The Growth of Social Media: From Passing Trend to International Obsession [Infographic]

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First there was AOL and chat rooms and Live Journal and a whole host of other social networks. While many have come and gone, some more notable than others, it’s clear social networking is no passing trend.

For those of us who were on MySpace before it was decimated by Facebook, you know what is was like to be mocked by people who simply didn’t get it. However, a Search Engine Journal infographic about the growth of social media indicates that more people are opting to use social networks to connect and communicate.

Since 2004, the growth of social media has been near exponential. Back in those days, Facebook — arguably the most mature of the top social networks — only had about 1 million users. By 2011 the network had grown so large, its population was being compared to that of a country. Today, Facebook has more than 1 billion registered users and Mark Zuckerberg has made connecting 5 billion more of a personal mission.

Twitter saw steep growth from 2010 to 2012 but according to the infographic, its growth is starting to slow. Google+ saw the biggest growth of all in 2013, most like because of Google’s integration of Google+ into all associated services. If you have a Gmail account, you have a G+ profile. Most recently, Google integrated G+ into YouTube comments. Indeed, Google/Google+ is becoming one big super brand.

While there were many holdouts in the earlier days of social media’s development, businesses and marketers love social media now. Indeed, 90 percent of marketers are using social media for business, according to the SEJ infographic. Seventy percent have used Facebook to successfully gain new customers and 34 percent have used Twitter to successfully generate leads.

The infographic includes data from a recent Pew study indicating that 72 percent of all Internet users are also social media users. That means we’re well beyond early adopters and social media is becoming as ubiquitous as the computer itself.

Check out the infographic below:

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Image Credit: mkhmarketing

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