Social media is a global phenomenon unlike any other.

Over half of the world’s population is using social media as of this year, which is a remarkable achievement given how recent the technology is.

But how does the social media environment currently look? How many people actually utilize social media? Is there still room for development?

 

To address these issues and others, we’ve gathered a collection of over 100 startling social media data.

 

From this point on, we’ll be analyzing data from all the most widely used social media platforms in order to disclose some amazing insights about the users of social networks, their motivations for doing so, and how they interact with their preferred platforms.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Social media statistics (top picks)

  • There are 4.62 billion social media users worldwide (10.1% more than last year).
  • That represents 58.4% of the global population, 93.3% of the global online population, and 74.8% of the global adult population (over 18).
  • The average person uses 7.5 social media platforms and spends 2 hours 27 minutes on social media every day.
  • TikTok is the fastest growing social media network and has grown 18.3% year over year.
  • Almost half of social media users say they use social media to keep in touch with their friends and family.
  • China has the most social media users (1b+) but Brunei has the highest social media penetration rate (116.5%)
  • Facebook is the most used social media platform with 2.9 billion users, but WhatsApp is the people’s ‘favorite’ platform.
  • Facebook also earns the highest annual revenues, earning $117 billion last year
  • Brands and marketers spent $153 billion on social media advertising last year.
  • The top goal of social media marketing is to raise brand awareness, and engagement is the top metric that marketers track.

How many people use social media?

how many people use social media

What percentage of the population uses social media?

Given that there are currently 7.91 billion people on the planet, 58.4% of people utilize social media.

Projections indicate that number will increase to 74% by 2026 as more individuals gain access to the internet globally.

Since there are only 4.95 billion internet users worldwide, social media is used by 93.3% of all online users. This may be a more realistic depiction of the true global penetration rate of social media.

It’s also noteworthy that 74.8% of those over 18 worldwide utilize social media. Given that the majority of social media networks have minimum age restrictions, it stands to reason that adult-only populations would have higher penetration rates.

How many accounts do social media users have?

how many different social sites are used by country

Sources: HootsuiteStatista4Statista5Hootsuite2

Social media growth rates

Although social media is already ubiquitous around the world, the number of social media users is still on the rise. Here are some social media statistics that illustrate this growth.

How fast is social media use growing?

The number of social media users grew by 10.1% over the last year, and the current social media user growth rate is faster than it was pre-pandemic. There were around 420 million more social media users in 2022 compared to 2021.

social media usage growth over the years

Social media user growth over time (YOY change):

Here’s how the number of social media users has grown over the last decade:

  • 2022 – 4.62b (+10.1%)
  • 2021 – 4.20b (+13.2%)
  • 2020 – 3.71b (+7.2%)
  • 2019 – 3.46b (+8.3%)
  • 2018 – 3.20b (+14.6%)
  • 2017 – 2.79b (+20.9%)
  • 2016 – 2.31b (+11%)
  • 2015 – 2.08b (+11.9%)
  • 2014 – 1.86b (+7.9%)
  • 2013 – 1.72b (+16%)
  • 2012 – 1.48b

What’s the fastest-growing social media platform?

Unsurprisingly, TikTok was the fastest-growing social media network in 2021, with a YOY growth rate of 18.3%.

social media user growth by platform

 

Even more astoundingly, TikTok users climbed by an amazing 87.1% in 2020, which was the year before. TikTok has become one of the most well-known social media platforms as a result of its quick growth and establishment in the cultural zeitgeist.

The global pandemic prompted hundreds of millions of consumers to seek out new forms of digital entertainment at home, which unquestionably helped it succeed. However, this tendency might also have aided in its rapid growth.

The second-fastest-growing social media platform is Reddit, which has a remarkable 14.4% growth rate from year to year. Similar to TikTok, Reddit had a very successful year in 2020, as its user base increased by 25.9%.

Social media user growth rate by platform (YOY):

  • TikTok – 18.3%
  • Reddit – 14.4%
  • LinkedIn – 4.2%
  • Instagram – 3.7%
  • Pinterest – 3.1%
  • Snapchat – 2.6%
  • Facebook – 0.8%
  • Twitter – 0.2%

Sources: HootsuiteeMarketer

Why do people use social media?

