Digital 2014: Global Digital Statshot (October 2014)
We've been publishing snapshots of key digital data for some time now, but we thought it might make sense to bring these numbers together in a regular series of reports, which we're calling 'Digital Statshots'.
These Statshot reports are designed to supplement our more in-depth Social, Digital and Mobile reports, which contain individual data points for more than 230 countries around the world.
You'll find all those in-depth reports by clicking here, but read on for some of the highlights from this first Global Statshot...
Global internet users are quickly approaching 3 billion, and we expect to pass this milestone before the end of 2014.
Social media usage continues to rise, although much of this growth relates to the increased use of chat apps.
Despite this growth, social networks still dominate the social landscape in most countries, and Facebook continued to register modest global growth in the first 6 months of 2014.
However, active usage of QZone (China's largest active social network by user numbers) and VKontakte (which still dominates the social ecosystem in Russia and some of its neighbours) appears to have fallen slightly in recent months, albeit only by a matter of 1 or 2 percentage points.
We're pleased to include data from Ericsson's Mobility Report in this Statshot, which offers a new dimension to our mobile reporting.
It's worth noting that there are significant differences between the data reported by Ericsson and GSMA Intelligence though, especially when it comes to unique user numbers.
Ericsson reports 4.6 billion unique users, which would suggest global penetration of 63%; however, GSMA Intelligence reports 3.6 billion global users, indicating a global penetration rate of 50%.
Both are obviously very impressive numbers, but it's important to note the sizeable difference of 1 billion users between the two sources.
It's also worth highlighting that GSMA Intelligence have revised their unique mobile user figures down slightly since our previous Statshot. However, we believe this revision is likely due to more accurate reporting from individual mobile operators, and is unlikely to reflect a real drop in unique user numbers.
Meanwhile, the number of active mobile connections (sometimes called contracts or subscriptions) is quickly approaching the same figure as the total world population. However, the average global mobile user still maintains roughly 2 active mobile connections, and half the world's population is still 'unconnected'.
Social media usage on mobile is growing rapidly, with the figures reported by key networks suggesting growth of almost 30 million in just the past 6 weeks.
Averaged out, that suggests roughly 725,000 new mobile social users ever day – or more than 8 new users every second.
Given the rapid growth of mobile users and skyrocketing chat app and mobile social adoption, it's clear – at least from a user perspective – that mobile social is going to be the dominant story in 2015.
So, wherever you are in the world, if you're putting together your marketing plans for 2015, make sure you include sufficient budget for mobile social activities.
Click here to download a free PDF of the complete report (you may need to sign in to SlideShare first).
This article first appeared on the We Are Social blog.