Social Media Now Akin To Cable TV Penetration, Nielsen Report Reveals 80% Of Web Uses It

In a finding suggesting that social media – both social networks and blogs – is now akin to the kind of penetration that cable TV has for the TV universe, reaching 80% of active U.S. Internet users.

The new report, "State of the Media: The Social Media Report," can be read in its entirety on the Nielsen blog – -- but its topline finding is its new social media penetration estimate. Other findings include:

- 60 percent of people who use three or more digital means of research for product purchases learned about a specific brand or retailer from a social networking site. Forty-eight percent of these consumers responded to a retailer's offer posted on Facebook or Twitter.

- 70 percent of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12 percent more likely than the average internet user

- 53 percent of active adult social networkers follow a brand while only 32 percent follow a celebrity

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