New study by Experian Marketing Services pinpoints rising social networks stars

New York, NY, 22 August 2012 – An international study by Experian Marketing Services reveals that niche social networks massively increased their market share of all visits to social sites with Instagram ( and Pinterest ( emerging as the global winners. 

The following table highlights the growth of Instagram and Pinterest between July 2011 and July 2012 in terms of their share of visits to All Sites by country.  

Social site


Hong Kong

New Zealand

North America

















The meteoric rise of both Instagram, which allows users to share photos with others through social networks and Pinterest, the online pinboard that allows users to organise and share their interests with others, has resulted in them now featuring in the top 20 social media networks used in North America, Singapore and the UK.  Other niche social networks such as Stock Twits in the US, Reddit in Australia, FanPop in the UK have also experienced significant gains.
Bill Tancer, Head of Global Research at Experian Marketing Services, commented: “The growth of both Instagram and Pinterest over the past year has been phenomenal.  The reason for their success is that they haven’t tried to be ‘another Facebook’ to reach consumers.  Both networks are image based which people love – we all relate better to pictures than just words.  For brands that are retailers for example, a site like Pinterest presents a fantastic opportunity to promote products in a compelling and organised way to a wide group of people across the world.

"Over the next 12 months, we expect to see a proliferation of niche social networks.  Offering deeper functionality combined with a lower technical barrier to entry will mean new leaders in social media being created in a matter of days versus weeks and months.”

As brands get to grips with using social media effectively to reach and connect with customers and prospects, Experian Marketing Services’ findings illustrate how broad the social media landscape has become globally.  Social networking is one of the biggest online pastimes across the globe. 

Further analysis also highlights some of the other fast growing social networks by country between July 2011 to July 2012:

 Country     Social network


Percentage increase of market share of visits to All Sites between July 2011 to July 2012 


 Site where users vote for what is popular or not.

 117% increase



 Google+ integrates social services such as Google Profiles,  and introduces new services identified as Circles, Hangouts and Sparks.

 5750% increase
 New Zealand  Site where users vote for what is poular or not.  107% increase
 North America

 Social networking community which allow users to find people with skills from friends, friends of friends, local area, or the community

StockTwits is an open, communitiy-powered investment idea and information service.

 7435% increase


 943% increase

 Singapore  Community site that assists users in finding games to play, people to play against, and serves as a meeting place for friends and teammates  124%



 Google+ integrates social services such as Gogole Profiles, and introduces new services identified as Circles, Hangouts and Sparks.

Network of fan clubs for fans of television, movies, music and more to discuss and share photos, videos, news and opinions with fellow fans.





About the new social stars

Consumers all over the world love getting snap happy, using Instagram to take and upload pictures to share with friends and family.  Further analysis reveals that Facebook is the number one driver of traffic to in North America, Brazil and Australia where 47%, 44% and 33% of all traffic to comes from Facebook. Interestingly, in Singapore, 42% of all visits to are from Twitter, followed by 22% from Facebook.    And upon leaving the site, social media loving Americans, Brazilians and Hong Kongers are most likely to head back to Facebook (21%, 16% and 8% respectively), Singaporeans will go on to Twitter and Twitpic whereas Britons, Australians and New Zealanders will go in search of something else through Google.

Pinterest has experienced a significant increase in users over the past year, particularly in the US where it is now the fourth biggest social network used by Americans.  It still has a way to catch up in the UK where it is the 14th biggest social networking site. 

Singaporeans spend on average 23 minutes on Pinterest, Americans 15 minutes per Pinterest session and Brits only nine minutes. Americans and Singaporeans are more likely to visit Pinterest after having been on Facebook compared to Brits who will go to Pinterest direct from Google. 

In the UK, just over a quarter (28%) of Pinterest’s visitors are new users whereas in the US it is just 13% on average suggesting that it may be close to peaking in terms of new users. 


About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services delivers best-in-breed customer data and insight, digital-marketing technologies and data management services into multiple regions around the globe. By helping marketers more effectively target and engage their best customers with meaningful communications across both traditional and digital media, Experian Marketing Services enables organizations to encourage brand advocacy while creating measurable return on marketing investment. For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter: @ExperianMkt

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2012 was US$4.5 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 44 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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