269 responses to “Statistics Show Social Media Is Bigger Than You Think”

  1. otinanai

    nice music mate ;)

    1. equalman

      I have to thank Fat Boy Slim for their Right Here, Right Now 1999 single. I’m glad you like it!

  2. Marcus

    What software did you use to create this kind of presentation. Please tell

    1. equalman

      Adobe After Effects

  3. Vince W Baker

    I love the video and the site looks great. As far as I can tell your stats are right on.

  4. Observer

    The “social media revolution” is more accurately the simple progression of the “information age.” Different, more popular ways of sharing information don’t “revolutionize” the fundamental act of sharing information. I would argue that we are witnessing a social “devolution.” Take Twitter for example – an immeasurable leap in technology from the traditional “snail mail”. But can anyone conceive of writing all their tweets down on paper, addressing an envelope, affixing a stamp, walking to the mail box, etc? Of course not. Because it’s not worth it. The messages are too trivial. And that’s the effect of information technology. The easier it is to send messages, the more watered-down the messages become. Let’s be honest. No one is solving the world’s problems on Twitter or Facebook. 99% of the content out there is self-centred fluff. Meaningful communication is falling by the wayside. I can’t imagine it’s a trend that will have a good outcome. All this really is is a marketer’s dream.

    1. equalman


      Thanks for taking the time to comment to the discussion. Information is becoming “cheap” which in turn means the new currency is “attention.” In the past when we had 3 National Broadcast Channels Information wasn’t cheap. The good news is that today we no longer search for the news, rather the news finds us. We no longer have to sit through 90 minutes of mainly bad content of SNL – rather our friends can pass as the one worthwhile clip.

      The content in social networks isn’t all bad. The Causes Application on Facebook has over 35 million users which is heart warming. Causes empowers anyone with a good idea or passion for change to impact the world. Using the platform, individuals mobilize their network of friends to grow lasting social and political movements.

      Thanks again for reading and contributing.

    2. Taylor Walsh

      Observer, your analysis reflects a fairly broad feeling that all this hubbub over social media hype is self-congratulatory blathering. With all due respect, this view focuses only on the more easily discerned blather that is out there.

      For me, Twitter is by now the best source to track the current thinking of responsible professionals in several fields that I follow as a business. It is a path to the articles, presentations, and web sites — and thus the people behind them — where that current thinking is being expressed. This is by no means a trivial benefit of the advances in digital networking.

      Solving the world’s problems is dependent upon personal conviction, commitment, collaboration, and consensus, among other non-technical factors. It is clear that the information-sharing tools we have at hand — whether it is Twitter, Facebook or Slideshare — connect ideas and people in unprecedented, truly revolutionary ways. Whether these become good or bad ways depends on the goodwill, or lack thereof, of the people who have these tools in their hands.

      And equally importantly, how many pizza joints put their twitter addresses on their napkins and boxes.

  5. Harshan


    This was very usefull and still unbelievable. Congrats for the good work and hope to see the next video

  6. Morgan Stewart

    Here is a linkable source for point #14 about the changes at Boston College:

    It includes an interview with Mary C. Corcoran, associate vice president for user and support services at Boston College. In the interview, she is clear that the reason they did not offer email addresses is because incoming freshman already have established email accounts, not because “e-mail is passe.” The alternative they put in place is an email forwarding service. They do establish an email address for the students, but functionality is limited and simply forwards the email to the personal email addresses they provide.

  7. Capture Pages Ann

    Hey! Great information on your blog. And that video on Social fads was just awesome. It’s a revolution. I’m working with an amazing Landing Page company. can help you
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  8. norbelcu

    Very interesting how people who cite the inaccuracies of this video are able to check them, send you feedback and get a response so quickly and entirely over the internet. Proof that social media, web 2.0 (really 3.0 now) is a living breathing thing that is extremely relevant. If any of the facts are underestimated, give things a little time (maybe a few minutes) and they’ll all be true.

    1. equalman

      The video is 2 months old and already many things have moved beyond some of our wildest dreams.

