By Brigette Flood

It’s the end of the year, time to reflect and remark on the changes that have taken place since this time last year. Without a doubt, social media remains a changing landscape. But then why does everything feel about the same?

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr all maintain their status in the list of platforms to be on.  Google+ still hasn’t hit its stride.

Companies are still trying to figure out the best way to utilize the social space. Users are annoyed by that. Facebook ads aren’t winning any friends in corporations nor consumers. Kids are trying to be places (Instagram) where their parents (Facebook) aren’t. Blogging’s always on the rise. Breaking news has many new vehicles over which to break, as evidenced by events in Egypt during the amazingly disruptive, world-changing Arab Spring.

Maybe the best way to highlight this year’s changes is to bring out the data, that all-important social media benchmark. So here are your stats and facts for 2012:

  • Facebook – 1 billion users; 600 million mobile users; more than 42 million pages and 9 million apps; average user has 130 friends
  • YouTube – 4 million views per day; the most watched video is “Gangnam Style” (532+ million views); the average visitor spends 15 minutes a day
  • Twitter – 500 million users; 750 tweets happen every second
  • LinkedIn – 175 million users in 200 countries; two new members sign up every second; there are 1 million LinkedIn groups
  • Instagram – 100 million users; 575 likes happen per second; 5,000,000 images are uploaded every day; 25% of users upload more than 3 pictures
  • Pinterest – 25 million users; the most represented age group is women between 25-34 years old; drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube combined
  • Google+ –  400 million users; student is the number one occupation of Google+ users; the Google+ button is used 5 billion times per day; 2/3 of users are male
  • Blogging – 60 percent of bloggers are between 25-44 years old; 3 million blogs come online every month

The main point: usage is up. Especially on mobile devices. Sorry if I left any of your favorites out. Tweet me @brigflood and I’ll include more in an upcoming column, if you’re interested.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.