Web Users Shaping Consumer Opinion

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Web Users Shaping Consumer Opinion

According to a new report from Netpop Research, "Media Shifts to Social," the percent of time people spend communicating online has increased 18 percent since 2006, while time spent on entertainment has declined 29 percent. The Executive Summary says that online entertainment is shifting to a small, powerful proportion of social media contributors fueling Web activity through blogs micro-blogs, social media, and video and photo sharing.

Key findings from the study include data such as:
--105 million Americans contribute to social media
--Social networking has grown 93 percent since 2006
--7 million Americans are "heavy" social media contributors (6-plus activities) who connect with 248 people on a "one to many" basis in a typical week
--54 percent of micro-bloggers post or "tweet" daily
--72 percent of micro-bloggers under age 18 post or "tweet" daily

The report concludes that market trends and customer opinion are being shaped by end users more rapidly and with greater impact on business than ever before as an entirely new form of leisure develops around talking and sharing, providing opinions and perspectives ... and suggests that Web sites need to connect directly with users, or the users will create their own venues that are harder for companies to track and participate with effectively.

The study includes the differences in use and frequency among younger users, teens and college students, and light, medium and heavy social media users to understand usage habits and motivations. It also describes photo sharing, video sharing, micro-blogging, social networking, tagging, wikis, etc. among 20 online communication and social media channels.