Social interaction is a part of human nature, but with busy lives or distance sometimes separating friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues, social networks are filling a need globally. While there are some leaders in social media, there are dozens of networks filling various categories and needs, all fighting for attention.
Social Media: The Numbers
Here are some facts and figures on some of the top social media networks.
Social Media Usage By Sex and Age
According to the 2013 Spring Tracking Survey by Pew Internet (involving 1,895 adult American Internet users, 18+), here are numbers by sex, age and general usage.
- 72% of adult Internet users user some form of social networking, compared to 8% in 2005.
- 70% (874) of men use social networking.
- 74% (1,021) of women use social networking .
From Pew’s tracking surveys conducted 2005-2013, here are the percentages by age group of social network usage for 2005-2012:
|All Internet users||9%||89%|
From earlier Pew Internet studies of adult American Internet users (18+), as of Dec 2012:
- 67% use Facebook
- 16% user Twitter
- 15% use Pinterest
- 13% use Instagram
- 6% use Tumblr
- As of Aug 2012, 20% use LinkedIn.
Social Network Growth Rates
According to Global Web Index’s Social Relay Report Q2 2013:
- Pinterest had the highest growth rate from Q2 2012 to Q2 2013 at 88%.
- Tumblr was second at 74%.
In terms of highest usage (globally) of a social network amongst Internet users, on a global basis:
- Facebook has the highest rate of active users at 62% of Internet users.
- For Q2 2013, the highest Facebook usage was in South Africa at 68%.
- 51% of Twitter users are active users.
- 44% of Google+ users are active users.
In terms of Internet users who use social networks, Facebook takes top spot in Q2 2013:
- 59% of North American Internet users actively use Facebook — more than any other region and network.
- 27% of N. American Internet users actively use YouTube, compared to 31% usage in the Middle East and Africa.
- 25% of N. American Internet users actively use Twitter, compared to 33% usage in the Middle East and Africa.
- 17% of N. American Internet users actively use Pinterest — the highest regional usage.
- 10% of N. American Internet users actively use LinkedIn, compared to 18% usage in the Middle East and Africa.
ShareThis’ Q3 2013 report analyzing over 120 social channels shows the following increases from Q2 2013 to Q3 2013:
- +19.2% for Pinterest (close in content sharing to email)
- +15.1% for LinkedIn
- +14.7% for Facebook
- -7.6% for Twitter
General Social Network Statistics
Here are some general facts and figures from various sources.
- As of Jun 2013, over a 1/4 (27%) of the time spent online by users is on a social network — 16 minutes of each online hour.
- Nearly 75% of Facebook users access the site through a mobile device (mobile apps and mobile web browsers).
- Facebook reached the 1 billion active monthly users mark on Sep 14, 2012.
- There were 1.19 billion Facebook users worldwide as of the end of Q3 2013.
- Facebook average monthly usage is 8.3 hours (as of Jun 2013). In contrast, Google+ gets about 6 minutes and 47 seconds per user per month on average (as of Feb 2013).
- 490M unique YouTube users worldwide.
- In 2013, astronauts tweeted from the ISS (International Space Station).
- People access social networks from just about anywhere. Australians, at least, log on at work (34%), at school (13%), in the car (18%), in bed (44%), in the bathroom (7%), on the toilet (6%).
Here are some numbers on some of the newer social networks — a few of which have been bought by their older competitors.
- 24 hours is the duration after which “stories” disappear from a Snapchat user’s stream. Image and video media disappears immediately after viewing.
- Despite having about 1/3 the number of American users as Twitter, Snapchat was handling 350M posted photos daily (as of Oct 2013), compared to Twitter’s 500M daily posts (from American users).
- WhatsApp, by comparison, had 37.6% more (300M) American users than Twitter’s 218M American users, as of Jun 2013.
- 43M American visitors used Pinterest in Aug 2013, compared to Twitter’s 62M.
- $30+M is the estimated price Twitter will eventually pay out for Vine — a social micro-video sharing purchased before it launched.
- Over 30 startups have been purchased by Twitter.
- $1B (cash and stock) is what Facebook paid in Apr 2012 for Instagram, a social photo-sharing service.
- $1.1 billion was Yahoo’s bill in May 2013 for microblogging site Tumblr.
- Yahoo’s 2012 revenue was $5B and had $5.4B cash.
- Tumblr had 170M users and 100M microblogs — making the buyout equal to about $6.50 ($6.47) per user.
- Yahoo had previously purchased photo-sharing site Flickr, which in 2013 exceeded 87 million users and 8 billion images.
- Instagram, by comparison, exceeded 100M users and 4 billion images in 2013.
Alternative Social Networks for American Teens
According to a Piper Jaffray survey (Apr 2013) of around 5,200 American teens, the following social networks are most popular, from most to least:
However, Facebook dropped about 10% in teen users from the same time in 2012. According to those surveyed, the top 5 alternatives were as follows, in no particular order:
Still, 22% of teens log on to Facebook over 10 times a day.
A NextAdvisor report listed the top five social networks for teens as follows:
- 61% – Tumblr
- 55% – Facebook
- 22% – Twitter
- 21% – Instagram
- 13% – Snapchat
Information for this article was collected from the following pages and web sites: