Some think so.
A new study by Anderson Analytics shows that only 29 percent of Facebook and LinkedIn users say they could “probably do without” those networking services.
That’s 71 percent of respondents who profess how absolutely critical social media is to their everyday lives.
Facebook led the list with 75 percent of the social media users participating in the survey saying it was their most valuable network. MySpace came in at 65 percent, followed by business-oriented LinkedIn at 30 percent and Twitter at 12 percent.
Both Twitter and LinkedIn have unique challenges, the report said. First, LinkedIn needs to figure out a way to build frequency, and Twitter needs to find out a way to add value to its service.
The numbers, to no one’s surprise, are big: Facebook has 78 million regular users, MySpace 67 million, Twitter 17 million and LinkedIn 11 million. A “regular user” in this case means you log on once a month.
Anderson reported an estimated 110 million people using social networking sites on a regular basis. And 61 percent of those are under 35 years old.
Also worth noting – women lead the social networking category, 55 to 45 percent.
LinkedIn is more male – 57 to 43 percent – and Facebook is more female – 56 to 44 percent.
Men share hobby, work and related articles info, and women are more likely to share photos, info about what they’re currently doing, and posts about their pets.
And how do you compare with the averages? Men have an average of 140 Facebook friends, 53 Twitter followers and 71 LinkedIn conenctions. That compares for women’s 110 on Facebook, 18 on Twitter and 36 on LinkedIn.
Any surprises overall?
Not really. Other than perhaps the number of conenctions seems a little low, but it is a sample of all who say they use social media.
So what does it mean?
It simply reinforces that social networking itself continues to grow, though the players may rise and fall, as they have in recent years. Who three years ago would have thought Facebook would nudge aside MySpace so easily? What is ahead for Twitter?
Time will tell, but no argument that social media continues to rev up at a rapid pace.