By Rich Cherecwich
Social media, once a place for early adopters, curmudgeonly blog critics and college students, has officially entered the mainstream. According to a poll from Forrester Research, 75 percent of internet users participate in some form of social media, up from 56 percent in 2007.
One area where Forrester noticed large growth was in blogs and consumer-written product reviews. Participation grew from 48 percent of internet users to 69 percent, undoubtedly spurred by difficult economic times and consumers’ desire to research potential purchases before buying. The number of critics, or those who write the reviews, also grew from 25 percent to 37 percent.
Social networks increased in popularity as well with a 39 percent growth in new profiles. As more proof that social media has gone mainstream, Forrester noted that the age gap in social media is quickly closing. Although younger demographics still rate higher, the 35-44-year-old demographic saw considerable growth in writing reviews and joining social networks.