France: The Future of Social Networks is Mobile
In summer 2012 we took a closer look at the social networking habits of our nearest and dearest neighbours, examining how those 40million+ Gallic Internet users were connecting to social media through their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Thanks in part to Messrs Hollande and Sarkozy’s presidential race, the leading social networks in France – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – attracted 21.9 million users from January to July 2012.
Mobile engagement with social media amongst French users surged ahead, particularly on Twitter and LinkedIn. According to data from comScore MobiLens, LinkedIn saw a bountiful 125% increase in mobile access between June 2011 and 2012, closely followed by Twitter at 117%.
Hollande may now be president but Facebook is still king in France; according to eMarketer they registered more than 10 million users in June 2012. To put that into perspective, Twitter clocked up a relatively paltry 1.5m which just goes to show that the ubiquity of Zuckerberg’s network on desktops and unparalleled connectivity made it difficult to challenge in 2012. Whether that will change in the coming year remains to be seen; predictions for mobile usage of social media in France are positive with 50% estimated growth across the board. Coming from 107% in 2011 and 54% in 2012, trends suggest a plateau stemming from a critical mass of users.
However the future looks bright for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as the uninitiated masses move their social experience over to their smartphones. By 2014, one quarter of France’s population will will be accessing social networks on mobile platforms (eMarketer).