We have a great new info-graphic which shows the changing number of social networkers over the last 5 waves, by market and key demographics. Change has been demonstrated by circle size and colour.
What is immediately apparent growing divergence between markets, which is being driven by a number of factors:
The online market expanding as a whole (particularly apparent in China)
Massive adoption of social networking in BRIC markets, in all demographics. Again this particularly apparent in China where local players such as RenRen, Kaixin and QZone have been growing hugely at the expense of blogging platforms or traditional BBS networks. This shift happened later in China
Saturation of social networking in certain markets and demographics i.e US 16-24s
The core fact is that the online world becomes more and more fragmented, a theme that plays strongly in our Wave 5 trends. We believe that this become more apparent over time as saturated markets, such as US, UK and Germany, flatline or start to decline in terms of social media contribution, while fats growing markets bring new people online who are eager to adopt and use social media.
One key thing to note is that we are only displaying data from markets that have been on all five waves, so markets such as Argentina, South Africa, Saudi Arabia or Indonesia are not included.