  9. Revenue Your Hotel

    Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have become common ground for businesses to target potential customers with advertising and promotional material. Video sites such as YouTube allow users to build a profile, upload videos, post comments, and even allow others to subscribe to a channel. Another way is to circulate it through email; people usually forward information to their peers if they find something informative and interesting.

  10. Partha Bhattacharya

    Nice video, both in stats and in presentation. I saw it on YouTube earlier, and traveled here to look at the stats.

    May I ask a slightly different question? I presume the video is made in PowerPoint (and maybe a bit in Flash). Am I right?

    1. equalman


      Thanks for the kind words. Adobe After Effects is what was used.

  11. euro

    I just started to study your work, but the 1. thing I realized is that you try to use your wisdom (the social media) to support success. What I think is logical.

  12. Noah

    Again with the misleading numbers? I believe there is a factual inaccuracy in the MediaCurves report on Social Media Usage. Putting aside that their survey set was only 267 individuals (not nearly enough to represent the country statistically). They state that: “a vast majority of Americans (87%) reported that they currently use a social networking site.” This is simply not factually possible. According to Pew Internet, only about 80% of Americans are users of the internet as of April 2009. Their claim would indicate that more Americans use social networks on the internet then actually use the internet. I suspect their data reflects a percentage of Americans who use the internet (and is probably suspect at that anyway due to sample set problems). If we give them the benefit of the doubt then the overall usage rate of social networks among Americans would be roughly 69.6% (87% of 80%) – a difference of roughly 17% (or 52 million people) from their claim.

    This is the problem, people believe whatever junk they’re told in social media and have stopped thinking rationally.

    1. Ben

      Our sample is taken from a large national panel and our results are statistically significant. However, we should have clarified that our sample is made up of internet users since our surveys are taken online. Thank you for the comment. We will work to insure that we are clearer about our panel in future reports. To view other studies we have done, please feel free to go to
      Thank you,

      1. Noah


        I’m not sure that 267 respondents qualifies as a “large national panel”. Furthermore, your website STILL misstates the claim that this is a statistic based on all Americans – why have you not corrected it?

        Lastly, the article states that the poll was conducted on – does that mean that respondents were all visitors to the mediacurves website?

        - Noah

  13. Ben conducted a study on 267 Americans that found a vast majority of Americans (87%) reported that they currently use a social networking site. Facebook ranks at the top of the list, with 74% of respondents indicating that they are currently signed up for the site. Less than half of Americans (42%) indicated that they use MySpace, compared to one-third (34%) who reported that they use Twitter and 15% who reported using LinkedIn. More in depth results can be seen at:

    1. equalman


      Thanks for adding these facts and pointing to the results – very interesting and informative.

  14. coleman yee

    I don’t doubt that the social media revolution is going on, but some of the supporting “facts” need more scrutiny, e.g. 80% companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool for recruitment; Ashton and Ellen with more followers than the populations of Norway and Ireland (see Sean Carmody’s comment).

  15. Sean Carmody

    I am a bit confused about #12. According to twitter, Ashton has 3.6m followers and Ellen 3.3m. While they both beat Panama (3.3m people), Ireland (4.1.m) and Norway (4.6m) are both bigger than either follower count. Perhaps you meant Ashton and Ellen combined have more followers than any one of these countries. If this is the case, then the statement is still misleading as it would suggest that Ashton and Ellen combined have more followers than the population of Ireland, Norway and Panama combined, which is certainly not the case.

  16. anne marie

    Love this site!

    1. equalman

      Anne Marie:

      Thanks – I’m glad you like the site and thanks for taking the time to let me know!

  17. ConstantReader

    Cute presentation and almost believable if it weren’t so over the top. Nothing like a little self promotion to get the book sales going, tho’. By your own admission, most of the stats are made up or exaggerated or come from unreliable sources. E.G. 6,13,14,15,20 and 25.
    Social media are still too new to have any reliable survey or study results. There’s actually people who have abandoned Facebook because they’ve become bored with it. I’m sorry, was there any mention of MySpace? Thanks, but I’ll wait to see valid research results.

