Germany is slated to become the top social networking country in Europe by 2014, overtaking the currently #1 United Kingdom. Recently, there has been a large amount of engagement with social media in Germany and it has gained a lot of traction in late 2013. Research by e-Marketer suggests there will be 35.4 million users of social media in Germany by the end of 2014, which just surpasses the prediction of 33.9 million users in the United Kingdom. The primary social media site that is being used is unsurprisingly Facebook, with Youtube and homegrown network Xing coming in second and third.
Facebook on a HTC Desire phone
Photo Courtesy of Flickr User babyben
One of the major factors influencing this change is the increase in mobile phone usage. According to an article by ComScore Data Mine, the number of Germans accessing social media via mobile devices on a daily basis has increased 39% in 2013. The research also provides a list of some of the most popular activities on social media in Germany. The top two pursuits include reading posts from people known personally and opening links posted by other people.
I think that the increase of mobile phone usage is a crucial change in the social media landscape of Germany. We have seen that in America, the advent of 4G technology and social media applications on phones have significantly increased regular social media usage. It allows us to access these social media websites at any time of day and place as long as there is a phone signal. As more and more people begin to be plugged into their social media platforms via mobile devices, the more likely their peers will be dragged onto these devices with them in order to not miss out on any important social updates. Using social media on your phone literally connects you to your friends 24/7, which can explain such a large increase in daily usage. The ease of accessing social media on a mobile phone just perpetrates more constant and regular updates, and increases overall consumption of social information. From personal experience, since coming to college in America I have been finding myself checking social media more and more often because I don’t want to miss any important social interactions and because it is just so easy to access these networks on my phone. Therefore, I definitely see how the penetration of social media usage into mobile phones is a key factor in the increase of Germany’s social networking users.
Overall, I believe that social media becomes a lot more integrated into a culture when people begin to access it using mobile phones. When social media mobile applications are commonplace, people are connected to these social networks during all times of the day. As we have seen with Germany, the increase of regular mobile phone users has caused a significant increase in overall users of social media users. I am interested to see if similar patterns will emerge in other countries that begin to engage in social media on mobile platforms.
Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr User toodlepip