The rise of Facebook Twitter, Google Plus and the like - as evidenced by this great new infographic showing social media demographics in the US from Online MBA - means that the world is shrinking. It is no longer Six Degrees of Separation but four,.
The advent of social media means that you can link people all over the world to each other in just four stages - someone knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows you. Although, according to Wikipedia for Facebook, Karl Bunyan had the average separation for all users of his 'Six Degrees' application at 5.73 degrees, whereas social media analytics company Sysomos worked out that the average distance on Twitter is 4.67 degrees and the Degree of Separation in Social Networks study brought this down to 3.435.
What is fascinating to note from the social media demographics statistics is the division of platforms between male and female. 57% of Facebook's users and 59% of Twitter's are female as opposed to 71% of Google+ users being male. A statistic which was borne out by Mari Smith and Guy Kawaski recently in their recent social media trends presentation, where they revealed that Mari spends most of her time on Facebook and Twitter, whilst Guy is a Google+ stalwart.
Pinterest is the dark horse which has suddenly galloped onto the playing field. Predominantly used by women (82%) who are interested in arts, crafts and design. Having said that a recent infographic about UK Pinterest showed the top users here to be venture capitalists.
It is interesting to compare these recent US stats with a UK social media demographics infographic produced last year and see that the adoption of Facebook and Twitter by the female population is also reflected here. Since this was produced in the days before Google+ had become established, the male attention is devoted to YouTube and Linked In. Pinterest was still just a twinkle in its developer's eye so I look forward to seeing the latest figures for the UK.
Most people use social media for connectivity, whether it's to maintain contact with friends and family or to reconnect with old ones. But they also use it to remember and share sites and pages that have caught their attention.
Bookmarking tends to get a bit forgotten in the social media furore, so it is interesting to see Reddit and Digg being included for regular usage, although my own experience has found that Stumbleupon is much more effective.