  18. Andy

    Hey I was just wondering what studies showed that Wikipedia may be more accurate than the Encyclopedia Brittanica. Is it possible to get some links to these facts?

    1. equalman

      Andy: This link from California State has a summary you can click and review their findings on an .xls sheet (click on Summary). “Survey of Wikipedia accuracy and completeness”. Larry Press, Professor of Computer Information Systems, California State University. 2006.

      I hope this helps!

  19. Kimbers

    This is probably the most concise, presentation of the power of social media I’ve run into so far. I hope you don’t mind if I shamelessly use this in the future for a presentation and as a reference (to what people should be paying attention to) on one of my future social media projects (giving you credit of course). Excellent work!

    1. equalman

      Kim: I don’t mind at all! Thanks for the positive feedback – it helps keep me going!

  20. Dr. Taly Weiss

    Thanks, that’s a great video to capture all those statistics. I was happy to see that you have found TrendsSpotting’s research blog as your source.

    1. equalman

      Dr. Taly Weiss:

      Thank you for the kinds words and for providing such great data.

  21. john hynes

    Number 36 in the video is misleading. It states that “successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy Listening first, selling second.” The fact is, David Ogilvy was a pioneer in listening to consumers. He founded his legendary agency on consumer research. Listening to consumers and translating that data into insights and actionable marketing strategies was his specialty. Social media is simply a larger pool of respondents from which marketers can draw data.

    1. equalman


      Ogilvy is great and I do a better job in pointing out his amazing career (considered greatest advertiser/marketer of the 20th Century, etc.) in my speaches. For version 2 of the video who do you think would be better to have there than Ogilvy? Obviously needs to be well known. Let me know your thoughts.

      Best, Erik

  22. Vince baker

    You video is amazing….You really hit the nail on the head. I look forward to your second video…I have watched your video a number of times and shared it with others. Keep up the good work and research!

  23. Ilya

    Great video, I appreciated it. It’s true social media is growing rapidly and enormously, particularly with Facebook. And I think Twitter fills an appealing piece of the puzzle. I still think Social Media fundementally is still in it’s infancy, and perhaps always will be. The building blocks are becoming established but there are many huge blocks left to uncover. I think of it as uncovering the answers in a hardy game of Family Feud. There are always these pesky answers at the top that are uncovered. I think if answers could spawn sibling answers, then that would replicate very well what i’m talking about. If you think of it like that, Social Media is growing and creating new opportunities at all levels and it’s an organic growing machine like a wildfire.

    There will be ways of tying it all together, and naturally it will be. Very soon.

  24. goose

    EJAZ – Nope. Twice isn’t too much.

    I wish everyone asked a few more questions a few more times.

  25. Krzysztof Wójtowicz

    This video is really amazing. Good job!

    1. equalman


    2. equalman

      Krzysztof: Thanks! Your positive energy keeps me going.

  26. Mary

    Some of these statistics are just plain wrong. For instance, your very first one:

    “By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network ”

    Your own source cited here shows this to be wrong. That source cites a study showing that 96% of ONLINE teens and tweens have joined a social network. Apart from the fact that “Generation Y” is not the same as today’s teens & tweens, not all of these people are online, believe it or not, so to say that 96% of Gen Yers are online is simply incorrect.

    This does, however, show another issue with today’s online world – the tendency of people to take for granted what they read online without checking sources or facts. It’s exactly how misinformation gets so easily and quickly spread.

    1. equalman

      Mary: Thanks for sending this out. One of the main reasons I site the sources (unlike many videos) is that the quick/cut editing nature of the video (to make it viewable) doesn’t lend itself to deeply footnote each point. The main thought is the same however, today’s younger generations have adapted tools like Facebook/MySpace and they are a living, breathing part of their day to day lives. Your comment is very helpful and thanks for the interest.

  27. Tom O'brien


    Excellent video (somewhat undermined by the statistical inaccuracies noted above). Nonetheless, I think it makes a solid point – the world has changed and marketers have yet to figure out what to do next.

