Here are several excerpts from an interesting article by Brian Morrissey about a recent survey on worldwide participation in social media, U.S. Lags in Social Media Creation:
A new global study of social media use reveals that the U.S. severely lags behind Asian and South American countries in participation rates.
Consumers in the U.S. and Western Europe are more likely to be passive social-media participants — sharing videos and reading blogs — while those in emerging markets often create content through blogging, social networks and video and photo sharing sites.
“By and large, in the U.S. we’re a country of voyeurs,” said David Cohen, U.S. director of digital communications at Universal McCann, which conducted the study. “We love to watch and consume content created by others, but there’s a fairly small group that are doing that creation — unlike China, which is a country of creators.”
A little over 60 percent of Internet users in the U.S. said they read blogs, but just 26 percent had created one, compared to over 70 percent of Internet users who blog in South Korea and China.
Consumers in Asian countries are also much more likely to read blogs: 92 percent of South Koreans read them. In China, 88 percent read blogs.
A similar dynamic is underway in video sharing. Consumers in the U.S. have taken to video sites like YouTube in droves, but not many actively participate.
About a quarter of U.S. Internet users have uploaded a video to a site like YouTube. In the Brazil, 68 percent have done so. India, China, Mexico and the Philippines all boast video-sharing participation rates topping 50 percent. The results are similar for photo-sharing, where a little under half of U.S. consumers have uploaded photos, far behind rates in South American and Asian markets.
A divergence can also be seen in social networking. The study finds that social networking is still growing worldwide, but is reaching a “saturation point” in the U.S., while countries like the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico more avidly use it.
Despite the popularity of U.S. networks Facebook and MySpace, other countries dwarf the U.S. in joining social networks. The Philippines, Hungary, Poland and Mexico all boast participation rates over 75 percent, while just 43 percent have joined social networks in the U.S.