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Facebook Dropoff Among Findings in Study of Internet Trends

Global survey says: Singular brand strategies are a thing of the past

UK-based marketing consultant group TrendStream recently released a compilation of the data from its annual GlobalWebIndex Internet consumer study, tracking online behaviors around the world.

Data for the study was gathered from interviews with approximately 100,000 users, conducted July 2009 through June 2011, representing 27 “key Internet markets.”

The study centered on five trends among Internet users, how they vary from country to country and how they vary within the same user base over time.

  • Fragmented: Different countries at different stages of development are using the Internet, well, differently. The study found that usage among certain platforms can vary widely between nations, with instant messaging and social networking showing a usage gap as high as 73%. While users in the U.K. and South Korea place an emphasis on e-commerce, emerging countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines are mainly interested in socializing.
  • Post-PC: As the Internet is packaged into increasingly varied platforms for tablets, phones and TVs, the dominating user experience is moving away from the PC. Data showed the number of microbloggers using a PC or laptop as their favorite device is expected to drop from 79% to 42% between now and June 2012.

What’s your favorite device? The graphic shows how Internet users expect this to change in the next year.

  • Facebook Apex?: While the popular social networking site is growing in emerging countries, the numbers pointed to an overall decline in activity among users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, particularly among the original users of the platform: U.S. college educated 20-somethings.
  • Rise of Real-time: Between the first and last round of study interviews, the practices of microblogging and social networking increased 62% and 40%, respectively, making them the fastest growing social media activities, led in part by the increased use of mobile devices and apps.
  • Pay-per-View: As more and more movies, television shows and televised events are available online and of considerable quality, consumers are increasingly willing to pay for their content. Among the figures, 29% of overall global users reportedly would pay to download a movie or TV show, with roughly the percent agreeing to pay to download a song.

The takeaway for marketers, according to TrendStream Managing Director Tom Smith, is developing strategies to focus separately on each segment of the user base.

“It is clear from this research that there is no such thing as a singular global brand strategy online, each market and consumer segment behaves differently,” he stated in a company press release.

“In addition the massive consumer interest across the world in supplanting the PC with mobiles and tablets as their primary access device, increases the need for very smart multi-platform and multi-market Internet strategies.”