    My quibble – the commentary about blogs. According to the 2008 Technorati State of the Blogosphere report ( shows that > 94% of blogs have not been updated in the last 120 days. If it has gone 6 months without updating – nobody is reading it.

    (I’m still going to share with friends and clients.)

    MotiveQuest LLC

    1. equalman

      Thanks for passing along the video to others Tom and also thanks for the fair critique and feedback.

  28. kimee

    It’s wonderful Stats show. We translate some of information from your video into Korean. Thanks for sharing.

  29. AntonRSA

    Excellent video. Thanks for sharing.

  30. goose

    EJAZ… you’ve asked the question several times and clearly the answer is: No, equalman, cannot properly source the citation.

    1. Ejaz Asi

      Hey goose, thanks for pointing that out. But if equalman can’t take out/edit his presentation for lack of original and important citations, I don’t think asking TWICE is too much or is it?

  31. Matthew Arndt

    Great Video Erik! I just ordered your book, and I’m interested to see more creative ways that you are positioning social media for use in the business realm. I run a social media marketing agency and have found that by helping our clients interact with their potential clients better, they are able to do a whole lot more business, even in the “bad economy”. I’ll let you know my thoughts once I read your book!

    1. equalman

      Thanks for the positive feedback! Would love to know your thoughts when you are done reading the book.

  32. Ejaz

    Some studies show Wikipedia is more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica.

    Can you cite the source?

  33. Matteo

    Nice stuff, but that TM on Socialnomics is not really in line with what you “preach”, is it? :)

  34. RobertKCole

    I consider myself a social media evangelist, so I am disappointed to say this video, despite its best intentions, has put me into full rant mode.

    As a result, I thought a blog post would do it better justice than a comment here, so here is the link:

    Bottom line: Social media is great, but what are its major criticisms? The Socialnomics video accidentally winds up supporting the big three:

    a) Disregard for intellectual property -
    The Socialnomics video is an unabated knock-off of the “Did You Know” videos. It even use the same Fatboy Slim song used in Did You Know 3.0, but failed to mention the obvious source of inspiration.

    b) Social media impact is difficult to measure -
    Socialnomics includes several grossly misleading figures that are undeniably inaccurate, plus a measured helping of opinion.

    c) Social media is overhyped and can not live up to its inflated expectations -
    The inaccurate data seems to consistently describe impossibly large impacts. In most cases, the hyperbole is completely unnecessary, with an accurate figure likely to elicit a similar response from the viewer.

    This Socialnomics video provides an excellent (although completely inadvertent) example of the viral power of social media. While the technology can support such noble pursuits as the promotion of democracy and facilitate the spread of truth, one must be cognizant that it can just as easily spread inaccuracy feeding ill informed mob thinking.

    I think this video makes a great case for the value provided by legitimate journalists and research firms where there are embedded editing and review processes. Considering Socialnomics has published a book, I hope you take the high road, admit the mistakes and reedit the video to provide accurate information. A tip of the hat to the Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod and Jeff Brenman “Did You Know” series would also be a good step forward.

    Then I could promote this video video as a good source of information regarding social media.

    1. equalman


      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Where did you watch the video? On YouTube it should have an annotation at the end thanking many of the items you mention. It has been passed around so much please let me know and we can resolve any appropriate items.

      As it is a social experiment we are attempting to capture feedback and improve! Cheers – equalman

      1. RobertKCole

        To be honest, I saw the video on the main YouTube site and did not notice the green bubble from @equalman. Personally, I believe you owe Fitch/McLeod/Brenman considerably more than a five second “you might like this too” reference. Describing the creative origin in the YouTube description would be a start since the video is so similar to Did You Know 3.0.

        The five seconds for the Fatman Slim reference could be sufficient, but that would depend on the licensing arrangement.

        Most importantly, considering the 350,000+ views, you owe it to the viewer to provide accurate information – you are not positioning the video as an experiment or a work in progress – it is promoting a website and book that position you as an expert on the topic.

