Ever more digital, Ever more social. Revelations from the ‘We Are Social’ and Hootsuite reports

Ever more digital, Ever more social. Revelations from the ‘We Are Social’ and Hootsuite reports

What is the relationship between the worlds’ population and the digital realm?

Some interesting dots have been revealed in a collaborative report between the creative agency We Are Social and Hootsuite, a well-known platform for the management and optimization of social media channels.

The Digital in 2017: Global Overview Report, a combined effort of several companies, is essential to understanding how the relationship between users and digital is evolving, especially in light of the fact that more than half of the world's population has access to the Internet.

The Report data is also useful in understanding how the increasingly widespread and rapid access to the network is having an impact not only on companies and business models, but also on the daily lives of individuals. And it is not just the Internet that has modified the way we live, maintain social relations and exchange information. The report reveals that other factors have come into play, including that:

● more than half of the world's population uses a smartphone;

● almost two thirds of the world's population owns a mobile phone;

● more than half of internet traffic is generated by mobile devices;

● more than half of mobile connections occur via broadband;

● more than one in five people in the world's population have made at least one online purchase in the last 30 days.

Keywords that emerge in the Report are: mobility, social networks, connection speed and e-commerce. These macro areas therefore occupy a fundamental place in the report. On a global level, in fact, Digital in 2017 takes a picture from which fundamental data emerge:

● 3.77 billion internet users in 2017, with a penetration of 50% on the world population;

● 2.80 billion social media users in 2017, with a penetration of 37%;

● 4.92 billion mobile users in 2017, with a penetration of 66%;

● 2.56 billion mobile social media users in 2017, with a penetration of 34%;

● 1.61 billion e-commerce users in 2017, with a penetration of 22%.

But it is not all that is striking: the report also delves into social networks, and the fact that 40% of the world's population is active on social media, spending an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes using these platforms every day. The overwhelmingly dominant platform in terms of use and dissemination is Facebook, considering all its properties, such as Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp (the total number of users active monthly on Facebook is a huge number, 2.046 billion people). Moreover, while remaining within the social network, it is important to note that as many as 87% of the population access Facebook via mobile.

The image of the world painted by the We Are Social and Hootsuite Report is of a hyper-connected world, ever faster and where the network, mobile and social networks are gaining more and more power. The smartphone seems to have become a normal extension of our selves, and we are so addicted and dependent on the flow of information and contacts that it generates, that we can not live without it.

So if at one level this seems to present positive aspects in terms of ease of communication and opportunities, at another, we must always remember that any abuse of an instrument is never healthy.

We must make an effort to avoid a depersonalized online existance, and try and live without the screens of our beloved devices.