The use of social media continues to grow at a rapid pace, with platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn hungrily consuming the attention of the masses and connecting them with almost everything they buy, watch and read – online and off.

State of the Media: Social Media Report Q3, a new report from Nielsen, analyzes the enormous influence that social media now has on consumer behavior. While the report predominately looks at activity in the USA, the findings are also consistent across international markets, and there’s no evidence that the rise of social media is going to be slowing down anytime soon.

Key takeaways:

  • The typical social networker is an 18-34 female of Asian or Pacific descent, lives in New England, has a Bachelor’s degree and earns less than $50,000 per year
  • Social networks reach 80% of internet users in the U.S. and now account for almost a quarter of all time Americans spend online
  • Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do any other website
  • Close to 40% of social media users access content from their mobile handsets, with social networking apps the third most-used amongst smartphone users. Moreover, it’s internet users over the age of 55 who are driving the growth of mobile social networking
  • 70% of active online social networkers shop online, with 53% following brands
  • A snapshot of 10 major global markets revealed that social networks and blogs reach over three-quarters of active internet users

Also of note is the rise of Tumblr, which now commands more minutes-per-month of U.S. internet user attention than Twitter and LinkedIn.

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(Source: Nielsen.)