When we think of advances in communication; the postal system, the telephone, and it could be argued that social media is just as important. This fine tuning of the web coupled with widespread use of smart mobile devices has allowed people from all over the world to easily connect with each other. 74% of all internet-using adults log in to social media platforms according to the Pew Research Center. Astoundingly 70% of the world’s population reportedly logged on to Facebook on August 24, 2015. That is a historic moment in time!
To help put the impact of social media into perspective, a new infographic has been released that focuses on the top 9 social sites.
Lots of people have crunched the numbers over the years to reveal how many people use such sites, but when they’re growing every single day the sheer scale is not really captured. Instead the Social Media in Real Time counter visually displays the ongoing growth of social media from the second you load the page.
Platforms covered include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. As every second goes by key indicators from all of these sites continually rise, based on the latest averages.
To give an example, in just 3 minutes and 15 seconds, 100 new people began using Twitter, 80 of those were doing so through a mobile device, the users searched Twitter 4.7 million times, and over 1.12 million individual Tweets were made. In just an hour the sheer amount of communications made is mind boggling.
Of course, social media users are bombarded with data every day. We come to know how many friends we have, how many people liked our posts; it’s a big popularity contest and in some ways, we obsess over it. Celebrities are therefore obviously leading the race, while some people become celebrities through their success on social media itself. The real-time counter hones in on some traditional stars to illustrate just how much reach they have.
In just 6 minutes and 45 seconds, pop icon Katy Perry amassed a further 182 Twitter followers. That’s more than the average person will ever gain in one month. Soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo gained a further 76 Facebook fans. And singer Adele’s new single “Hello” got another 93,555 views on YouTube, which is currently the most successful song in the video sharing site’s entire history.
Looking at such numbers it’s hard to ignore the impact that this is having on our global society. Whether it’s positive or not is up for debate. You could argue that by coming together culture ends up becoming one giant mundane melting pot. But you could also argue that it speeds up the development of nations, particularly those who have not necessarily been exposed to progressive ideas. Everyone has the ability to express themselves, and the world has the ability to respond.
We might also consider how the role of traditional media is becoming obsolete. It used to be that if a major event took place, such as a war, we would have to rely on politicians and professional news networks (possibly with agendas) to gather and present the information to us. Today those in the war zone themselves are giving us their perspectives immediately on Twitter. In fact, because social media is such an effective communication method, it has been integral to the organization of revolutions and political movements themselves.
The list of discussion is endless. Is social media an invasion of privacy? Is it making people less social in the face to face environments? Has it made political correctness go too far?
Whatever the impact and whatever the future brings, social media plays a gigantic role in our lives. The numbers don’t lie.
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