Social Media Field Expands in 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Social media had a big year in 2012.

A new infographic by SilverPop compiles the data and numbers for social media sites as of this year. While Facebook has one billion users, Twitter has half that, and Google+ comes in third place with 400 million users. Between its third and fourth year of existence, Facebook’s membership increased by six times, while Twitter’s grew eight times in that same period.

The infographic proclaims that the “rising stars” of social media are Foursquare, which more than doubled its user base in this last year; Instagram, which “quintupled its users from year one to two;” and Tumblr, which just recently reached 80 million users. The sites that grew exponentially were Path, a mobile-friendly photo-sharing platform, Pinterest, which “took less than three years to hit 25 million users,” and Soundcloud, the audio site that “has more than tripled its base each year since its 2008 inception.”

Industry professionals voiced their opinions on Business 2 Community about what 2013 will bring for the world of social media. Founder and president of WAM Enterprises Mike Wolfe believes that images will be a “driving force,” that Internet video usage will rise, and that because of smartphones, more people will start signing onto social media platforms.

Jeremy Goldman, entrepreneur and author, says that social media will not be run by one person at a company anymore: “Instead, they will begin to shift social media responsibilities into multiple departments. Companies will begin to see social media as something akin to a telephone that can be used in multiple ways by multiple departments.”

Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, predicts that native ads, such as promoted tweets and sponsored stories, will continue to grow. He says that brands will need to keep up with all the social networks around the world (such as WeChat and Sina Weibo in China) and “anticipate increased demand in 2013 for social media management systems that streamline monitoring and posting across multiple networks.” He also said social media education, including courses at universities and training for company employees, will continue to grow.

Holmes says, “In 2013, expect to see companies who have taken the plunge begin to reap expanded returns from their social investments, with help from improved social technologies, innovative ad models, and an expanded user base around the globe.”

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