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The Evolution of Social Media

Happy Friday! Welcome to another weekly blog. Like many people, we use social media in our lives everyday, both for the InTouch business but also our personal lives. This week we wanted to explore how social media has evolved and how it has become such a prominent part of our lives.


The Evolution of Social Media

  • The Rise of Social Media

Social media began in the early 2000's with the first social media site reaching a million monthly users being MySpace. MySpace was the start of the social media that we know and love today. Back in 2008, sites such as Hi5, MySpace and Friendster were close competitors to Facebook however, in the space of a few years their presence online was virtually gone and Facebook continued to grow.


The rise and survival of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube is likely down to the adaption of their platforms to suit users wants, needs and desires. For example, when Twitter launched they did not allow users to upload videos or images however, since 2011 it has allowed users to post this content. Now, more than 50% of the content viewed on Twitter includes images and videos which shows that through adaption to what users want, Twitter was able to be successful and increase user numbers.

As you can see from the graph above, certain social media sites have grown at a slower rate that others. For example, TikTok is a new social media yet its growth rate is astonishing. Certain social media sites such as Facebook ensure that they give users what they want, this has contributed to its continued success since 2008.


  • How has Social Media changed?

One of the ways social media has changed is the increase in digital marketing. In social media's early stages, companies were dedicating very little of their marketing budget to digital marketing and marketing on social media. In 2016, companies spent on average 11.7% of their total marketing budgets on social media. According to this year's CMO Survey over the next 5 years it is expected that B2C Services will allocate 24.7% of their marketing budgets on social media. This shows that social media marketing efforts are just set to increase even further.


Marketing has become prominent on social media due to it's success. Companies can reach a very large audience for less that if they were advertising through traditional means such as TV and Radio. In the UK traditional means of advertising such as newspapers decreased as sales fell by 25% from 2007-2009 with the diffusion of information being shared through social media. Communicating brand messages became more prominent with the increase in internet users, social media users and a change in consumer behaviour and preference.


  • Where is Social Media now?

Social media plays an important role in our lives. People use social media to discover and learn, interact with people and organisations and exchange and create content. It has changed the way we communicate and made it quicker and easier to receive messages.


In the UK 45 million people are active social media users as found by Statista, 2020. In 2019, it was discovered that in the UK, on average, people spent 328 minutes a day on the internet. This shows the prominent part social media plays in our daily lives and it will continue to grow as more people incorporate social media into their daily lives.


During a Statista survey between September and October 2018 it was reported that the most often used and main account on social media across all age groups was Facebook. This figure ranged from a share of 48% of respondents among 16 to 24 year olds to 76% among 55 and older respondents. The survey found that compared with Facebook, other social media sites had only a fraction name the site as their main account.

  • How have the demographics changed?

In its early days, Facebook was driven to success by teenagers and 20-somethings however, the younger generations of social media users are using other social media platforms more regularly such TikTok. This means that Facebook's younger users are decreasing however, its older user base is expanding. For example, in recent studies, it can be seen that users 65 and older is the fastest growing group on Facebook. Facebook continues to grow every year, however, it is becoming apparent that there are preferred platforms for the younger generations.


In 2019, Statista found that amongst UK teens, YouTube is the most used social media site with just over 80% of 15-25 year olds using the platform. From the graph below you can see the shift in the use of Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook amongst US teens between 2015 and 2019.


Thank you for reading this week! We hope this blog has given you some insight into the evolution of social media. Social media plays such a big part of our lives now and it is interesting to look at the ways that it has changed and developed over the years.


Please contact us if you are interested in our services ranging from social media analysis and advice to content creation. We are more than happy to adapt our services to suit your business needs! We also have free advice and social media tips which can be accessed through our Instagram - @theintouchgirls.


Rebecca & Hannah

InTouch Marketing Consultancy

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