Category Archives: Social Networking

LinkedIn – what Microsoft gets, doesn’t get, and what’s ahead (TUPdate)

Microsoft recently (June 13, 2016) announced it would be acquiring LinkedIn, the popular professional social network.

New MetaFacts research confirms that LinkedIn’s active members are indeed an attractive demographic, and yet there are headwinds ahead for Microsoft. Our recent Technology User Profile survey of over 10,000 respondents span the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China.

An attractive demographic

Active LinkedIn members stand head and shoulders above the average connected adult professional. In the US, they are 1.4 more likely than average to be employed full-time, and 1.6 times more likely than average to be a college graduate. They are also unique in their employment role, being 1.5 times as likely to be working in Marketing/Communications or in IT/IS, 1.4 times as likely to be a Specialist (e.g., design, engineering), 1.3 times a likely to be a contractor or IT Consultant, and 1.2 as likely to be an Executive or in an HR-related role. A similar pattern holds for the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

Microsoft’s ready access to this important population spells many opportunities for Microsoft, if managed well. With a service relying heavily on user-provided content, and with its members showing a high degree of sophistication, education, and strength, member trust and satisfaction will be especially vital to LinkedIn’s future.

Active Ad Blockers

To the extent Microsoft’s strategy involves increased advertising to LinkedIn members, it faces an existing and growing challenge. LinkedIn members are some of the world’s most advertising-averse. Forty-three percent of active US LinkedIn members use an Ad Blocker on at least one of their connected devices – PCs, Tablets, Smartphones – and in many cases have Ad Blockers on all of them. That is 1.3 times higher than the rate among the average connected adult. This is similar around the world – ranging from 1.1 to 1.5 times higher than average among active LinkedIn members in the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

Microsoft will need to continue to maintain the trust that active LinkedIn members have come to rely on. It’s possible they will whitelist ads on LinkedIn. It’s not as if LinkedIn has been specifically targeted by its members, it’s simply that its members are well above average in the practice of blocking ads across their devices. Adblocking has already been a significant challenge for media giants from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal as technology users increasingly take control over their experiences.

Apple-endearedApples and Apples

If part of Microsoft’s strategy is to encourage LinkedIn’s active members into (or back into) the Windows ecosystem, then it has a trend to reverse. LinkedIn’s active members are well-endeared and engaged with Apple’s devices and ecosystem. In the US, they are 1.8 times as likely as the average connected adult to be using four Apple OS devices, 1.5 times as likely to be using three, and 1.3 times as likely to be using two. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s members are 1.6 times as likely to be using an Apple mobile PC, 1.4 times as likely to be using an iPad, and 1.3 times as likely to be using an iPhone. This similar pattern holds true in the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

The Microsoft Graph

Major workplace activities used by active LinkedIn members per MetaFacts

Major workplace activities used by active LinkedIn members per MetaFacts

There’s another climb ahead for Microsoft – LinkedIn’s active members are already well on board with many of Microsoft’s types of professionally-oriented offerings, whether from Microsoft or competitors. So, growth ahead will be incremental, and less about mass introduction into new ways of working. With respect to these key workforce activities, this acquisition might be seen as a defensive retrenchment to hold off further encroachment by the likes of Google. At present, LinkedIn’s active US members are 1.8 times as likely as the average connected adult to already be using one of their connected devices to participate in a web-based group meeting, collaborate on work files, or create work graphics/presentations.

Other risks

Microsoft faces other risks. Imagine how a Google, Apple, or other leading-tech HR executive might consider Microsoft’s unprecedented access to their employees and projects. Any of Microsoft’s direct competitors are likely to have concerns about the depth and details Microsoft will have access to with the richness already in LinkedIn. Although Microsoft will undoubtedly take steps to reassure companies that their data is being held secure and not used directly for its own gain, trust will be a key concern for competitors. Some will likely step up their policies to prohibit or discourage user participation on LinkedIn.

