In order to get a better understanding of the social media gaming environment, we first need to have an understanding of the social media environment as a whole.
While the numbers for Facebook and Twitter are impressive, it’s important to know that they are only two of the many popular social networking sites around the world. Here are a few statistics on the use of social networking and its huge popularity: There are over 845 million users on Facebook, over 500 million users on Twitter, 90 million on Google+, and 150 million members on LinkedIn (theealtimereport).
In other countries however, there are other major players in the networking game. Renren of China has over 170 million users, Qzone of China has 500 million active users, and Sina Weibo of China has over 250 million users (theealtimereport). There are also big sites throughout the rest of the world such as V Kontakte in Russia, Odnoklassniki in Eastern Europe, Orkut in Brazil, and Gree, Mobage, and Mixi in Japan (socialnetworkingwatch). By providing these stats I am in no way trying to propose that Facebook is losing ground to these sites in each country because it is actually the exact opposite, but I just want to show that there are hundreds of other sites in the world many of which are only in certain countries.
That being said the United States is actually not even in the top ten most engaged countries for social networking which is as follows: Israel, Argentina, Russia, Turkey, Chile, The Philippines, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Canada in that order (thenewage). By “engaged” I mean the average number of hours spent on social networking sites per visitor. This is important because, as I plan to discuss social media’s impact on gaming in this project, time spent on these sites is one of the key factors in the popularity of gaming on these sites.
A few staggering numbers regarding time and social networks are: people spend an average of 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on Facebook for a total of 700 billion minutes per month spent on Facebook. Armed with these stats it is very easy to see why the growth of gaming on social media has increased so much over the past few years and why it is only getting larger each day (jeffbullas).
Bullas, Jeff. “20 Stunning Social Media Statistics Plus Infographic” (2012)http://www.jeffbullas.com/2011/09/02/20-stunning-social-media-statistics/
AFP Relaxnews “Social Networking is the most popular online activity” (2012)http://www.thenewage.co.za/38836-1021-53-Social_networking_is_the_most_popular_online_activity
McNaughton, Melissa. “Social Networking Stats: Twitter hits 500 million, Pinterest Grows in Europe” (2012)
http://therealtimereport.com/2012/02/24/social-networking-stats-twitter-hits-500-million-pinterest-grows-in-europe-rltm-scoreboard/Messieh, Nancy. “Facebook Killing World’s Local Social Networks” (2012)