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New research reveals global social media use increased by 21 percent in 2016

Hootsuite, the most widely used social media management platform, and We Are Social, the global social media agency, today release Digital in 2017, a report of social media and digital trends around the world. Examining data from 238 countries, the 6th annual report finds 50% of the world is now connected to the internet and examines the opportunities that increasing connectivity has for organisations worldwide.

The 2017 key findings include:

  • Internet penetration increased by 10% in the last 12 months to hit 3.773 billion, or 50% of the world’s population.
  • Global social media use has increased by 21% in the last 12 months, reaching 2.8 billion users globally.
  • Mobile social media use has increased by 30% year-over-year to surpass 2.5 billion users globally, with 91% of social media users accessing social from mobile.

In APAC, mobile data traffic leads significantly over other regions, with 4.12 billion gigabytes consumed, compared with 1.24 gigabytes from North Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Social media growth rates increased by over 50% year-on-year. More than 1.5 billion people across APAC now use social media on a monthly basis, 95% of whom access social via mobile devices – the highest ratio in the world. As a result, organisations in APAC should plan to transform their communications strategy to increase customer engagement and real-time interaction across the customer journey.

“One of the greatest opportunities of a digitally connected world is the ability to have immediate conversations, wherever and whenever customers want. Social media not only enables organisations to amplify its brand, but also build trust, credibility and human relationships at scale. It is now as much the responsibility of the top executive as the social media manager,” said Roger Graham, senior director, Growth and Marketing, APAC, Hootsuite.

“Half of the world’s population is now online, which is a testament to the speed with which digital connectivity is helping to improve people’s lives. The increase in internet users in developing economies is particularly encouraging,” said Simon Kemp, We Are Social. “Given this latest data, it’s probably time for us to stop referring to social as ‘new media’, and integrate it more seamlessly into our day-to-day activities.”

The report compiles data from the world’s largest studies of online behavior, conducted by organisations including GlobalWebIndex, GSMA Intelligence, Statista, and Akamai in a comprehensive state of social media reference. The 2016 report has seen nearly 70,000 downloads and 2.5 million reads on SlideShare to date.

Digital In 2017 is the lead document in a suite of reports produced by We Are Social and Hootsuite.

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