What is the state of social media?
The social media industry has seen consistent growth over the last 10 years, with new platforms emerging regularly.
As a result, the social landscape is always changing, and it can be hard for marketers and businesses to stay up-to-date.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the latest social media statistics you need to know right now.
We’ll dig into the demographics and trends for all of the popular platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.
These social media stats will help you understand who is using which platform and provide key insights that you can use to inform your social media strategy.
Ready? Let’s get started:
Editor’s top picks – social media statistics
These are our most interesting statistics about social media:
- There are 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide. (Source: Hootsuite/WeAreSocial)
- Twitter has 73 million users in the US. (Source: Statista1)
- WhatsApp is the most popular social media messaging app in the world. (Source: Statista9)
First, let’s take a look at some general social media statistics that tell us more about the industry as a whole.
That’s 490 million more social media users than at the start of 2020 and shows that social media is still growing rapidly. It’s also 53.6% of the total global population (around 7.8 billion people).
Yep, you heard it right – more than half of all the people on earth use social media.
And that’s even more impressive when you consider that only 4.66 billion people have access to the internet.
This makes the US one of the top countries in terms of social media adoption rates. Only Europe has a greater adoption rate, with 79% of the population active on social media.
Africa is the region with the lowest adoption rate. Only 8% of those in Middle Africa, 10% of those in Eastern Africa, and 16% of those in Western Africa use social media regularly.
The difference is pretty significant too. 78% of women in the US actively use social media, compared to just 69% of men. However, that gender divide seems to be specific to the US. In many other countries, the reverse is true.
For example, in Western Africa, vastly more men (73%) use social media than women (46%). Social media is also more popular amongst men in Western Europe, Central America, Southern Asia, and South-Eastern Asia.
It’s useful to take note of the gender differences in social media usage when planning your strategy.
To put that into perspective, the average internet user spends almost 7 hours each day on their devices. As this stat shows, roughly a third of that is spent on social media.
The report also found that users spend on average 1 hour 12 minutes playing games, which makes social media twice as popular as gaming.
That’s an increase of around 21.3% since 2020. The reason ad spend is on the rise may have something to do with the global pandemic.
Despite many businesses cutting their advertising budget early on in the pandemic, elevated use of social media by consumers due to national lockdowns prompted many to rethink their strategy and invest more in social in order to capitalize on the increased reach.
Next, let’s take a look at some stats that tell us more about the popular social platform, Twitter.
This makes the US the country with the most Twitter users. Japan comes in second place, with 55.55 million Twitter users, and India a distant third with just 22.1 million Twitter users.
42% of people in this age bracket use Twitter, compared to just 27% in the 30-49 bracket, and 18% in the 50-64 age range. Seniors are by far the least likely to use Twitter, with just 7% of US adults aged over 65 on the platform.
This shows that Twitter may be a useful platform for marketers targeting younger demographics. However, if you’re trying to reach an older target market, you may be better off focusing on a different platform like Facebook.
Interestingly, this statistic shows that Twitter seems to appeal to well-educated users. For comparison, only 29% of Facebook users hold a college degree and just 27% of YouTube users.
Only LinkedIn shows greater popularity amongst graduates, with 56% of their user base with a college+ education. But given that LinkedIn is a professional network for networking and career development, this makes sense. The reason why Twitter is popular amongst college graduates is less clear.
Source: Pew Research1
The most prolific Tweeters are responsible for the vast majority of content on Twitter. Most users use Twitter to consume content and news and only post rarely. It’s only a small share of very active users that post regularly.
Source: Pew Research
Note: Check out our dedicated article on Twitter statistics to learn more.
Moving onto your mom’s favorite social media platform, Facebook. Here’s what you need to know.
Facebook is without doubt the most popular social media platform in the world. Established way back in 2004 by a group of college students (I think we’ve all heard the story), Facebook has since grown to the world’s largest social media outlet with over 2.8 billion daily active users.
Not only that, but the company as a whole now owns other major social apps and platforms including Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.
According to the WeAreSocial and Hootsuite Digital Report for 2021, just over 2 billion Facebook users can be reached by ads. This makes it an extremely useful platform for marketers and businesses. Facebook plays host to a range of sales and advertising functions which makes it a favorite amongst social media marketers and businesses alike.
Facebook has established itself as a part of daily life for many users. According to official statistics, 73% of Facebook users visit the site daily. In addition to this, over 90% of users visit the site at least once every week.
Facebook has earned a bit of a reputation of being a ‘boomer’ platform that caters to an older demographic. But while it may be true that a higher percentage of Gen X and Baby Boomers use Facebook compared to other platforms, as this statistic shows, it’s actually most popular amongst millennials.
Almost a quarter of people in this age bracket use Facebook, compared to 18.1% of those aged 35-44, 13.6% of those aged 45-54, 11% of those aged 55-64, and 10.6% of those over 65.
Notably, only a tiny fraction (2.9%) of those aged 13-17 use Facebook. This suggests that the future of the platform may be uncertain.
Note: Want to learn more? Check out our article on the latest Facebook statistics.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing social media platform that’s also owned by Facebook. Here are some of the latest Instagram statistics you need to know.
Instagram is an extremely active platform with over 1 billion monthly users. The platform which was created in 2010 has steadily grown in popularity over the years and was purchased by social media titan Facebook in 2012.
