Social Media in Numbers. What Are the Most Popular Social Networks?

Social Media Users Statistics and Trends Across the World

Talks about the impact of technology on the modern society have become widespread in the past years, with experts predicting a gloomy future where robots are going to replace human work. While these concerns may not be related to the near future, we are still facing huge changes in communication as we know it, due to incredible the rise of social media. It seems that we are truly experiencing a digitalized era if we look at the 2015 statistics.

According to recent data released by We Are Social agency, the number of Global Active Internet Users now totals 3.175 Billion, which is nearly half of the world’s population (7.357 Billion). As for social media, there are over 2.206 Billion active users, which can translate to a 30% global penetration. Moreover, the use of smartphones has brought tremendous success for social media: 1.925 Billion users utilise their mobiles for Social Media platforms.

Social Media Statistics

Passive users and the rise of niche networks

Other studies have also shown the impressive growth of social media users, also pointing out interesting trends in the development and usage of different social networks. One of the most comprehensive ones comes from a Londonese market research company specializing in the digital consumer. The 2015 Global Web Index Social Report looks at data from across 30 countries, from 2013 and 2014, for the 10 most popular social networks and measures membership and active usage.

For those experts who predicted the decline of the social giant Facebook, the report proves them wrong. Not only is Facebook still holding supremacy over the market, with 80% of internet users outside China having a Facebook account, it also keeps developing. Facebook’s most talked about 1 billion $ acquisition, Instagram, has proved to be a way to stay ahead of the curve. According to Global Index Report, CEO Kevin Systrom announced in December 2014 that the Instagram community now exceeds 300 million monthly active users.

Other findings from the report show that users still maintain a wide variety of networks, which makes it difficult for marketers to stay relevant and reach the target audience. An interesting fact, however, is that active usage on the big social networks is in decline; we can find more and more passive users on all the well-known networks.On the other hand, smaller, more niched social players, like Pinterest, Tumblr & Instagram are now the fastest-growing networks. Out of these, Pinterest is the highest growth network, proving that social media usage is getting more and more divided.


Fastest Growth Networks

Social media statistics in Europe

There are still a few markets where global giants lead, yet local players still maintain a foothold. In the case of France, almost a quarter of French internet users have an account on Copains d’Avant, a French social network which used to lead before Facebook. However, only 4% of internet users saying they still actively use the site, showing that French users are also moving into the ‘global’ direction.

The biggest trend in Germany is the shift from active to passive users, with more than half (54%) of German ‘netizens’ saying that they don’t actively use any social network. This recent information is one that places Germany as one of least socially engaged nations in the world. Half of the Swedes also say they are not active on social media, even though only 14 % don’t hold a membership on social networks. According to GlobalWebIndex, Instagram is the second most used social network in Sweden, behind Facebook, but ahead of YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

On the opposite side, a high rate of social media engagement comes from Italian netizens, who spend an average of 1.79 hours per day on social networking, notably ahead of Spain, (1.44h), the UK (1.33h), France (1.19h) and Germany (1.07h). Not surprisingly, Facebook leads the way with 45% active users on its network.


Social Media Users Europe

Social media in numbers across the world

Ranking number 1 worldwide for both Facebook and Twitter penetration, Indonesia’s appetite for social is insatiable. 8 in 10 Indonesians consider themselves active users of social networks. Argentina also holds the reign as one of the most sociable nations, with more than 9 in 10 people online being members on Facebook. Almost as common, Google Plus membership comes close by, even though active usage has declined from 60% in 2013 to 48% in 2014.

In Australia, 9 out of 10 people have Internet access, making it one of the most connected countries in the world. According to the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), social networking is the top mobile app category amongst every age demographic, with almost half of online aussies active members of Facebook (48%).

In 2014, the ‘big four’, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter, all posted declines in active usage compared to 2013. By contrast, Instagram has registered phenomenal growth in many countries, with 40% of internet users in Brazil now having an Instagram account. Niche networks are rising other parts of the world too. Half of Canadian internet users have an account on Google Plus, yet only 15% consider themselves active users of the network. By contrast, the same amount of internet users actively use Pinterest, despite having a significantly smaller user base, of 32%.

With only 3 out of 10 users active on social networks, Japan is the least social nation in the world. This proves there is only a small percent of the global market that has remained immune to the social media invasion.


Social Media Users Globally

No matter of the country differences, it is becoming obvious that social media is here to stay. Yet in terms of what networks are going to stay in the game, it seems that surprises are in store for the future. After all, our digital activity is always subject to unpredictable and radical change.