I had to include! Thanks for the feedback!

  140. I truly enjoyed this video, I thought it was great! As the person who runs all our social media for my work – and had to convince people that a blog, twitter and facebook page were very important to have, I could have used this video earlier this year 🙂 I did forward to a few people though just to reiterate my points. Your blog overall is really good too!

  141. Wow — impressive rundown. Thanks for including the source material as well.

  142. Awesome video compilation from a creative and informational perspective!
    Keep up the good work!

  143. Bugabike – I love it, where can i download the sound music ? Its verry Sabamba music 🙂 … Just fantastic video.

    • The Music you can buy for $1.29 on iTunes (FatBoy Slim “Right Here, Right Now” form 1999 – you may like some of their other stuff too!). Glad you liked the video.

  144. If the facts enlisted are from the video only – its ok then. Otherwise this two would have been some interesting addition :

    Average number of “friends” in a Facebook network is 120

    And Facebooks carbon footprint is 1/2 of NY city 🙂

  145. Brilliant collection of stats, the evidence seems to be compelling. Top sound track to so many thanks to you and Fat Boy Slim for an uplifting five minutes:)

  146. me again…

    “34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands”.
    Acutally it has decreased to 31.7% according to Wave 4

  147. Thank you for this nice collection.

    However, number 13 “80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices” is wrong. I think you meant:

    80% comes from third-party programs on smartphones or computers (and not via

  148. Oh yeah! Social Media is definitely not a fad! Your statistics are amazing, even if we halve them; this changes the game in a big way for the brands. Social media related ads will soon chip away search ad share. Look out Google, Y! and MSFT.

    • Akash:

      I agree that the Big 3 (maybe 2 now with Microhoo) need to be on the lookout, but will they be too busy fighting amongst themselves?

  149. Alicia, thanks for being impressed by my analyses, but there’s nothing impressive about it. It’s just simple investigation sparked by a healthy amount of skepticism.

    Anyway, to your last question, I’m quite fond of social media, but making it something it isn’t is not a good idea.

    For all the reasons suggested. And more.

  150. I found your video through @copyblogger via Twitter (well what do you know??). I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can vouch for the astounding power of social media in the small business world. It should serve as a convincing motivator for entrepreneurs wish to see their online businesses grow far beyond what traditional advertising will offer.

    And to Gossage – you keep showing up with quite impressive analyses of all missteps in the video. My question to you is whether you’ve experienced the wonders of social media, or are you just interested in analyzing?

    • Alicia –

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the video and I’m also excited that you are seeing the benefits of social media from a small business perspective. I have long touted that often the best place for Fortune 500 companies to look for social media best practices is in the small business arena. Small businesses often lead in innovation when it comes to social media. Thanks!

  151. It’s a bit annoyingo to see the author of the music used all along the clip go uncredited. I won’t even guess about licensing.

    • Thanks for the comment! Credit is given and the hope is this produces tons of sales for Fatboy Slim! I believe it has from the e-mails I’ve received.

  152. I’m glad that you’re glad that many have pointed out that your video argument, which is completely built on statistics, is in my places, wrong, and in many more places, misleading.

    That is not a good way to “wake everyone up to the fact that Social Media is only going to become bigger with time”.

    It’s irresponsible. And unethical.

    And it’s damaging to furthering any argument about and/or for the place social media has in our society.

    It would be much more valuable to to create a video that uses facts that are accurate.

    My assumption is that you can’t do this. Or it’s too much trouble to be truthful.

  153. I found your video via Kyle Lacy’s blog this morning and watched with great interest.

    I work with a number of businesses trying to figure out how to use social media to their advantage. They are having a hard time figuring it out as it is a huge cultural shift. I will definitely use your video in working with clients and will be sure to credit you! I will also be pre-ordering your book.

    Thanks for your great work. I also have very much enjoyed the comments here as well as your thoughtful responses.

  154. Erik,
    I’m surprised and disappointed to find no reference/credit given to the What the F**k is Social Media presentation ( that I published over a year ago, given that almost half of the video cites the slides in my deck verbatim. Was that an accidental oversight perhaps?

    • Marta,

      This presentation is awesome/amazing! I have updated the post with a special callout to make certain everyone checks it out – it’s well worth everyone’s time.

      Also, if you haven’t seen Marta Kagan’s “What The F**K is Social Media” prsentation, it’s amazing! Many of the same eye-popping facts are contained in it – as well as many more. Plus, it does a much better job of providing insight than my video which is designed to grab attention. Kagan’s presentation informs, check it out!

