The WSJ has an interesting article today on the waning numbers spending time on Google’s ‘Facebook nemesis’, Google+. Talk of 90 million users since it’s June 2011 launch seriously flatters Google. Research from ComScore reveals that the average user is spending a mere 3 minutes a month on the network.
The value of a social network is exactly what it says on the tin – the social aspect. Currently there is a perception that Google+ is a bit like an empty restaurant…people peak in, see it’s a bit dead inside and walk on to someplace with a bit more atmostphere…heading off to Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter to wile away some time. As such many people aren’t really giving Google+ a chance as there’s no point investigating useful features like video ‘hangouts’ if none of your connections are actively using the site.
Can Google turn things around?
Easing the way into another working week, here’s a nice infographic from Social Jumpstart which illustrates the volume of engagement in social networks in any given minute.
New research from UK market research agency, You Gov, reveals that two in five (41%) of the UK online population claim to be getting bored of social media.
Some of the stats
Unsurprisingly Facebook is still the social network frontrunner when it comes to the volume of active users. 65% of the UK online population logged in within the last month as compared to 50% for YouTube, 23% for Twitter, 13% for LinkedIn and 12% for Google+ during the same period. However almost a quarter of these active Facebook users are using the site less now than they did a year ago. This ‘weaning off’ the network looks to continue as 19% expect to use Facebook less in a year’s time. The question is will new users to the site replace those who have lost interest? i.e. is usage cyclical?
The search for value
The recession is also having an impact on social media behaviour with people moving from spending time in online networks for recreation to getting involved in networks that serve a specific purpose. As people focus on ‘brand me’ and develop their professional networks for career development, LinkedIn usage is on the increase. Over half of UK internet users using the site more than a year ago and 30% also expect to use it even more in one year’s time.
For more on this research, click here.
Other useful articles of relevance:
Today YouTube announced that one hour of video is uploaded to the site every second. A decade of footage a day!
Struggling to wrap your brain around that? Well YouTube have launched this really nice site, onehourpersecond.com, which is full of interesting stats and figures which serve to put the volume of video and length of time spent on the site in context.
For example, who knew that ‘In 4 minutes 48 seconds of uploads to YouTube, the ostrich continues running at full speed, traveling 12,384 miles’?
Definitely worth checking out over your morning coffee.
Of course, YouTube being YouTube, they’ve posted a video along the same lines.
- Pharmacists warn of dangers of using internet for health advice -
As the recession rumbles on Irish consumers are turning to the internet to self diagnose and seek advice on health conditions. A nationwide survey of 1,000 adults carried out by Quinn Healthcare revealed “almost half of Irish people (46%) find that the cost of attending their GP encourages them to consult the Internet for medical diagnosis“.
The National Consumer Agency puts the average cost per GP visit at an average of €51…prohibitive for the 60% of women and 50% of men under 44 who are turning to “Dr Google” for information on health issues.
Other stats from the survey include:
- 45% would use a phone service or web chat if GPs offered this service, with Dublin respondents being most positive on these methods of consultation (52%)
- On average 35% of the population believe the Internet is a trustworthy source of medical information, with young men being the biggest believers (48%)
- 53% of females aged between 35-44 use the Internet for a second opinion and as a tool to challenge GP diagnosis
- More than 55% of younger males, and also 54% of women aged between 35-44 would consult the Internet rather than their GP if suffering from an embarrassing medical problem
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) posted a statement in response to this research, saying: “We are concerned at the growing trend for people using the internet to self diagnose. The information online may not always be correct and your symptoms could worsen if you are not properly diagnosed. We encourage people to drop in and ask their pharmacist first for advice.”
The IPU ‘Ask your Pharmacist First’ campaign has been running for some months now with a series of radio adverts and the launch of their website ‘watercooleradvice.ie‘. On the interactive site you can type in any health topic and the three ‘watercooler experts’ will give you their advice. The idea being to underscore that “On the internet, everyone’s an “expert” and you should ask a qualified healthcare professional (such as your pharmacist) for advice.
The most interesting stat that jumps out of this research for me is the fact that women are using the internet as a virtual ‘second opinion’, gathering information to challenge their GP’s initial diagnosis. This trend suggests training healthcare professionals in communications techniques to allow them to effectively manage the expectations of ‘e-patients’ armed with print outs from the internet will become a vital element of their professional development.
I doubt that anything will dissuade consumers from seeking information online…convenience, curiosity and cost savings will mean that the numbers of people visiting “Dr Google” is only going to increase. The focus of those operating in the healthcare sector, (the Department of Health, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups and pharmaceutical companies), should be on ensuring that accurate and engaging health education content is available for all conditions and that this is readily accessible online.
The e-patient is not going away and so healthcare must adapt to provide e-treatment.
Connect with me
- Teddy Has an Operation and I Get Chills
- Clever Usain Bolt Campaign from Durex
- Social Media Revolution – The Parody
- Bottled Water Ad Like You’ve Never Seen Before (video)
- Nobody Hanging Out on Google+?
- 60 seconds in Social Media [Infographic]
- Cyber Flashmob Attacks WSJ Facebook Page
- Is the social media novelty wearing off?
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