U.S. social media usage is actually below the global median

74 percent of U.S. internet users actually use social media

I know some days it can feel like everyone you know is on social media doing their whole “me-former” thing, but in reality only about 74 percent of Internet users in America actually use social sites. (More information is here; women are at 76 percent while men are at 72 percent.) The full chart is below.

Global Social Media Usage

The median is 82 percent — which helps explain why social is so powerful, even if it’s not really that tied to business goals — and I am surprised to see the U.S. come in under that. Most days, the U.S. seems to me like one of the more self-absorbed countries on the planet. Wouldn’t you think social would thrive in a place like that? I would.

It’s interesting that most of the countries well above the median are what would still be considered “developing world” in a lot of cases; as you saw a little bit with Egypt, social media is a way to have real connections with others experiencing the same problems. That’s where the value actually lies; brands jumped in for the developed world and done fucked all that up.

Another reason that number may be a bit lower in the U.S. is because with brands all over social channels now, some studies indicate 76 percent of your interactions on social are “neutral.” Who wants to go on there and do something “neutral” if you can do something “positive” in your actual, day-to-day life? That’s my take, anyway.

93 percent of the Philippines uses social, eh? That Pacquiao-Mayweather fight on May 2nd is gonna be some thing on social, then.

Ted Bauer