Year in Numbers – 2012

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This month’s ‘Month in Numbers’ blog post has been changed slightly to accommodate and celebrate the whole of 2012 in numbers. Ranging from bookshops to Whitney Houston – here are our favourite  numbers of the last year, previously unmentioned in any of our 2012 ‘Month in Numbers’ posts.


113 million

The number of visits to retail websites made on Boxing Day which has set a new British online retail record. In total, in-between scoffing left over turkey and roasties, the UK spent 14 million hours shopping online on the 26th of December – an increase of 17% on last years figure. Despite breaking records, it still falls short of the 126 million visits that it was predicted to be earlier in December.

July 2012

Not really a number but an important mention all the same! Around the month of July in 2012 mobile internet traffic in India beat desktop usage  for the first time ever.


the number of Tweets per minute during Usain Bolt’s gold medal-winning 200m sprint.

10.1 million

The number of shares that the 30 minute video ‘Invisible Children: Kony 2012′ generated since its launch on 5th March. This puts it in the top spot for the most shared viral videos, beating videos from the likes of mega-brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike and Red Bull.


The percentage of the increase in sales of  downloaded films, music and games since 2011. A quarter of the entertainment market is now digital, with a big drop in physical sales this year more than £1billion was spent  downloading entertainment instead.

8 million 

The number of live viewers of Felix Baumgartner’s Red Bull Stratos jump from the edge of space on the 6th November. This figure crushes the previously held record for the number of live viewers by the London Olympics. After Felix landed Red Bull posted a picture of him on Facebook – it was shared nearly 70,000 times and generated nearly 530,000 likes and over 15,500 comments.


The number of mentions that the Diamond Jubilee got on social media, beating the Royal Wedding by 300,500 messages. It peaked at 10pm during the Jubilee concert, with 71,000 mentions.

‘Euro 2012’

I know, I know, not a number! But it did come number 1 in Google Zeitgeist’s 2012 top searches in the UK. Worldwide ‘Whitney Houston’ was the most searched term this year on Google. ‘Facebook’ was Wikipedia’s most searched term of the year in the UK.


This astonishing percentage is the increase in crimes committed over social media over the last 4 years. In fact, the number of allegations relating to Facebook and Twitter has increased eight-fold.


The number of bookshops that closed in 2012, a seven-fold increase from 2011. British readers spent £261 million on e-books in 2012 whilst the sale of physical books has steadily decreased.  Hachette UK saw 250,000 e-book sales between Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone.


Research conducted this year showed that this percentage of smartphone owners are now using their mobile devices to shop online, a four-fold increase since June 2010. eBay sees a sale from a mobile device every 2 seconds – looks like 2012 really was the year of the mobile.

850 million

The number of monthly active users on Facebook where the average Facebook user has at least 130 friends. Shockingly 25% of users on Facebook don’t even bother with any privacy control – be warned.

15 million

The number of Instagram users in December 2012 – an increase of 14 million since the beginning of last year. The average user spends 257 minutes accessing the photo-sharing app via mobile, in the same month over the same period the average Twitter user spent 170 minutes viewing their feed, a sign of things to come?


So there we have it, some pretty iconic numbers of 2012. The leftover turkey has been munched, and the Christmas treats have been devoured which can only mean that the new year is well and truly here. We are looking forward to seeing what 2013 will bring and what new and current records will be discovered and broken! A 2013 fact for you already – it is the first year since 1987 where all the numbers in the year have been different!

Join us at the start of February for January’s round up and if you have any further interesting stats or facts please do add them to the comment box below!

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One thought on “Year in Numbers – 2012”

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