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Smaller Social Sites See Significant Boost in Usage

Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+ are emerging as a newer crop of popular social media sites

January 11, 2012

Some smaller social networks have attracted attention from marketers in the beginning weeks of 2012, including Tumblr and Pinterest. And the buzz is well-earned, as the number of unique visitors and time on the sites are both increasing.

In December 2011’s “It’s a Social World: Top 10 Need-to-Knows about Social Networking and Where It’s Headed” report, comScore indicated that social blogging platform Tumblr saw a 172% increase in worldwide audience size between October 2010 and October 2011, overshadowed only by Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, with a 181% increase. Twitter itself had a 59% increase in unique visitors.

Fastest Growing Top Tier* Social Networks Worldwide, by Audience Size, Oct 2010-Oct 2011 (% change)

When it comes to time spent, Pinterest, a visual bookmarking site, saw an average of 72.1 minutes per worldwide user in October 2011, a 512% increase since May 2011, when comScore first started tracking the site. Tumblr visitors posted an average of 81.6 minutes in October, up 41% from October 2010. However, this is still far behind the time spent per user on Facebook, which also saw 40% growth from October 2010.

Social Networks Worldwide with Highest Growth in Time Spent, Oct 2011 (% change vs. Oct 2010 and minutes)

Looking ahead a month, comScore reported that Pinterest was the seventh leading US social media site based on number of unique visitors in November 2011. The site had 4.9 million unique visitors, and visitors spent an average of 88.3 minutes on the site.

Its visitor numbers put Pinterest at the low end of the list, but looking at time spent on the site, the visual bookmarking network was behind only Facebook and Tumblr in the US, with an average of 394 minutes and 141.7 minutes, respectively. Twitter, while second in terms of visitors, was behind Pinterest in time spent, with an average of only 24.4 minutes per user. Google+ also made the list, with 15.2 million unique visitors, but an average of only 5.1 minutes on the site.

Leading US Social Media Sites, Ranked by Number of Unique Visitors, Nov 2011 (millions and minutes per visitor)

Both Tumblr and Pinterest are gaining users, and those users are spending more time on these sites. While they haven’t reached the levels of Facebook and Twitter, they are growing, gaining buzz among users and catching marketers’ eyes—and will be worth following in 2012.

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Check out today’s other article, “Opportunities Abound as Ad Support Increases Role in Mobile Content Delivery.”


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