The view ahead

At MetaFacts, where we directly measure active market demand, we contend that people matter first. If the members of LinkedIn feel their trust might be compromised, they may flee. Worldwide, there isn’t a single professional social network anywhere near the size or scope of LinkedIn. Rival xing has solid footing in German-speaking countries, while Viadeo is especially strong in France. Potentially, country-specific or language-specific competitors could grow, offering an independent haven for professional social networking. Instead of switching, members may trim their profiles, limit their participation, or simply cancel and close their profile.

Microsoft will need to reactivate the membership. In disclosures shared in the acquisition announcements, LinkedIn shared that of their reported 433 million members, 104 million were active within the prior month. This means less than one-fourth (24%) of its members are currently active. This low activity rate is the lowest of nine major US sites: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Also, membership growth has increased faster than the share of members which are active, further highlighting the decline in member activity. Microsoft’s resources and support may help reverse those trends.

Source

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from the Technology User Profile survey of adults throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. Current TUP subscribers can obtain additional analysis and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. Technology companies who want to know more about their current or future customers can contact MetaFacts to learn how to subscribe to the rich resources of Technology User Profile.

 

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Filed under Cloud Storage, Communication, Demographics & Econographics, Market Research, Market Sizing, Social Networking, TUP 2015, TUPdate, Usage Patterns, Video calling

WhatsApp Brazilian Dance Step

Today a Brazilian judge ordered another stop to WhatsApp on Brazil’s smartphones, at least temporarily. (Source: Reuters May 2, 2016)
Creative Commons Courtesy Ed Yourdon
WhatsApp is a very popular communications app around the world, and especially strong in Brazil. According to the most recent wave of our Technology User Profile survey, 82% of Brazil’s connected adults have used WhatsApp in the prior 30 days.

While this means 70.4 million adults are affected, Brazil’s active WhatsApp users have other options. Among the other sites and apps which are actively used for communication and networking, 68% use InstaGram and nearly six in ten (58%) already actively use Skype. Another quarter (26%) use SnapChat and one-in-six (16%) use Viber.
Brazilian WhatsApp users are already in a good position to use other options. Only 1% of WhatsApp users are only using WhatsApp and not using Instagram, Skype, G+, SnapChat, or Viber.
whatsapp metafacts 2016-05-02_16-41-59

Furthermore, while 81% of WhatsApp users use a Smartphone, not all do. WhatsApp is also accessible on PCs. Among the many devices Brazilian WhatsApp adults regularly use, 98% access a PC, and many use more than one. Eight-one percent use 2 or more PCs. Just under half (47%) have a Tablet PC, with Android tablets outnumbering Apple’s iPads or Tablets running Windows.

With WhatsApp’s broad popularity, it’s not as if any particular Smartphone carrier is being singled out. Each carrier’s share among WhatsApp’s customer base is nearly identical to the total base, with TIM having twice the share of any other carrier, Claro (Embratel, NET Serviços) in second place, then followed by Oi SA (Telemar Norte Leste, Brasil Telecom) and Telefônica.

It’s also not as if these Brazilians will have their communication stymied. Ninety percent of WhatsApp users regularly send/receive personal email, 85% text message, 83% make/receive personal phone calls, and 49% participate in a personal web-based group meeting.

Looking ahead
Although legal events like these can cause big disruptions, tech users are resilient, especially Brazilians. Other communication-rich apps and sites such as Skype, G+, SnapChat and Viber will continue to increase their efforts to claim any bewildered or befuddled WhatsApp users. Meanwhile, Brazilian tech users will continue to juggle their many devices as well as the many ways that they already communicate.

Source
This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from the Technology User Profile survey of adults throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. Current TUP subscribers can obtain additional analysis and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. To license the full market research results, contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Communication, Desktops, Market Research, Multiple Devices, Notebooks, Smartphones, Social Networking, TUP 2015

What Social Networkers Do With Their Time

A MetaFacts TUPdate by Dan Ness, Principal Analyst

Social networking is about fun and keeping connected – hardly referred to as a time-saver. Our latest research confirms that adults busiest with their PCs use social networking the most. Three out of four (77%) of adults who spend 80 or more per week with their PC use a social network, versus only 45% of those who use their PCs less than five hours per week.