      Let me know if you are in Boston anytime soon as I’d love to grab coffee!

  155. Social media is really very powerful, that each of us has been moved by it. We can’t deny that we have at least one account on every social media sites. Hence, those who have an online business used social media to scatter his/her business.

  156. yet another statistical data about the net and stuff.

  157. This video and blog post are a fascinating example of a social phenomenon — how statistics, shorn of context and eventually of sources, can spread like a meme.

    Let’s just take as one example, statistic #2, that social media has overtaken porn as the top activity on the Web.

    Your source is Huffington Post, but when you click on the Huffington Post link you find the actual article is on Reuters. Going there you find out that the actual research was done by Hitwise ( and that the actual fact is that social networks have overtaken porn in *Web Searches*, which is not the same as activity. And even Reuters doesn’t tell us what region this is in — is the US, or worldwide?

    It’s not that I don’t believe it, it’s that in the absence of context these statistics lose much of their meaning.

    Another example that caught my eye is your statement that 35% of book sales at Amazon are on Kindle, since I knew that in fact it’s 35% of UNIT sales of books where books are available in both formats. Since many books are not available on Kindle, and since the Kindle versions usually cost $9.99, less than the print versions, this overstates the case. In your list of stats you say “when available” which isn’t in the video, and doesn’t quite cover it anyway.

    And what are we to make of the statistics for which you couldn’t find the source?

    The video is getting a lot of views and congratulations, it’s very sexy. And people remove context from statistics all the time. Adding the sources and details to the video would have made it very cluttered and not very interesting. My question is, is this what you want to be known for?

    P.S. Thanks to either you or your publisher for sending me a copy of your book.

    • Josh:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and I’m glad that you found the video of interest! I’m a huge fan of Groundswell and wanted to make sure my publisher (Wiley) sent you a copy of Socialnomics as soon as possible.

      You are correct in your comments, particularly on the Amazon note. It would have been a challenge visually to embed: 35% of sales are for the Kindle when it is offered both in Kindle and book format. Even more impressive to me is the photo of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with the large chart showing this % was just 13% a few months ago and that the Kindle 2 adoption helped dramatically increase it to 35%. I was having a conversation with Amazon the other day and requested if they could pull stats of tech vs. non-tech books. Tech books probably index above 35% for Kindle and conversely below 35% for non-tech titles.

      The purpose of the video was to wake everyone up to the fact that Social Media is only going to become bigger with time. The purpose of the book Socialnomics is to educate individuals and businesses on what this means for them and how to thrive in this new world.

      I’d love to grab coffee to catch-up whenever we are both in Boston or the Bay Area. Cheers!

  158. I hope you don’t mind, but I subtitled the video in Japanese with dotSUB. Please let me know if you prefer a different CC license.

  159. That is interesting! Those two can mobilize people that account for 3 nations! It was no surprise that thoughtpick blog got 20,000 visitor in 3 hours when Ashton Kutcher retweet one of our posts

  160. OK

    Cool video for sure. thanks for that, wonder how long it took to produce and put that together, any chance of enlightening me?
    Research is all based on the target audience.

    Seems to me it was focusing on Generation Y, then all the above ‘might’ be applicable.

    I would agree that it is not a fad, but much more work needs to be done on MANY Aspects of the social media, at the moment, it is early adopter phase, and everyone ‘try it and see’, which means that loyalty is limited, unlike the traditional world.

    Future is with the ‘fully integrated’ world, where social media becomes ‘social business world’, where personal ID/Security/payments etc. are fully integrated and protected.

    just my initial thoughts.


  161. Great post! This is so helpful. I have sent your video to all my friends and family.

    Again great job!

    Take Care

  162. Nice collection..I was trying to see if my site was among the list of references. :S

    • I love Techcrunchies – definitely will use this as a resource down the line more and more. Thanks for the comment!

  163. Thank you for this research; I’ve found this very helpful.

    I hope you don’t mind that I’m using your video as a tool to persuade ‘non believers’

  164. You’ve done a great job with this and I will share your hard work. Congrats. Will also pre-order your book…

    As you may or may not know, I’m a big believer inand also student of the “social” aspects of social media, spending much of my time studying the sociology behind the technology (well and the tech too of course). It’s bigger than we think…these numbers only trend towards not only a fueling a fundamental shift in how we communicate, but also a fundamental shift in how we behave. We are empowering a new genre of digital extroverts who carry what I refer to as “the verizon network” with them as they traverse online and offline.