Social media still very much revolves around connecting. The majority of people (47.6%), according to the study, utilize social media to stay in touch with their loved ones.

why people use social media

 

Top 10 reasons people use social media

Here are some other popular reasons people use social media, according to social media statistics from Hootsuite:

  1. 47.6% use social media to keep in touch with family and friends
  2. 36.3% use social media to fill their spare time
  3. 35.1% use social media to read news stories
  4. 31.6% use social media to find content
  5. 29.5% use social media to see what’s being talked about
  6. 27.7% use social media to find inspiration for things to do and buy
  7. 26.3% use social media to find products to purchase
  8. 24.5% use social media to share and discuss opinions with others
  9. 23.9% use social media to make new contacts
  10. 23.8% use social media to watch live streams

Top 5 reasons Gen Z use social media

The motivations behind using social media vary among generations. The following are the main justifications for Gen Z’s use of social media, per a GWI survey:

  1. 48% use it to keep in touch with friends/family
  2. 43% use it to fill their spare time
  3. 39% use it to find content
  4. 35% use it to see what’s trending
  5. 33% use it to read news stories

Top 5 reasons Baby Boomers use social media

According to the same survey, the following are the primary reasons Baby Boomers use social media:

 

  1. 54% use it to keep in touch with friends/family
  2. 36% use it to read news stories
  3. 28% use it to fill their spare time
  4. 21% use it to find products to purchase
  5. 21% use it to share/discuss opinions with others

Sources: HootsuiteGWI

How much time do people spend on social media?

On average, internet users utilize social media for 2 hours and 27 minutes per day.

Over 50% longer than the typical amount of time spent on social media in 2013, when it was only 1 hour 37 minutes each day, this is an increase of 1.4% year over year.

how much time people spend on social media daily

 

Additionally, it is about an hour longer than the daily average for time spent reading the news and nearly an hour longer than the average for time spent using music streaming services. People use social media for more than a third of their online time overall.

Which country spends the most time on social media?

The amount of time spent on social media varies greatly per country. Despite having one of the lowest rates of social media usage, Nigerians spend the most time on social networks: On average, 4 hours and 7 minutes per day

On the other end of the spectrum, people in Japan spend the least amount of time on social media, averaging just 51 minutes per day.

 

In the United States, people spend an average of 2 hours 14 minutes on social media.

 

how much time people spend on social media by country

 

Which generation spends the most time on social media?

Gen Z spends the most time on social media of any generation, and the amount of time users spend on social media per day appears to correlate inversely with age.

16-24-year-olds spend the most time on social media of any age group. Males aged 16 to 24 spend 2 hours 43 minutes every day on social media, while girls in the same age range spend 3 hours 13 minutes.

55-64-year-olds spend the least amount of time on social media of any age group. Males aged 55 to 64 spend 1 hour 18 minutes a day on social media, while females in the same age range spend 1 hour 33 minutes.

Which social media platform do people spend the most time on?

YouTube users spend more time than any other platform. Every month, the typical person spends 23.7 hours on YouTube.

Facebook and TikTok are tied for second place, with the typical person spending 19.6 hours each month on both platforms. WhatsApp came in third place, with an average monthly usage duration of 18.6 hours.

Sources: Hootsuite

Social media user demographics

Next, let’s look at some social media data to learn more about the people who use social media and how usage differs by demographic.

Social media use by gender

Male social media users outnumber females. Globally, 53.9% of social media users are men, while 46.1% are women.

social media usage by gender

However, this varies depending on the country. There are more female social media users in the US than male, for example.

Social media use by age

The most common age group for social media users is 20-29. This demographic accounts for 32.2% of all social media users. Here’s a breakdown of social media usage by age group.

  • 13 to 19-year-olds – 13.1%
  • 20 to 29-year-olds – 32.2%
  • 30 to 39-year-olds – 22.2%
  • 40 to 49-year-olds – 14.4%
  • 50 to 59-year-olds – 9.8%
  • 60+ year-olds – 8.4%

Sources: Hootsuite

Social media usage across the world

China boasts the most social media users of any country, but the statistics reveals a different narrative when population proportions are considered. North America (the area) and Brunei (the country) have the greatest percentage of total population social media users (i.e. social media penetration rate).

Which country has the most social media users?

With 1.02 billion social media users as of 2022, China has the most of any country. At about 755 million, India has the second-highest number of social media users of any country. And the United States came in third place, with over 302 million users.

how many social media site users by country

This isn’t surprising given that China, India, and the US are the first, second, and third most populous countries.

Social media penetration by country

The social media penetration rate of a country may be calculated by dividing the total number of social media users in that country by the entire population. The social media penetration rate reflects how ‘popular’ social media is in a certain country.

Brunei has the greatest social media penetration rate (116.5%) of any country. This implies that there are more social media users in Brunei than citizens, which appears illogical.