        My recommendation would be to correct the data and recreate the video. The inconsistencies underine your message.

  35. Ejaz Asi

    I guess I am in an awkward position to have cited one of your slides and I can’t find its source thus reducing my own credibility unless you help me out on this one.

    I am talking about #17 specifically which states: Some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica.

    How can I find out about those studies? It’s easier to get data on a site’s no. of articles as well as which languages are they served in but for Wikipedia to be more accurate than Brittanica would mean Wikipedia outsmarts one of the oldest Encyclopedia team of researchers, academics, scholars etc. The irony is that I thought of this after I had tweeted your slide without checking out the source first.

    Do you think you can get me the links or titles?

    Thanks in advance,

  36. ecairn

    The video is great with all these data points and clearly shows that this is a revolution.

    I’m however disappointed by the conclusion or advices given relative to the outcome of all of this and what brands/people should do.

    Revolutions are destructive. We see what’s happening to newspapers. This should be a call to action for anything that’s the produce of the mass media economy … starting with brands and corporations.

    If products& services find us, many existing distribution channel also have to be re invented.

    This goes way beyond customer support and marketing.

    I guess I need to read the book to find more

    Thanks for the good work!

    1. equalman

      Thank for the comment! You are spot on that there are many things to be ironed out and the ramifications are more widespread than many realize. Many of this is covered in the book and I’d love to know your opinion if you are inclined to read it. Thanks again for the kind words – it keeps me going!

  37. Grant

    Statistic 29: “90% of people that can TiVo ads do.”

    Is there a critical word missing from that statistic or I am misinterpreting?

    1. equalman


      Thanks for the feedback. The grammar could be improved I’m sure – but was necessary for the video format. The point of this data point is that when given the chance 90% of people will fast forward through commercials, 10% will let them play. Thanks for the feedback and I hope this helps!

  38. Steven

    Great presentation, I know some of our consultants are using it at clients to create SM awareness. Splendid achievement!

    1. equalman

      Great to hear!!! Thanks.

  39. Timothy Bishop, CMSM

    Thanks for the detailed and compelling stats.

    As the Director for our local Main Street program we’ve been working hard to utilize social media as part of our revitalization efforts, and generating interest among small business owners has been slow and difficult because they often don’t see social media as relevant to them or their business.

    I’ll look forward to sharing your post (and purchasing the book) .

    Timothy Bishop, CMSM
    Ellensburg Downtown Association

    1. equalman

      Thanks Timothy!

  40. inga

    Great video. Not only was it super interested, but the graphics were great. Visually very nice.

    Nice job. Keep on keepin’ on (in 140 characters or less, of course).

    1. equalman

      Inga – glad you enjoyed!

  41. Pete

    Stat #4 is retarded. I was a sysadmin on an internet connected system in 1990 and the network was old at that point and far from 50m users. There are a handful of Harvard kids who claim to have started Facebook, and that was in 2003. The appropriate comparison is not radio and tv to iPod but radio and tv to MP3 players, which was a lot longer than 3 years. And the question should be how long did it take to sell iphone applications to 50M people, not how many apps were sold.

    A lot of these “facts” are classic examples of how to lie with statistics.

  42. Gossage

    To Elvis: Why am I an idiot? Because I’d like an accurate statement of facts? Because I dislike distorting “data” to fit a POV rather than looking at facts in their context to truly understand what they mean?

    There’s nothing idiotic about any of those things.

    And there is no reason the video has to contain “flawed data”.

  43. Elvis


    I have a few more shockingly true facts that you might find useful for your next project:

    - A NY-based cable company reported that 75% of their traditional TV users have migrated to using DVRs or watching video online.
    - In just the last three years, ad spend for mobile phones has increased from essentially nothing to 50% of traditional TV ad spend… and is yielding better results!
    - Unique visitors to Network TV websites exceeded traditional TV viewers for shows targeting Generation Y viewers… two years ago!

    I am so excited about these new facts. They are really compelling, so I hope you enjoy them. Please use as you see fit to forward our cause!

