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Most social networking sites have lost active users in the past six months, but Facebook has bucked that trend, a new study finds.

Eight out of ten active social media users (80%) have an account on Facebook, up from 71% six months earlier, and among them 54% visit Facebook at least once a day, according to a survey from Performics, conducted by ROI Research.


Meanwhile, other major social networks have lost active users. For example, 19% of social media users have an active Twitter account, down from 22% six months earlier. The greatest decline among the social sites studied has been that of Windows Live, the study found.

Below, other findings from the Performics study, S-Net (The Impact of Social Media).

Four out of ten active Facebook users (41%) say the site is a good way to get information about companies and products (40% said so six months earlier).


Overall, brand-oriented interaction levels among Facebook users have remained relatively constant over the previous six months: 31% of active Facebook users now say they are interested to communicate with more brands via Facebook—the same proportion who said so six months earlier. 

Some 30% say connecting with brands via Facebook makes them feel valued as a customer, up just 2 points from six months earlier.

Frequency of Facebook Activity

Nearly one-quarter (22%) of active Facebook users say they click on ads at least once a week.

 

Over one-half (54%) of active Facebook say they make comments on Facebook at least weekly, 25% visit company product pages, and 25% log on to other sites via Facebook.


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Twitter

At least once a week, 33% of active Twitter users share opinions about companies or products they follow, 32% make recommendations about those brands, and 30% ask for recommendations.

Among Twitter users who follow at least one company, over one-half say since connecting with Twitter they are more likely to...

  • Recommend companies they follow: 55%
  • Talk about those companies and brands: 55%
  • Purchase from them: 51%

Similar to the Facebook findings noted above, those brand-related interaction levels are down slightly from six months earlier.

Mobile Device Use

Growing numbers of social media users access social sites via their mobile devices:

  • 32% access Facebook via mobile, up from 26% six months earlier.
  • 30% access Twitter via mobile, up from 26%.
  • 22% access YouTube via mobile, up from 18%.

Social Interaction Highest for Electronics Brands

The study examined social media interaction levels across 11 vertical categories. The top 3 categories about which active social media users seek information are electronics brands (49%),  healthcare/pharma (47%), and furnishings purchases (47%).

Social conversations around travel (22%), entertainment (23%), and apparel (24%) purchases are the least active among consumers surveyed.

Other findings:

  • 23% of those without an active Facebook account plan to join in the next six months.
  • 67% of social media users say they have reconnected—via social networking sites—with people they would not have reconnected with otherwise.
  • 51% of social media users say social networking sites are the best way to communicate with friends and family.

About the data: Findings are from a study of 3,000 US social networking users age 13+ who access at least one social network regularly, conducted by ROI Research Inc. for Performics in October 2009 and April 2010.

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