In a recent study by Forrester's -- Social Technographics -- the company endeavors to gage how consumers are adopting social media. The information is critical for any company that is either fully engaged in a social media campaign or still debating its use case.
There is no debating that the adoption rate of social networks is reaching biblical proportions. You have to go no further for this evidence than to look at the world's largest social network -- Facebook. This is a six year old company that maintains roughly 1400 employees but services more than 500 million active users, where people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site and where about 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
Social Technographics explains that the populace of social media continues to grow. Unfortunately, Forrester maintains that the population of "Creators" has reached a plateau. Forrester defines "Creators" as:
- Publish a blog
- Publish your own web pages
- Upload video you created
- Upload audio/music you created
- Write articles or stories and post them
While social technology behaviors are at the center of many strategy discussions around the globe, the focus should be on the changes in consumers' adoption of these behaviors. Consumers continue to sign up for and interact on social networking sites, but other social behaviors that require creating content have seen no substantial growth in adoption since 2009.
Forrester explains that "Creators" has dipped a percentage point, in the U.S. -- 24% in 2009 to 23% in 2010. I am honestly not surprised that "Creators" have dropped a percentage point in 2010. Quality content creation is hard work. Those individuals that were creating content because it was fun -- quickly come to realize that there is a great deal of work that goes into creating good content. You couple that with the lack of revenue and you quickly begin to see why the ranks of content creators has thinned out.
What does this mean for the future of social media -- as the dust settles we will be left with a population of prosumers. These are individuals that are not only producing quality content -- like Soldier Knows Best -- but have found multiple avenues to monetize their digital properties.