Nowadays over 85% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are using Web 2.0 platforms as a primary method of communication and self-expression, and according to MediaPost, who recently conducted an extensive study on the influence of social media in the lives of adults, this number is significantly higher than it was just one year ago. The number of adults using instant messaging and blogs has nearly doubled, while text messaging has grown a healthy 8% over the past year. Though age proved to be a clear indicator of usage patterns, the study provides quantitative insight into the Web’s growing presence in our everyday lives.
It also accounts for the growing success of microblogging services like Twitter and FriendFeed. Platforms that have found a way to effectively combine multiple types of social media have displayed tremendous growth over the same time period. According to TwitDir, Twitter currently boasts around 2.1 million registered users; nearly 7 times their user base one year ago. FriendFeed, though younger than Twitter, has shown similar growth.
This of course makes sense. If the web continues to grow as a means to interact and self publish then so will the the platforms that consolidate these features. Many have wondered how long Twitter and FriendFeed can continue to grow with such haste, and the answer lies in these statistics. As online social media grows, and the Web’s pervasiveness extends into the realm of mobile devices, then the only things standing in the way of these services is competition amongst them.