This statistical anomaly is primarily the result of duplicate and ‘fake’ social media profiles. In other words, the number of social media users in Brunei (and other countries with penetration rates above 100%) does not likely represent distinct individuals. Differences in census data and resident populations are additional factors in the high penetration rate.how many users of population for each country use social media

Top 10 countries by social media penetration:

  • Brunei – 116.5%
  • UAE – 106.1%
  • Cayman Islands – 100.8%
  • Malta – 10.8%
  • Cyprus – 100.3%
  • Qatar – 99.8%
  • Guam – 99.8%
  • Palau – 98.6%
  • Aruba – 97.5%
  • Iceland – 96.2%

Except for North Korea, Eritrea has the lowest rate of social media adoption, with less than 0.3% of the population having social media accounts. Niger (2.5%), the Central African Republic (2.8%), and Chad (3.3%) are further nations with low adoption rates.

Social media penetration by region

If we broaden it out to look at larger regions, rather than individual countries, North America has the highest social media penetration rate at 82%. And Oceania has the lowest penetration rate at 66%.

  • North America – 82%
  • Central America – 73%
  • Southern America – 79%
  • Caribbean – 55%
  • Northern Europe – 85%
  • Western Europe – 84%
  • Southern Europe – 76%
  • Eastern Europe – 70%
  • Northern Africa – 56%
  • Western Africa – 16%
  • Middle Africa – 8%
  • Southern Africa – 45%
  • Eastern Africa – 10%
  • Western Asia – 70%
  • Central Asia – 33%
  • Southern Asia – 34%
  • Eastern Asia – 69%
  • South-Eastern Asia – 72%
  • Oceania – 66%

Sources: HootsuiteStatista10

With 2.9 billion monthly active users (MAUs), Facebook is still the most widely used social media network on the planet. Though most of its rivals are swiftly catching up, it is expanding more slowly. And WhatsApp is the “favorite” platform among users, not this one.

Leading social media platforms used by marketers worldwide as of August 2023

Leading social media platforms used by marketers worldwide as of August 202

Interesting statistics about Facebook:

  • Facebook is the third most-visited website in the world, according to Semrush data from November 2021, with 11.74 billion visits
  • Facebook was the second most-searched query on Google in 2021
  • Over a billion Facebook users engage with groups regularly
  • 87% of social media users don’t understand what the Facebook Metaverse is

How many users does each social media network have?

Here’s the number of users each social media network has based on the latest available data at the time of writing:

  • Facebook – 2.9 billion
  • YouTube –  2.5 billion
  • WhatsApp – 2 billion
  • Instagram – 1.5 billion
  • WeChat – 1.3 billion
  • TikTok – 1 billion
  • FB Messenger – 988 million
  • Douyin – 600 million
  • QQ – 574 million
  • Sina Weibo – 573 million
  • Twititer – 217 million
  • Snapchat – 347 million
  • Pinterest – 433 million

What is the most downloaded social media app?

With 656 million downloads in 2021, TikTok was the most popular social media app overall in the previous year. That outperformed every mobile social media app owned by Meta.

In second place with 545 million downloads was Instagram. Whatsapp came in at number four (395 million users), followed by Facebook at number three (416 million), and WeChat at number five (110 million).

What is the best social media platform?

If the ‘best’ social media network is the one that the majority of people choose as their favorite, WhatsApp wins.

According to a recent survey, more social media users—15.7%—named WhatsApp as their “favorite platform” than any other. Facebook finished in third at 14.5%, followed by Instagram at 14.8%.

which is users favorite social media website

But user favorites change with age. Instagram was by far the most popular among younger users, receiving votes from 15.6% of users aged 16 to 24, and 17.8% of users aged 25 to 34.

Sources: HootsuiteHootsuite2Statista1Twitter reportStatista9Statista10

Social media marketing statistics for SME

Facebook is the social media network that marketers utilize the most frequently, and it also has the best ROIs. The primary objective of social media for marketers is to increase brand exposure, and engagement is generally seen as the most crucial statistic to monitor.

How much is spent on social media advertising?

In 2021, social media advertising cost $153 billion. That amounts to 33.1%, or approximately one third, of all digital advertising spending worldwide. Additionally, over the previous 12 months, the price of social media ad impressions has increased by 20%.

And we can anticipate spending substantially more on social media advertising. 18,100 marketers were polled in 2021, and 51.4% of them stated that they will raise their paid social spending in the following year.

 

In 2020, $28.3 was spent on social media advertising for each user. By 2025, this is anticipated to rise to $40.

 

Which social media platforms do marketers use?

The most popular social media network among marketers worldwide is Facebook. A recent study found that 93% of marketers utilize Facebook. Instagram, the second-most popular social network among marketers, is only used by 78% of users.

Which social media platforms are most effective?

When asked which social media sites they found to be the most useful, 62% of marketers cited Facebook and 49% cited Instagram. As a result, Facebook and Instagram are the two social media sites that are most useful for achieving business objectives in general.

