20 + mind-blowing social media statistics

20 + mind-blowing social media statistics by Jake Hird

Social media remains the hot topic of the digital world and I often get asked about the various statistics involved. This in itself is fairly difficult, as this particular online sphere is constantly shifting, evolving and growing at an astronomical rate. But I’ve pulled together some interesting (and hopefully useful) data for a couple of the bigger players in the market…

Bear in mind that these are relatively recent figures – in a few months time (or even less) a lot of it is likely to be obsolete –  but for now, I think they’re a great way of demonstrating the impact that social media is having in the digital landscape. 


  • If YouTube were a country, it would be the third most-populated place in the world.
  • 20 hours-worth of video is uploaded to the site every single minute.
  • comScore recently announced that the site had surpassed 100m viewers in the USA alone. They also reported that this US audience consumed over 6bn videos at the beginning of this year.
  • According to Youtube themselves, over half of users visit the site at least once a week


According to Facebook’s internal statistics:

  • The site has more than 250m active users globally
  • More than 120m users log on to Facebook at least once each day and more than 30 million users update their statuses at least once each day. Combined, more than 5bn minutes are spent on the site on a daily basis.
  • The average user has around 120 friends on the site.
  • Every single month, more than a billion photos are uploaded to the site.
  • More than 50 translations are available on the site, with more than 40 in development.
  • Mobile is a big issue, with more than 30m active users accessing the site through mobile devices. It’s well documented that users who access Facebook through mobile devices are almost 50% more active than those who don’t.


  • Although now overtaken by Facebook, MySpace is the second largest social network, experiencing in excess of 60m unique users each month.
  • MySpace apparently reaches 30% of UK adults aged 15-24 – it’s been suggested that its as common to have a MySpace account in the UK as it is to own a dog.
  • According to Knol, MySpace has more than 115m active monthly users globally with, on average, 300,000 new people signing up to the site every day.


  • Over the past twelve months, Twitter’s year-on-year growth rate has broken the 1000% barrier.
  • The company holds exact numbers close to their chest, but it’s estimated that Twitter currently has between 6 – 10m global users and this is growing rapidly.
  • According to a recent report on Twitter usage by Sysomos, 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity and that 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.
  • The same report found that over 50% of all updates are published using mobile and Web-based tools, other than Twitter.com’s own website.
  • It also found that Tuesday is the most active day for Tweeting, followed by Wednesday and then Friday.
  • Hitwise recently reported that one out of every 350 website visits in the UK is via Twitter, but barely 5% of users currently go to an online retail service through the medium.
  • Not really a stat, but still quite a cool piece of info: Twitter is now officially a term in the English Dictionary.

I’m acutely aware that this is only the tip of the data iceberg for social media. If you have any other interesting stats, please share them in the comments below!


Boolean Search Strings still work for Sourcing

Technology, social media, new sourcing sites, the influx of information can be overwhelming and often times very distracting. It seems like no matter how many new sites I find and use, just like with anything on the Internet, there are only a few that I can or have time to master – or that are worth mastering. It seems like with many good sites that come along, once the majority of people have come to the site and started using it, 1 of 2 things happen: the company makes the things that were free and great, a cost – or they add some form of advertising that makes using the site such a pain that people want to go elsewhere.

Now large corporations with deep pockets can always pay to use these sites and get the corporate version, but the smaller guy doesn’t always have that option. The other thing that can happen is that now that everyone else is using a site, the competition for the same people is increased, thus making the site less valuable. Linkedin and to a certain degree Facebook  have added more advertising and made it more difficult to access people.

However, as a good sourcer and researcher, we can always find a work around to get past some of these things. Search strings such as domain:linkedin.com “software developer” c++ USA come to mind. You can actually find more people on the internet who are not part of your linkedin network than you can find searching directly inside your network by using these type of search strings. You can substitute facebook.com for the same types of searches. Only your imagination will change the outcome of your searches.

No matter what automated tools you use to gather your information about people, someone has to verify the data in some way. Whether this means contacting the people on the list or verifying the people on the list as having the right credentials, a real person is at the end of the line making sure the content is true, real, and on target.  I do believe certain tools are making some of the sourcing jobs easier to do, but someone still has to touch (call, email or verify) data no matter how it is collected.

So at the end of the day – old school sourcing methods always work. If you don’t or can’t afford the big ticket sourcing tools, it may take longer to piece together the profiles and contact information of people – but most likely you won’t have many others contacting the person you find about a position. Because they didn’t dig deep enough to find the person you found.