It’s not as if Cityville is capturing all the hours among those busiest. Game-playing is ranked 7th across all usage levels save one. There is no single type of activity that the least-busy do that the most-busy don’t. It’s more that the least-busy simply scratch the surface of social networking activities while the busy, well, get busy. The rank order of social networking activities is not significantly different between the least-busy and busiest.

Simply put, the busiest computer users use the widest range of social networking activities.

So, what’s the attraction for these busiest PC users that hasn’t lured the less-busy?

Four activities stand out to separate the busiest from the least-busy. One is rather passive, one bodes well for social media marketing, and the other two show a heightened level of user involvement and concern.

Social Networking Activities and Online Hours

Watching a video, such as following a link to YouTube or Video, is done by the busiest at nearly triple the rate of the least-busy. Similarly, 31% of social networkers who use their PCs for 80 or more hours per month say they have recently clicked a social network ad, triple the 10% rate among those using their PCs for less than five hours a week.

Removing content, such as deleting photos or posts, and adjusting privacy settings, is done by the most-active PC users at triple the rate of the least-busy. These two activities are related, as social networkers seek to control their public footprint.

Social networking relies on a delicate alchemy of trust, encouraging user-generated content and attracting participation by preserving privacy, and helping networkers feel they are discovering things rather than being sold to.

In our Technology User Profile survey, we also asked those who don’t use a social network why they disconnected. Of those who use their primary PCs 80 or more hours per week, 26% said they stopped using a social network because they were wasting their time. From the least-busy to the busiest, agreement was the same, ranging between 20% and 28% of online adults.

Looking ahead, the near-term future for social networks will still include turmoil. There are a substantial number of online adults who aren’t finding a compelling reason to spend as much of their time networking online. Furthermore, trust issues continue, with 19% to 28% of the unnetworked having stopped citing privacy concerns. Still, it’s a bullish sign that the top activities for the busiest users are to expand their network and add content. To the extent the social network can continue to bring value and interest to the busiest users, this may encourage more use among current users, and possibly open the door for the return of former social networkers.

Source

The information in this MetaFacts TUPdate is based on the Technology User Profile service.

For this TUPdate, MetaFacts reviewed its surveys of online adults and how they use their primary PC. This is the PC they use the most often, whether it is owned by them, their employer, a friend, or in a public place.

To see other research coverage of Internet products and activities – from smartphones to feature phones, desktops to notebooks, social networking, demographics, and attitudes – see the many other questions TUP answers on www.technologyuser.com. Tech market research professionals can license direct access to TUP.

Direct marketers may be interested in certain specific Consumer Tech Index issues: Top Home PC Socializers, Top Home PC Communicators, and Top Home PC Funlovers. These identify what makes these active consumers different from the general market, in an actionable and useful way.

Strategic planners and marketers can contact MetaFacts to access the Technology User Profile Overview Report, which covers the broader range of key trends. View findings in 25 pages of executive summary analysis, 200+ pages of charts and graphs, all supported by 95+ pages of detailed tables. The complete, 300+ page report is delivered to you electronically.

About TUPdates

MetaFacts releases ongoing syndicated original research on the market shifts, trends and consumer profiles for Smartphones, Netbooks, Mobile PCs, Workplace PCs, Home PCs, Web Creators, Broadband, and many other technology products and services. These TUPdates are short analytical articles in a series of specific topics utilizing the Technology User Profile Annual Edition study, which reveals the changing patterns of technology adoption around the world. Interested technology professionals can sign up at http://technologyuser.com/contact/ for complimentary TUPdates – periodic snapshots of technology markets.

About MetaFacts

MetaFacts helps technology marketers find and measure their best and future customers. MetaFacts’ Technology User Profile (TUP) survey is the longest-running, large-scale comprehensive study of its kind, conducted continuously since 1983, the year before Apple released the Apple Macintosh. The detailed results are a primary market sizing and segmentation resource for leading companies providing consumer-oriented technology products and services, such as PCs, printers, Smartphones, consumer electronics, mobile computing, and related services and products. TUP analyzes key trends and the data-rich source can be dived into more deeply for custom analysis. For more information about the syndicated research service, analysis tools, publications and datasets, contact MetaFacts at 1-760-635-4300.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Social Networking, TUP 2011