If your New Year’s resolution is to spend less time on the internet, you’ll either find this post to be an extra dose of incentive to stick with your resolution… or a reminder of its futility! So, if limiting time spent online is your new goal, here’s the short of it:

The internet gained 316 million new users in 2014 and saw incredible growth in virtually every category of social media usage and ecommerce, from the number of Instagram photos uploaded to Amazon sales per minute.

We’re talking HUGE growth. You can skip down to see the full infographic from TechSpartan below. First, I’d like to discuss a few trends in social media usage that could have huge ramifications for digital marketers.

The 4 Biggest Increases In Internet Usage (2013 to 2014)

Activity on these networks and websites saw the biggest increases from 2013 to 2014:

  • +197% – Content uploaded to YouTube (306 hours per minute)
  • +76.31% – Photos upload to Instagram (67,000 per minute)
  • +55.5% – Songs added to Spotify (14 per minute)
  • +35.6% – Apple Apps downloaded (50,200 per minute)

I find it interesting that the top four areas of growth span a wide range of video, photo/social, music, and interactive. If you had asked me yesterday for my guesses about what happened “in an internet minute” in 2014, I probably would have given YouTube and Instagram a mention of high rank, but I don’t know that use of Spotify, Apple Apps, and some of the other online activities in this infographic would have been on my list.

What Is the Data On Internet and Social Media Usage Telling Us?

I think the top lesson to be learned from looking at a single minute of web use is:Everyone is a creator and curator. (Just look at the upswing in Instagram, Vine, and YouTube uploads.) Marketers who can identify, respond to, and cultivate the creative impulses of their audience will be very successful in 2015 and beyond.

Okay, “everyone” might be a bit of an exaggeration. But the point is: the people who are going to talk about your brand – the ones who are going to share your story – are creators and curators. They are the ones marketers need to be focusing on. Marketers no longer have hope of “controlling” the conversation; and that’s okay. But you can help fuel the fires of passionate creators who desire to be a part of your brand’s story.

What Values Do You Identify In This Infographic? Or, what surprises you? 


This article was written by Bob Hutchins from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.