Study: Social networking, e-commerce rise globally

Six out of 10 Internet users worldwide manage a social network profile on a monthly basis, compared to 36 percent two and a half years ago, according to a new study from GlobalWebIndex.

The study noted that Facebook, the leading social network, continues to grow across all platforms, but has reached saturation in many markets. Its user growth is stagnant in growing Internet markets, such as India, Indonesia and Brazil.

In addition, Facebook users globally also have had the frequency of key activities down. From July 2009 to November 2011, messaging friends dropped 12 percent, searching for new contacts decreased 17 percent and joining a group of Facebook users fell 19 percent in U.S., Media Post reported.

The study also found that e-commerce is huge in developed markets and growing in emerging countries. More than 59 percent of global Internet users had made a purchase online in the past month, and 53 percent had reviewed a product.

Unlike social media, e-commerce outperformed in developed Internet markets – 78 percent of South Korean online users had done so in the last month, followed by 72 percent in Germany and the UK. By contrast, only 27 percent in Saudi Arabic had purchased a product online.

Google has “massively improved its position as the world’s biggest controller of information and is starting to dominate all access points to the Internet,” the study said, which products reaches more than 85 percent of worldwide online users every month, up from 76 percent in July 2009.

Google’s browser, Chrome, and mobile operating system, Android, have also performed well. Chrome is now the most used browser in the Philippines, Turkey, Argentina and India, and Android now has 227 million active users across the 27 countries surveyed, or 33 percent share of all global smartphones.

The GWI survey was conducted in November, 2011 with about 40,000 online users in 27 countries.

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