By now, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that social media is here to stay.
Every day, the number of active users on social media is growing. More and more people are using the sites to stay connected with friends, family and co-workers in lieu of traditional means, like email or even phone calls or in-person meetings. (Really, what other way would you still be talking to that one guy in your English class in high school?)
But just how much social media is growing is not just a matter of bragging rights for the individual sites. It is important that businesses stay on top of these numbers so they understand how they need to change their online marketing strategy, if at all.
Here’s what social media growth statistics have shown us in the last year:
There are about 3 billion people around the world who have Internet, which is about 45 percent of the population.
Approximately 2.1 billion people have social media accounts, and approximately 1.7 billion people have active social media accounts.
The majority of them are on Facebook. The social media giant has 1.55 billion active users
You’d think that Twitter would be right behind it, but the blue bird is actually fifth on the list. The site with the second largest number of active users is YouTube, with 1 billion. That makes sense considering how important video has become to online marketing in the wake of recent Google algorithm changes.
Instagram boasts 400 million active users, and Google+ has a surprising 343 million active users. Twitter has 316 million active users, and Tumblr has 230 million.
Snapchat has become a serious contender with 200 million active users, and Pinterest has 100 million. LinkedIn brings up the tail with 97 million.
All of the sites have their highest number of active users yet.
The number of active users on social media only rose 9.3 percent this year, which is down from a rise of 12.5 percent last year.
In fact, the growth of social media users has been on the decline since 2012, when the number of users had increased 17.3 percent over the previous year.
The percentage of growth is expected to continue to decline through 2018, when users are expected to rise only 6.8 percent over the previous year.
This doesn’t mean that fewer people are using social media. If you look at the number of people who have internet and the total number of people in the world, it’s pretty obvious that social media is hitting a saturation point. There actually aren’t many more people available who don’t already have accounts on social media.
Facebook by the Numbers
When we take a look at the individual social networks, we get a better idea of what kind of people are using them, which is important data for brands.
Facebook has grown by 132 million users this year, and about 47 percent of people who have the Internet are on the site. Those users spend about 42 minutes per day on the site, and they submit 4.5 billion “likes” per day. That’s a lot of rich data for marketers!
The site also gets 4 billion video views per day, and it gets more video uploads per day than YouTube. (Those are videos uploaded to the site, not shared.)
Facebook is popular among millenials, and 82 percent of people age 18 to 24 who use the internet are on the site. About 75 percent of people in that age group have the app on their smart phone or other mobile device.
The majority of people who use Facebook access it through mobile devices — 68 percent.
Twitter by the Numbers
Twitter gained 42 million users this year.
The site welcomes 32 percent of Internet users age 18 to 24, and about 24 percent of that demographic has the app downloaded on a mobile device. About 86 percent of users access the site through mobile devices.
Users spend an average of 17 minutes per day on the site, and 37 percent of users say they will buy products from a brand they follow on Twitter.
Pinterest by the Numbers
Pinterest has grown by 81 million users this year, which represents the majority of its 100 million users. It has seen astronomical growth!
The site welcomes 37 percent of Internet users age 18 to 24, and the overwhelming majority of its users — 85 percent — are female.
The majority of users access the site through mobile devices — 92 percent. Users spend about 21 minutes per day on the site, and generate 2.5 billion monthly page views.
You can browse more in-depth numbers for other major social networking sites, including Tumblr, Snapchat and LinkedIn to find out what kind of demographics the sites have and what growth they have experienced. Knowing this information can help you make the most out of social media by focusing your efforts on the best sites for your target audience.