There’s no question that the internet has reached mass media status in the US. eMarketer estimates more than three-quarters of the total population will be online by 2012, and the majority of that group is doing much more than just email or search.
About two-thirds of web users, for example, will use social networks next year, and more than 90% of that group can be found on Facebook. As social networking overall and Facebook usage in particular begin to plateau, smaller sites—including Twitter—are experiencing faster growth. Whether they can build up user bases to the hundreds of millions will help determine their value for marketers.
Audience size is also growing more quickly for professional online video content, such as TV shows and movies, as web users turn to over-the-top solutions to watch online content on TV sets in addition to their desktops, laptops, tablets and, increasingly, mobile phones.
Smartphone uptake and, in turn, mobile internet uptake, have facilitated more advanced mobile activities beyond video as well, including mobile shopping and buying, mobile gaming and more. As audiences consume more content on more devices and platforms, the chances for marketer interaction likewise increase as brands facilitate new experiences and activities for a mass digital population.