How much has social media use increased over the years?

The average annual growth rate during this period is 10.2%. In the future, while the number of social media users will continue to increase, the growth rate is expected to stabilize. Digital media contrast with print media (including books, newspapers, and magazines) and other traditional or analog media (such as television, movies, and radio). These numbers of individual users of the platform tell a compelling story about the rise of social media around the world, but, on their own, they don't tell the whole story.

The graphic below shows the extent of these overlaps, with recent data from GWI providing valuable information for anyone who wants to create a combination of social networks or a digital marketing plan. The number of social media users has also continued to grow over the past 12 months, with 190 million new users joining social networks since this time last year. For context, the most recent data suggests that the number of social media users around the world now amounts to more than 75 percent of the eligible global population. GWI data reveals that the typical user of social networks uses or actively visits an average of 7.2 different social platforms every month, and spends an average of about 2 and a half hours a day using social networks.

Most of the social media platforms that survived the last decade have significantly changed in what they offer to users. Facebook is still the most used social media platform in the world, but there are now six social media platforms, each of which claims to have 1 billion or more monthly active users. We begin with a summary of the key trends and conclude with a perspective on the rate of adoption of social networks relative to other modern communication technologies. In practice, these discrepancies are likely to be small because most social media platforms, including Facebook, have policies and controls to avoid having multiple accounts per person.

However, keep in mind that the numbers of social media users may not represent unique people and, due to problems such as duplication of accounts, the numbers of social media users may exceed the numbers we publish for Internet users, or even for the total population. Essentially, the characteristics that define a social media platform are (i) user profiles, (ii) the ability of users to constantly upload content, and (iii) the ability for users to discuss content and connect with other users.

Jenna Iarocci
Jenna Iarocci

Wannabe sushi specialist. Certified travel enthusiast. Subtly charming music aficionado. Incurable beer scholar. Subtly charming social media lover. Incurable travel geek.

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