Worldwide data from Trendstream and Lightspeed Research sheds light on the user-generated content activities of Internet users around the world.
In the US, a mature Internet market, managing a social network profile was the top online user-generated content activity, participated in by 44.2% of Web users. This was followed closely by uploading photos. Uploading video, blogging and microblogging were significantly less popular.
Users in the UK and Canada had similar rates of social network use and photo-sharing, and also tapered off dramatically when it came to more advanced user-generated content activities.
Japan, another mature Internet market, has markedly different participation in user-generated content activities. Much lower percentages of Web users manage social network profiles or upload photos, for example. The “Global Web Index” report notes that this is actually a sign of advanced behavior: The survey measured only activities conducted on a PC, and in Japan, many such activities are now mobile-based. For example, 34% of users accessed social networks only via mobile during the month of the study.
Meanwhile, participation was generally high in China, where overall Internet penetration is only 29.6% according to eMarketer estimates. A majority of users uploaded photos, and nearly one-half had a blog. More than one-fifth used a microblogging service, far ahead of the more advanced economies.
Trendstream and Lightspeed noted that microblogging usage was fairly low across the board, despite the hype surrounding services such as Twitter. The 7% of US users participating in microblogging was somewhat lower than eMarketer’s estimate of 11.1% Twitter penetration this year—though again, Lightspeed examined PC usage only, while eMarketer’s figure incorporates Twitter usage across devices.