Is social media a waste of time for accountants? (1 of 3)

I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been asked this question by clients & friends.

By way of setting some context,  lets look at where social media is currently “at” in the world today:

  1. One in every nine people on Earth is on Facebook ( This number is calculated by dividing the planets 6.94 billion people by Facebook’s 750 million users)
  2. People spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
  3. Each Facebook user spends on average 15 hours and 33 minutes a month on the site
  4. More than 250 million people access Facebook through their mobile devices
  5. More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook
  6. 30 billion pieces of content is shared on Facebook each month
  7. 300,000 users helped translate Facebook into 70 languages
  8. People on Facebook install 20 million “Apps” every day
  9. YouTube has 490 million unique users who visit every month (as of February 2011)
  10. YouTube generates 92 billion page views per month (These YouTube stats don’t include videos viewed on phones and embedded in websites)
  11. Users on YouTube spend a total of 2.9 billion hours per month (326,294 years)
  12. Wikipedia hosts 17 million articles
  13. Wikipedia authors total over 91,000 contributors
  14. People upload 3,000 images to Flickr (the photo sharing social media site) every minute
  15. Flickr hosts over 5 billion images
  16. 190 million average  Tweets per day occur on Twitter (May 2011)
  17. Twitter is handling 1.6 billion queries per day
  18. Twitter is adding nearly 500,000 users a day
  19. Google+ has more than 25 million users
  20. Google+ was the fastest social network to reach 10 million users at 16 days (Twitter took 780 days and Facebook 852 days)


Lets get local now. Here are some interesting growth statistics in Australia of the more popular social networks (source:

January 2011 (UAV – unique Australian visitors)

Facebook – 9.8 million users in Australia.
Youtube – 6.7 million UAVs
Twitter – 1 million UAVs
LinkedIn – 760,000 UAVs

Compare the above to the same statistics in August:

Facebook – 10.5 million users in Australia.
Youtube – 10 million UAVs
LinkedIn – 2 million UAVs
Twitter – 1.8 million UAVs

In just 7 months the big social networking sites have grown in Australia by:

Facebook – 7.1 %
Youtube – 49%
Twitter – 80%
LinkedIn –  163%

These are big, big numbers. The point of showing you these stats is simply to say that social media is not a fad – it is here to stay. Of course, you might be thinking to yourself that the above is all well and good but the majority of the traffic going via social media is personal and trivial. For the most part you’re right, but there are some interesting business facts that you just can’t ignore!

Tune into the next post and see how people are using social media for business.

All my best,

James E