    I would also like to make a “shout out” and an extra special thanks to the numerous posters that appreciated the video, know the data is flawed, yet are going to distribute it anyway. Like Erik, you all get that we need videos like this one to encourage clients to invest in our product (like a book). Big thinking (and sales) is so much easier when not constrained by critical thought, reality, or ethics. You guys rock.

    Gossage, you are an idiot. Pbbtttt…. ;-)

    jkottcamp, Point well taken. But it would have been AWESOME if the video was real. I was so disappointed to find out that it exploits the format to mislead rather than inform.


    1. equalman


      Thanks for the positive post and data insights! Let me know your thoughts on the first few chapters of the book when you have a moment!

  44. Glen Woodfin

    People in their 90s today grew up without electricity…

    …some of them now fly around the world Tweeting on the iPhone while headed to get their heart transplant in Singapore.

  45. Letícia Castro

    Hey, Erik!

    Here`s my contribution directly from Brazil:

    I took the time and trouble to translate the data into Portuguese which I believe, if not completely accurate, represent our actual reality in a very true way to its fundamental concept.

    I`m a journalist working with social media from São Paulo and loved the idea for the book (will manage to have it!) and I hope the readers from get curious to know more about your work too.

    Congrats and cheers from Brazil!

    Letícia Castro
    Editor at MasterNewMediaBR, MasterNewMediaES and

  46. Theresa Croft

    Phenomenal video. Amazing facts. Thanks for the compilation. It sums up quickly that if you learn to harness the power of the internet, you got something big!

    1. equalman


      Thanks!! Would love your thoughts on the first couple chapters of the book if you have a second! – Erik

  47. Noah

    @Michelle: Earlier today I had a long back and forth with a journalist about the health care debate and I was pointing out to her how little fact was in what she had been writing and that what Americans need now, more than ever, is _good_ information. This video, in a weird way, reinforces the worst part of social media – its ability to turn data that is incorrect into accepted “fact” for the larger community and _that_ has the potential to be very damaging. Do we care deeply about the actual percentage of businesses that use LinkedIn? No, not really. But we do care when social media creates straw bogeymen like the birther movement, the death panels canard, and 9/11 conspiracy theories.

    I certainly don’t want to equate this video with those issues but I think that the popularity of this video shows how statistics, well presented and passed along socially, distort our understanding of the world we actually live in.

    I would like to remix the video and add a last stat: 99% of viewers will never fact check these claims.

    1. equalman


      Thanks for contributing to the discussion. All data sources are listed here and several have been kind enough to point out items that they don’t agree with, which is helpful for all as we move forward.

      I hope this helps.

  48. Steve Gogolak

    Great video. Stats are used to get a point across, regardless of how they are collected (that’s why we have stats). The point is obvious, stats or no stats.

    I referenced this on our corporate blog because I believe strongly that the point needs to be driven home. Status quo marketing will get you nowhere but under a steamroller.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  49. Sarah

    Social media would be more useful as a tool for customer relations if people weren’t scared of getting sued the minute they said they were unhappy with a company.
    But nice work.

    1. equalman


      Good point. Hopefully at some point in time all of this helps get us away from our sue-happy culture in the U.S. Thanks for the comment and feel free to let me know what you think of the book…if it interests you that is :) TGIF

  50. Michelle

    So interesting how people view the same information and come away with completely different perspectives.

    Especially the people who are so quick to point out what they find WRONG or potentially INACCURATE . You are missing the point entirely in my opinion. My perspective, when I read these types of posts is that they really want their 15 seconds of recognition for how “smart” they appear to be (for providing an analysis of a video that’s clearly designed to capture attention and REFERENCES those that are in fact more researched) in a comment section of a blog (social media)

    And are in fact just helping to prove the point.

    Media has gone SOCIAL. All points of view welcome. Bring it on!

    Nicely done.

    Create a great day!

    1. equalman


      Bring it on is right! Thanks Michelle for the interest and the post. Have a great weekend.