A Year in Review: Social Media in 2012

Remember when MySpace was the most popular social networking site? It dominated the Internet and was the single most visited site in the United States.

We’ve come a long way since then.

The year of 2012 has marked significant changes and trends across all social media platforms. Today, social media channels are utilized not only by individuals, but also by companies, non-profit organizations, brands, celebrities and advocacy groups. Social media has expanded far beyond connecting with friends – it has become the ultimate marketing mix.

Social Media Images

In this post, we review the past year from a social media perspective – narrowing in on the changes, statistics and interesting facts that have transformed social media into the phenomenon it is today.


Facebook is the mother of social networking. This year, the number of active subscribers reached one billion (and counting). To put this number into perspective, Internet World Stats states a grand total of 2,405,518,376 people have access to the Internet.

Speaking of billions, remember when Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion this year? Many would argue that sharing photographs and other visual content over social media is the most effective way to engage with fans and followers. On Facebook alone, 250 million photos are uploaded every day. And Facebook photos generate twice as many Likes as text updates.

Here are some more noteworthy facts. As of 2012:

  • Monthly active Facebook users total nearly 850 million.
  • 488 million users regularly use Facebook mobile.
  • 210,000 years of music have been played on Facebook.
  • 17 billion location-tagged posts and check-ins were logged.


The process of posting status updates using 140 characters or less has evolved into one of the most efficient ways for both individuals and companies to connect. Twitter changed its game plan this year and introduced “enhanced” profile pages with extra design options and content feed controls. Now companies, brands, media organizations and celebrities can optimize their pages and interactions with one another.

Interestingly enough, almost 25 per cent of customer tweets to companies are still being ignored. We expect this to change in 2013, as companies strategize and develop a plan to connect and improve customer experience online. Maintaining a Twitter account requires active presence and immediate response. Of course, not everyone has the time to dedicate to these resources – and that’s where we come in

Let’s take a look at where Twitter stands after another year of dominating the social media realm:

  • 175 million tweets are currently sent from Twitter everyday.
  • The 2012 election broke Twitter records, with 31.7 million political tweets. (Election Day was by far the most tweeted about event in US political history).
  • 1 million accounts are added to Twitter everyday.
  • 50 per cent of Twitter users are using the social network via mobile.
  • 39.34 per cent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. 


As social networking continues to advance, professional networking has become a necessary form of interaction for both companies and individuals to pursue. Over the past year, LinkedIn’s mobile traffic has dramatically increased from 8 per cent to 22 per cent. Its most significant change in 2012 was the iPad application becoming available on iTunes. The UI, design and efficiency of the app have helped it boast great reviews all across the Internet.

We expect LinkedIn will only continue this drastic growth. Check out these statistics:

  • LinkedIn has 150 million members around the world.
  •  Every second, LinkedIn mobile users chalk up 19 people searches and view 41 profiles.
  • 47 per cent of college and university admissions professionals have LinkedIn profiles, up from 16 per cent in 2010.


Pinterest sparked the interest of over 10 million users as of the beginning of 2012. This is quite a feat for a social networking platform that seemed to hide under the radar of any businesses unrelated to house and home or wedding industries. But it didn’t take long for Pinterest to begin driving more referral traffic than its giant competitors, including Google +, YouTube and LinkedIn.  

Pinterest posts have the capability to reach a wide audience. Once a link has gone viral and hits its peak, the traffic does not stop. Due to the ability for users to re-pin and share, viral content has potential to attract thousands of visitors every day.

See for yourself just how quickly Pinterest has grown this past year:

  • Total unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 2,702.2 per cent since May 2011.
  •  Over 80 per cent of pins are re-pins. 
  • 69 per cent of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve bought or wanted to buy, compared with 40 per cent of Facebook users. 
  • 25 per cent of Fortune Global 100 companies have Pinterest accounts. 
  • Pinterest referrals spend 70 per cent more money than visitors referred from non-social channel.

Google +

Google + is a newer addition to the social media world. Having been available to the public for just over a year, it has expanded to total more than 400 million users.

This year has been a learning process for Google and the team has begun to adapt the site accordingly. Google will soon make a Google + account mandatory for all Gmail users.

Here are some important statistics from 2012:

  • There are 100 million active users each month.
  • Over 1 million businesses have pages on Google +.
  • 60 per cent of Google + users log in daily.
  • It cost $585 million to create Google +.
  • There has been an 821 per cent growth rate between its launch in 2011 and now.

Here is a quick look at some other popular social networking sites that have influenced our digital presence this year:


  • There are 575 likes and 81 comments by Instagram users every second.
  • In 2012, more than 5 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day.
  • This year alone, Instagram users liked 78 million photos
  • In a six-month span, Instagram’s average daily mobile visitors jumped from 886,000 to 7.3 million, which is a 724 per cent leap.


  • Over 392 million people view more than 3.7 billion pages each month.
  • WordPress users produce about 29.2 million new posts and 40.5 million new comments each month.
  • WordPress blogs are written in over 120 languages.
  • Over 100,000 new WordPress sites are created every day.


  • 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second.
  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day.
  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month.
  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube.
  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years.

To read more statistics on these social media platforms, check out Huffington Post’s “100 Fascinating Social Media Statistics and Figures From 2012” and Portent’s ”2012 Social Media Year-in-Review.

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