Social media in 2011 – statistics, milestones & predictions

The social media industry continues to grow. Listed here is a roundup of some recent milestones that we think are more than worthy of a mention.

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Back in March, we shared some social media statistics that demonstrated the impressive growth of some of the biggest social networking sites over the past 12 months. No prizes for guessing Facebook and Twitter made considerable gains during that time.

Since we posted those stats the growth of these sites (and others) has continued to make news. Listed below is a roundup of some recent milestones that we think are more than worthy of a mention.

Facebook edges closer to 1 billion users

Another day, another milestone for Facebook. Last week at a Facebook event Mark Zuckerberg announced that the site had hit 750 million users, back in March this figure stood at around 640 million.

There’s no doubt Facebook will hit the 1 billion user mark in the near future but to continue the rate of growth it’s been experiencing it will surely have to expand it’s services to attract the current non-believers (which it is doing with the likes of video chat). After all there are only so many internet users on this planet.

Google+ is set to rock Facebook’s boat to some degree but it’s impact on the social networking scene as a whole is yet to be seen. If Google’s past efforts (Google Buzz) are anything to go by then Facebook should remain safe for the foreseeable future.

Twitter is noisier than ever

Love it or hate it, there’s no hiding from it. Twitter is everywhere and it’s become an accepted part of modern culture, seemingly over night. Twitter has come a long way over the last year and has been embraced by a whole range new users outside of the stereotypical tweeting celebrity/expert/geek.

Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the number of tweets per day has rocketed from 95 million (the number reported back in March 2011) to 200 million!

Of course, a big chunk of those tweets is utterly useless noise, automated spam and such like so statistics are served best with a very generous pinch of salt.

Check out the Twitter blog for some deeper statistics including the top ‘Trending Topics’ for the first half of 2011 (warning, may contain Bieber).

Relatively speaking the site is still young and with no real competitors it’s looking good for the micro-blogging service. It’s safe to assume we can expect nothing but growth from Twitter in the second half of 2011 and beyond.

Foursquare announces 2 major milestones

Two weeks ago Foursquare announced it had hit 10 million members – a major milestone for the company that everybody said would crumble under the weight of it’s Goliath competitor, Facebook Places.

It’ great to see the service growing in such a competitive landscape and the fact that it’s only really started to expand outside of the US is encouraging in terms of future growth potential.

Providing more non-US users and businesses embrace Foursquare there’s every chance it can keep Facebook Places at bay.

Just two weeks after the 1 million users news, the company hit us with another announcement – “we now have over half a million merchants on foursquare”. It’s good to see more businesses experimenting with the location service but how many of these are actually offering deals or incentives is unknown.

At just 2 years old, $50 million of recent funding in it’s pocket and a new partnership with American Express, Foursquare’s future is looking good.

Check out the Foursquare blog for some examples of how businesses are using the service to attract more customers –

Also, for further information on Foursquare’s journey to 10 million users check out the infographic they put together at

Social media is moving at a million miles per hour and it changes direction everyday. It’s an industry that constantly keeps us on our toes and that’s why we love it.

We welcome your thoughts and predictions for the second half of 2011.

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