    In 2008 I discussed many of these elements in “The Social Revolution is our Industrial Revolution” and “The State of Social Media” and it’s even more compelling to see the momentum documented in a video like this.

    The marvel of social media is the people who take technology and make it do things we never envisioned…

    • Thanks for the kind words Brian! I look forward to reading your posts – they sound great. Love your line: The marvel of social media is the people who take technology and make it do things we never envisioned…

  165. @colinfast – good point. that study appears to have been performed online, and as a result would skew heavily toward internet-savvy respondents.

    Any thoughts, Erick?

    • Thanks for the feedback! Definitely not a zero sum game when it comes to online learning and I didn’t mean to convey that. Interpersonal teaching will still play a major roll now and in the future. It will be augmented by online tools. One great one for learning languages is this social learning network: Thanks for the feedback and have a great weekend!

  166. Some of the “facts” here seem more like interpretations you’ve made that are favorable to your POV rather than facts.

    For instance, if you read the abstract on the difference in outcomes between face to face vs. online learning, it turns out that kids do better with a BLENDED experience (ie, both face to face learning AND online learning conditions used together) and that such an experience includes extra time and lessons over just face to face learning.

    The conclusion to draw is, arguably, that online learning can help boost outcomes when integrated into more traditional learning methods… NOT that online learning conditions are superior to face to face learning.

    But here’s the abstract, verbatim:

    The difference between student outcomes for online and face-to-face classes—measured as the difference between treatment and control means, divided by the pooled standard deviation—was larger in those studies contrasting conditions that blended elements of online and face-to-face instruction with conditions taught entirely face-to-face. Analysts noted that these blended conditions often included additional learning time and instructional elements not received by students in control conditions. This finding suggests that the positive effects associated with blended learning should not be attributed to the media, per se. An unexpected finding was the small number of rigorous published studies contrasting online and face-to-face learning conditions for K–12 students. In light of this small corpus, caution is required in generalizing to the K–12 population because the results are derived for the most part from studies in other settings (e.g., medical training, higher education).

  167. Wow, that is truly amazing dude!


  168. wonderful post I will share!

  169. Thanks for putting together a compelling story told in a few minutes. I will share your video with lots of folks who need to get up to speed with digital world.

  170. While this video is impressive, I do question a few of the figures. Also, I would expect that a columnist covering social media would provide some “sharing” options for their blog. Nice work though.

    • James: Thanks for liking the video. Good call on the missing “chiclets” not sure how that happened, but they have been added back in so share away! Have a great weekend.

  171. You’ve misstated your data.

    I checked the very first fact the video cites — 96% of Gen Y use social media.

    The data you reference actually says 96% of Gen Y *who are already online* have tried social media at least once. And they include email as social media.

    That’s a far cry from what you claimed. It makes me wonder if the rest of your “research” is equally sloppy and misleading.

    • Howard – thanks for the interest. Keep the feedback/comments/challenges coming as it will only make version 2 that much stronger. Thanks again for the interest/help! Have a great weekend.

  172. Erik my bad on the above comment — Oops you are Erick Qualman… I was trying to protect you from yourself when I thought I was protecting you from theft of your work… I got the link for your post from Twitter and loved it and saw it again posted without your by line, etc… anyways, glad its you and yours. Add me on Twitter if you’d please and let’s share a good laugh. Best!

    • Thanks for the look out! I appreciate it. Yes, we are one in the same I write for the social media column for Search Engine Watch 2x per month.

  173. You took this content from a an article written by Erick Qualman of Search Engine Watch on August 10th, 2009. You didn’t even credit him for his work. How much of the other content on your site is acquired the same way?

    • Thannks for the lookout – you are correct and the same person. I write a social media column for SEW 2x per month. Cheers!

  174. Cool video, but I have an extremely difficult time believing this stat:

    80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees.

    How can that possibly be true? I’d guess that 80% of companies have never even heard of LinkedIn.

    • Colin: Thanks for the post. This should read 80% use LinkedIn as “a” primary tool not as “their” primary tool. I’m traveling right now, but I also believe they updated the study recently so that it’s higher than 80%, but I’ll have to fact check that when I get out of this “tin box.” However I believe I list the source in below the article. Thanks for the feedback!

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