In contrast to last year, when 78% of marketers cited Facebook and 70% cited Instagram, this year’s perceived effectiveness has significantly reduced.

 

In the meantime, TikTok’s perceived effectiveness has increased. Only 3% of marketers claimed it was the most effective social media site for marketing last year; this year, that number shot up to 24%. Although TikTok has a long way to go before it can overtake Facebook, marketers are starting to

Additionally growing in popularity with marketers is Snapchat. Only 1% of marketers believed Snapchat was the most effective platform in 2020; this year, that number rose to 13%.

Top social media marketing goals

According to a Meltwater study, the top goal of social media marketing (SMM) is to raise brand awareness. This was the goal of over 82% of surveyed marketers.

Top 5 SMM goals:

  1. Raise brand awareness – 82%
  2. Increase brand engagement – 62%
  3. Acquire new customers – 59%
  4. Increase web traffic – 48%
  5. Boost sales – 37%

Top social media marketing metrics to track

Over 78% of marketers look at engagement to measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns, making it the #1 social media marketing metric to track.

Top 5 metrics social media marketers track:

  1. Engagement – 78.71%
  2. Followers – 71.04%
  3. Website traffic – 63.20%
  4. Marketing leads -31.4%
  5. Reputation –  26.13%

Top social media challenges for brands

Finding the time and resources to do social media marketing is the main challenge 54% of organizations encounter. As a result, it ranks as the top challenge.

  1. Finding time and resources – 54%
  2. Measuring impact – 46%
  3. Gaining followers – 39%
  4. Creating content – 38%
  5. Proving value – 31%

Social media marketing ROI

On the typical return on investment (ROI) of social media marketing, there are presently no accurate social media data available. The good news is that 83% of marketers claim they are confident in their ability to calculate the ROI of their social media marketing activities at this time. The previous year’s figure was barely 68%.

According to 21% of questioned marketers, Facebook has the highest ROI of any platform, followed by 18% each for Instagram, Linkedin, TikTok, and YouTube.

Other social media marketing statistics

  • 57% of brands say social media has become more important due to Covid-19
  • 55% of marketers say their social ads strategy is fully integrated with the rest of their marketing activities.
  • 48% of marketers strongly agree that social listening has increased in value for their organization.
  • 65% of marketers have fully integrated organic and paid social efforts.
  • The global social commerce industry is worth over half a trillion USD

Sources: HootsuiteHootsuite2MeltwaterStatista2Statista3

Social media revenues

Finally, let’s look at some social media statistics that tell us how much revenue each social media platform earns.

Which social media platform has the highest revenue?

Facebook generates the most money out of all the social media platforms. More than all other platforms put together, the corporation made nearly 117 billion USD in 2021. With $47.6 billion, Instagram came in second.

Annual revenue generated by Meta Platforms from 2009 to 2022

Annual revenue generated by Meta Platforms from 2009 to 2022

 

How much annual revenue does each social network earn?

  • Facebook – $117 billion
  • Instagram – $47.6 billion
  • YouTube – $28.8 billion
  • WeChat (Tencent) – $17.4 billion
  • Whatsapp – $8.7 billion
  • Twitter – $5.1 billion
  • TikTok – $4.6 billion
  • Snapchat – $4.1 billion
  • Pinterest – $2.6 billion

A rough estimate of each social media company’s stated yearly revenue is shown in the table above, based on the most recent social media numbers we could discover.

Which social media platform has the highest ARPU?

At $40.34, Facebook has the highest ARPU (annual revenue per user). At $32.16, Instagram has the second-highest ARPU.

What’s the ARPU of each social network?

  1. Facebook – $40.34
  2. Instagram – $32.16
  3. Twitter – $23.09
  4. WeChat (Tencent) – $13.88
  5. Snapchat – $12.88
  6. YouTube – $11.52
  7. Pinterest – $6
  8. TikTok – $4.6
  9. WhatsApp – $4.35

*Based on the best statistics we could obtain, we divided each platform’s annual income by the sum of its active users to arrive at the ARPU. These data should not be taken as exact numbers, but rather as estimates.’

Sources: Statista6Business of Apps1Macro TrendsSocial Media TodayBusiness of Apps2Business of Apps3BloombergStatista7Statista8

Final thoughts

Our compilation of social media analytics has come to an end. We hope you discovered something new!

The main conclusion is that more than half of people on earth utilize social media, and that number is rising. But even though Facebook still has more users than any other network, new upstarts like TikTok are upending the status quo.

Still thirsting for information? Check out our collection of WordPress statistics while you’re here.