Since then, the platform has introduced a number of new features such as ‘Reels’ a video sharing function, and advertising and sales options which make it extremely popular with both consumers and businesses alike.
Instagram is a great platform to consider if you’re looking to tap into the millennial consumer market. Around 32% of its users are aged between 25 and 30 making it the largest age group on the platform.
Instagram is also relatively popular with 18-25-year-olds that make up for around 29.9% of the total users.
Instagram has maintained its popularity since its inception in 2010 and has solidified itself as one of the most uses social media platforms. The app ranks behind Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp as the 4th most popular social media site.
Instagram does a great job of bridging the gap between businesses and consumers. According to statistics published in an Instagram article, almost all Instagram users follow at least one business account.
This makes it a great platform for running branded ad campaigns and influencer campaigns, as consumers already see it as a place where they can learn about and interact with businesses.
Instagram is a great place for businesses to share details about their products and services, and consumers know this too.
According to an article published by Instagram, 81% of users use the platform to research products and services that they’re interested in. In addition to this, 80% of users reported that their Instagram research and interactions help them to decide whether or not to make a purchase.
Note: Looking for more Instagram stats? Check out our roundup of Instagram statistics and trends.
We’ve already taken a look at some enlightening statistics relating to the ‘big 3’ social media platforms. However, they’re not the only platforms you should take into account when planning a social media strategy.
Here are some interesting facts about TikTok, YouTube, WhatsApp, and more.
The Chinese social media platform TikTok burst onto the scene amid the pandemic in the first quarter of 2020. Although the site had been around for a while longer, adoption in the west had been slow.
However, with more people looking for new ways to entertain themselves at home, the innovative video platform gained new popularity. As a result, it was downloaded over 300 million times in just three months.
Despite being relatively new on the scene, TikTok is proving to be a particularly effective platform for marketers. This is mainly due to the spending habits of the users of the platform.
According to WeAreSocial/Hootsuite TikTok has the second-highest consumer spend figure of all mobile apps. TikTok also offers a variety of ad formats that make it easy to integrate high converting ads with regular content on the platform.
Note: Check out our dedicated article on TikTok statistics to learn more.
When it comes to messaging apps, WhatsApp holds the top spot, closely followed by Facebook Messenger. Users send around 100 billion messages per day on the app and make close to 100 million voice calls. WhatsApp is also a great place for businesses to interact with their customers, thanks to the introduction of the WhatsApp Business App.
WhatsApp is supported in over 180 countries including the US, the UK, and Canada. Surprisingly though, it’s most popular in India which is home to over 390 million WhatsApp users. India has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, which may contribute to the need to send fast and frequent messages and make calls for free using wifi.
Source: Business Insider/Insider Intelligence
After Google (the parent company of YouTube), YouTube is the most visited site in the whole world. In Jan 2020 alone, the site received over 20 billion visits, and 1.947 million of these were unique. It also ranks #3 on the most searched queries after Google and Facebook.
Note: Want to learn more? Check out our post on YouTube statistics.
Not only does YouTube receive over 20 billion visits each month, but a good proportion of these views come from engaged, logged-in users. According to statistics published by YouTube, YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in users every month. This makes it the perfect platform for building brand awareness and nurturing a strong and engaged community.
If your products or services are predominantly targeted towards the female market, Pinterest may be a great platform to utilize for your social media marketing efforts. Unlike most platforms, Pinterest has a rather uneven split when it comes to gender. According to statistics published in the Digital 2021 report from WeAreSocial and Hootsuite, almost 80% of Pinterest’s ad audience is female.
Like many other social media platforms, Pinterest saw substantial growth in 2020. With more people staying home and taking up hobbies, or starting DIY projects, Pinterest became the place to go for inspiration and information. As such, users figures rose by almost half in 2020 alone.
Note: Learn more in our roundup of Pinterest statistics.
Snapchat ranks 12th on the list of most used social media sites, but it’s still worth thinking about, especially if your audience is predominately teenagers and young adults. According to a graph published by Statista, a whopping 48% of Snapchat users are under 25. So if you’re looking to reach out to young people, this is the platform for you.
Snapchat also has a fairly even split when it comes to the gender of its users. 54% of Snapchat users are female, and 46% are male. Therefore, it can be a useful place to advertise products targeted at females and males from the younger demographics.
Note: If you want to learn more, check out our roundup of Snapchat statistics.
According to a WeAreSocial/Hootsuite report from July 2021, there are 4.48 billion active social media users worldwide. That’s around 56.8% of the total global population
Facebook is the most used social media site in the world. This makes it the #1 social media site based on the number of active users.
What are the most popular uses of social media sites?
There are a large number of social media networks. And people use each of them for slightly different purposes.
For example, 4 in 10 Pinterest users use the platform to research brands and products. Whereas the most popular use on Facebook (and Messenger) is to keep in touch with friends and family.
Source: Global Web Index
Social media statistics sources
As you can see from the facts and figures above, social media is still a thriving industry. Whether you’re a blogger, digital marketer, or small business owner, social media is a powerful tool that can be the key to authentically connecting with your target audience.
Hopefully, the statistics in this article helped you learn a little more about the state of the social media industry as a whole and each of the platforms that make up the social landscape.
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