Majority of Internet Users Still Don't Share
A recent report by eMarketer on the trends in user-generated content indicates that less than half of the world's Internet users maintain a social networking profile or upload photos and videos to a website. In addition, with more than 130 million blogs indexed by Technorati, less than 13% of US users surveyed engaged in writing a blog.
The survey also highlights cultural differences in the world's web access. In China, 46% of Internet users have written a blog, while in Japan over a third of mobile users have accessed social networking sites. Users in Russia, China, Brazil and India outpaced US consumers in uploading media to the web. Consumer behavior around the world appears to be influenced as much by availability of the broadband web as it is by the need to share news or to connect with friends. In countries where access to news is tightly controlled, tools that support word of mouth communication tend to be more valued. For consumers in the US, however, sharing and accessing product information seems to be the largest motivator for Internet users.
Last week, the Pew Research Center for People and the Press published results of its recent survey of 1,504 US adults 18 or older, which indicated that social networking or blogging sites have not made much of a difference in consumers' quality of life. The survey was conducted from December 9-13, 2009, during the holiday shopping season when electronics are top of mind with consumers.
Across the board, however, micro-blogging seems to be the slowest growing trend, with all countries reporting lower than expected usage of status update services like Twitter.