Shafqat M. is presently Head of Content at Locate Translate UK.
Global Social Media Users 
Social media is a marketing goldmine and to reap its benefits, one needs to strike a chord with social media algorithms.
Recently, I came across research by Statista on global social media users.
Its report projects social media users to touch a staggering 3.43 billion by 2023, from 2.95 billion in 2019.
As such, social media offers businesses a marketplace of enormous proportions with an audience base running into billions of users.
As of 2020, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc has the following number of monthly active users:
Global Social Networks Ranked by Number of Monthly Active Users 2020
|Social Network||Users [Millions]|
Which is the Most Popular Social Media Platform Worldwide?
The first social platform to reach 1 billion registered users was Facebook. Facebook currently has 2.6 billion active users monthly.
Facebook as its core platform, the company also owns WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, each with over 1 billion monthly active users.
How Many People Use Social Media?
Social media is not barred by language, political, geographical, or economic borders. At present, the number of people using social media is 3.6 billion users.
As mobile devices increasingly become popular, the number of social media users is expected to grow.
Key Statistics on Social Media Users
- Out of total social media users, 98.68% or roughly 3.76 billion access social networking sites using a mobile device.
- 78% or around 2.97 billion social media users exclusively use a mobile phone to access networks.
- Users exclusively accessing social media via desktop are 1.32% or 50 million.
- Those using both desktop and mobile to access social networks include 20% or 760 million users.
Want to know how social media algorithms work? Well, we've got you covered. Here's our detailed blog:
FAQs - Social Media Users
1. What is the current growth rate of social media in the US?
The US has a yearly growth rate of 3.1% (for 2019-20 time period). Already, 70% of its population is active on social media. Kicking off with just 5% of its population active on social media in 2005, it reached 50% of the US population by 2011.
2. How much time do people spend on social media every day globally?
Globally, as of 2020, the average time spent on social networks is 2 hours 24 minutes per day. On the other hand, the average time spends on social media in the US is 2H 3M, less at least by 21 minutes from the global average.
This average when tallied against the average life expectancy of 73 years (per WHO), it comes to 5.7 years or 2,080 days spent by an average user on social networking sites during their lifetime.
3. What is the percentage of Mobile vs. Desktop social media usage?
Here's how users access social media sites. Social media usage by device:
exclusively mobile device (tablet or phone)
solely mobile phone
4. When did social media start?
The launch of the social networking platform Bolt in 1996 marks the beginning of social media. Six Degrees that came into being in 1997 had features where users could add friends and create profiles. Other social networking sites that were launched include:
- AOL Instant Messenger,
- Live Journal,
- Friendster, and
- Facebook, in 2004.
Some Interesting Things you may want to know about Social Media
Social Media Timeline
Bolt, the first-ever social networking and video website created remained active from 1996-2007.
Six Degrees, a social networking site, launched, users created profiles to connect with others by making ‘friends’.
ICQ, acquired by AOL, was re-launched as an Instant Messenger service.
LiveJournal launched as the first-ever blogging platform.
Habbo, a game-based social networking platform, launched.
Friendster created, allowed users to create profiles, connect, and share content.
LinkedIn launched as a business-centered social networking site for professionals.
The most popular social networking site, Facebook launched.
Important Statistics on Social Media Users
1. Worldwide, an average person spends 2 hours 24 minutes or 144 minutes per day on social networking sites.
2. At an average life expectancy of 70, an average person will spend 5.7 years of his/her entire life on social media, assuming he/she starts using it from 16+ of age.
3. On a yearly basis, the global average is 36.5 days a year, assuming 16+ the age an average person gets on social media.
4. Social media users of the Philippines 3H 53M a day networking on social sites, the highest among the 47 countries surveyed.
5. Japanese users spend much less time, 45 minutes a day, the lowest in 47 countries surveyed.
Average Daily Time Spent on Social Media by Countries
On average, the following countries surveyed spend this amount of Time, in terms of hours and minutes, every day on social media:
2 hours 24 minutes
2 hours 3 minutes
1 hour 49 minutes
1 hour 44 minutes
1 hour 42 minutes
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Shafqat M