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TODD SMITH — Social media users vault past 3 billion


The latest Global Digital Statshot from We Are Social and Hootsuite reveals that the number of people using social media around the world has just passed the momentous 3 billion mark. With he world population at 7.5 billion and counting, that’s quite a milestone. Here are top trends:

» 3.8 billion Internet users – with a 51 percent penetration rate.

» 3.02 billion social media users with a 40 percent penetration rate.

» 5.05 billion unique mobile users – a 67 percent penetration rate.

» 2.78 billion mobile social media users – a 37 percent penetration rate.

Growth trends show no signs of slowing either, with the number of active social media users growing at a rate of one million new users per day over the past quarter:

» Internet users have grown .2 percent since April, adding 8 million.

» Social media users have increased 4 percent, up 121 million.

» Mobile users have increased 2 percent, up 92 million.

» Mobile social users have ticked up 3 percent, up 82 million.

The increase in social media user numbers suggests that Internet use continues to grow at an equally impressive rate.

You’ll find our full Statshot report in the SlideShare embed [right] (and you can download it for free by clicking here), but read on for additional context and some deeper insights.

Social media: The world’s favorite online pastime?

Facebook delivered a significant portion of social media growth over the past four months, with the platform surging past the 2 billion monthly active users mark to reach 2.046 billion monthly active users:

» 87 percent of Facebook users access the platform via mobile devices.

» 59 percent use Facebook every day.

» 56 percent of Facebook profiles declared as male.

» 44 percent declared as female.

Other key social platforms posted solid growth in the past few months too, notably YouTube, whose recent updates to global user figures put the platform in second place in the global MAU (monthly active user) rankings, with 1.5 billion active users.

» WHATSAPP has 1.2 billion active users.

» Facebook Messenger boasts 1.2 billion active users

» Instagram has 700 million users

» Twitter has 328 million users

» Snapchat has 255 million users

» Pinterest has 175 million users

» LinkedIn has 106 million users

Upwardly mobile

Mobile adoption continues to grow steadily around the world, with GSMA Intelligence reporting growth of more than 650,000 new users each day since the last report.

Meanwhile, the latest data from Ericsson show that our love affair with mobile connectivity continues to strengthen too, with the average smartphone user now consuming more than 2.3GB of mobile data every month via their mobile devices.

CBS aims to reinvent itself in a digital 24/7 world

CBS News is building a digital upstart that has been trying to do something new within the confines of a decades-old news institution: build an 24/7 news brand that doesn’t fall into the rut of endless cable news shout-a-thons on one end and cheap, forgettable social news clips on the other.

In the fall of 2014, CBS launched CBSN, a 24-hour streaming news channel available for free online and across all manner of smartphones, tablets and connected TV screens. Described by a CBS source to DigiDay as a “child” under the joint custody of CBS Interactive and CBS News, CBSN programs 15 hours or more of live-streaming news every day, including episodes of major CBS News programs such as “CBS This Morning,” “Face the Nation,” “60 Minutes” and “CBS Evening News.”

CBSN is no small operation, with as many as 250 people from across CBS News Digital and CBS Interactive working on CBSN news insight. This includes dedicated staffers within editorial, engineering and other departments, as well as those with “central roles” from CBS Interactive in departments spanning product, marketing and sales.

Nearly three years in, CBSN is profitable. Going forward, the plan is to “take some of the success and reinvest it” into the business, according to Christy Tanner, senior vice president and general manager of CBS News Digital for CBS Interactive. This includes putting money and resources toward new content, distribution partnerships and editorial products, which will often involve working in tandem with other departments in the broader CBS portfolio — a testament to how much CBS higher-ups value CBSN.

While CBSN’s editorial and social teams produce short, social videos for Facebook and other platforms, it’s not at the expense of the flagship streaming channel. If, for instance, a video does well on Facebook, then the plan is to cover that topic at some point on the streaming channel, Lane said.

CBSN is also an opportunity for CBS News to go deeper on topics broadcast and cable news outlets underreport. In the past year, CBSN has launched a “CBSN Originals” program to produce documentaries that cover topics such as Latino Trump supporters and the drive to end child marriage in Nepal and the U.S.

Getting Younger

By producing a streaming news channel that’s available across different streaming platforms and devices, CBSN is helping CBS News reach a younger audience.

This is especially important in a time when traditional broadcast and cable news viewers are aging, said Jason Maltby, president and co-executive director of national broadcast for Mindshare North America. The median age for a Fox News and MSNBC TV viewer is 65 years old; for CNN’s prime-time viewership, the median age is 59 years old, according to Nielsen.

Last week, CBS News premiered “CBSN: On Assignment,” a new summer TV series airing on TV and simulcast on CBSN and the CBS All Access subscription streaming service. Each hour-long episode will feature multiple documentary-style reports CBSN produces.

CBS All Access, which reportedly had 1.5 million paying subscribers as of February, will carry CBSN’s live feed starting on Aug. 3.

Rhinestone Mic | Glen Campbell was a Mount Rushmore country artist

The Rhinestone Cowboy is a Mount Rushmore country music artist, as Brad Paisley so aptly coined the iconic music legend following his death at age 81 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

During the meteoric ascent of the genre, Campbell brought country music to new audiences. He found success as a session musician before embarking on a solo career that included smashes “Gentle On My Mind,” “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy” eventually landing in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Campbell’s death brought a flood of emotional tributes from across the globe to Nashville, where he had lived, worked and inspired a generation of artists.

He was a natural for TV and the big screen, and in the 1960’s hosted The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” that featured much more than country. He performed Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” with Stevie Wonder and “Squares Make the World Go ‘Round” with the Smothers Brothers and Nancy Sinatra.

His megawatt success – dotted with drug addiction, debauchery and divorce – continued into the 21st Century, as he brightened the spotlight on country music. In 2011, he announced he was suffering from Alzheimer’s and became perhaps one of the greatest champions of the debilitating disease – shining an equally as bright light on the memory-robbing malady. Later that year, he launched a “Goodbye Tour” to put an exclamation point on his career while bringing much needed attention to the disease.

Campbell played his final Nashville show in early January 2012, performing at the Ryman Auditorium with a band that included three of his children. He opened with “Gentle On My Mind,” played many of his hits and thrilled an audience that included Tanya Tucker, Grand Ole Opry stars Jeannie Seely and Ricky Skaggs and fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Ralph Emery. His last album was aptly titled “Adios,” a fitting goodbye from a gifted country music legend.

The Spin Cycle has always loved the music of Glen Campbell, and will always be a big fan of the legend. Now the Pearly Gates are radiating an electric rhinestone hue, and the angels are swaying to the heavenly music.

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

One comment

  1. Fabulous todd. You genius. So fun to read. You must read 24/24 to keep up with all those statistics. Mom loves you

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