The first social media site, Six Degrees, was launched in 1997 that garnered over a million users. The very first social media platform was a huge success as it provided people with a new way to interact and communicate with others. People were able to create profiles, connect with friends and family, and network over the internet sitting in their homes.
The idea was unique, like never before, and it worked great.
Social media is still one of the most popular ways to socialize and communicate with friends and family. The most used social media platform, Facebook, alone has 2.7 billion active users. The growth in the number of social media platforms and social media users have been staggering.
So, how many social media users are in the world, and how many people use social media globally today? Let’s find out.
How Many People Use Social Media?
As of January 2020, 3.6 billion people were using social media globally which is expected to cross 4.41 billion by the end of 2025:
The number of social media users worldwide increased to 3.96 billion in July 2020 that’s a massive increase in such a small duration which is due to Covid-19 that persuaded people and businesses to use social media actively:
The increase in the number of social media users is linked with mobile usage. An increase in the number of mobile users means an increase in the number of social media users.
Because mobile devices give access to the internet 24/7 and the top mobile app category in the world was social networking apps and chat apps (like WhatsApp). This is the reason why social media penetration in Eastern Asia (a mobile-first market) is highest in the world (70%) followed by North America with 61%.
An average internet user today has 8 social media accounts and spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media sites:
Facebook is the most popular social media platform with 2.7 billion active monthly users in October 2020. YouTube and WhatsApp with 2 billion active monthly users each are the second most popular social platforms in the world:
Facebook along with its partner platforms (Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger) are all among the top 6 most popular social media sites in the world. Four out of the six most popular social media platforms belong to the Facebook family and all these platforms have more than a billion active monthly users.
Social Media Demographics Statistics
Not all social media users interact with their favorite platform in the same way. Here is a breakdown of demographics of the most popular social networking sites:
- Facebook is the most popular social platform for adults
- 54% of users are female vs. 46% of men
- An average user spends 35 minutes a day on Facebook
- 96% of access Facebook on a mobile vs. 25% who use a laptop or a desktop
- 86% of people between 18-29 are using Facebook, 77% who are between 30-49, 51% those between 50-65, and 34% who are 65+
- 88% of people with an annual income between $70,000-$80,000 use Facebook.
- YouTube is the most popular global video streaming platform
- More than 50% of YouTube users are female
- An average YouTube user spends 11 minutes and 43 seconds per day
- More than 70% of users access YouTube from a mobile device
- 81% of people between 15-25 are on YouTube, 71% are between 26-35, 67% are between 36-45, 66% are between 46-55, and 58% are 56+ years old
- 89% of people having a household annual income of $100,000+ are on YouTube.
- Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users
- It has over 500 million active daily users
- 51% of Instagram users are females while 49% are men
- An average Instagram user spends up to 53 minutes per day on the platform
- 83% of people use Instagram to find new products and services
- Cristiano Ronaldo has the most followed Instagram account with 260 million followers
- 67% of people between 18-29 are using Instagram, 47% between 30-49, 23% between 50-64, and only 8% who are above 65+
- 60% of people having household annual income above $100,000 are on Instagram.
Why Do People Use Social Media?
What is so special about social media? Why is half of the world’s population actively using social media on a daily basis? What makes people log in daily to their favorite social media platform?
Global Web Index conducted a survey and asked people about the main reason for using media. Here is what they found:
- 42% of people use social media to stay in touch with their friends and family
- 41% use it to stay updated and follow news and events
- 39% use social media to fill spare time
- 37% are interested in entertaining content (e.g. memes)
- 34% are on social media to network with new people
- 33% use it as their family and friends are using social media already
- 32% use it to share photos and videos
- 30% are interested in sharing their opinion
- 29% are on social media to find products and connect with brands
- 27% use social media to meet new people.
Clearly, the top reason is socializing and networking. When half of the world’s population is using social media already, you have no choice but to be on social media. In reality, a lot of people use social media due to fear of missing out (FOMO). People don’t want to miss what others are having access to as they feel that others are having fun which they might miss.
According to a study, teenagers feel pressure and anxiety and are the biggest victims of FOMO. They feel the pressure to be available online constantly. They keep getting social media alerts and this contributes to their anxiety leading to FOMO.
The number of people who use social media is still on the rise. There are several parts of the world where mobile phones and the internet aren’t available or they aren’t affordable. As soon as someone gets access to the internet, the first thing people do is start socializing. It is human instinct.
The time is near when the entire world population will be using social media actively as this is how we all can connect with our friends and family.
Featured Image: Pexels