In a world filled with smartphones and the buzz of notifications, ever wondered exactly how many people use social media?  It shouldn’t come as a surprise that social media has taken the whole world by storm this past decade. From Facebook, to Instagram, to Snapchat, the number of social media platforms just keeps on growing. It’s obvious that this new age of technology shows no signs of slowing down.  Keep reading to find out what you need to know before delving into the world of social media and digital marketing. How Many People Use Social Media? 1

What’s Up with Social Media?

At first, people thought that social media would be a temporary craze that would eventually be forgotten. Obviously, this is not just a trend. On the contrary, people now use social media as a way to connect with others and to keep up with the world around them. Moreover, it’s become an escapism, or a way to take a break.  As a business owner, what do you gain from this rapid change in platforms? And why should you know how many people use social media? Why would these numbers be important for your business?

Why Is Social Media Marketing so Important Now?

The transition from old media (i.e. newspapers and television) to new media (i.e. the Internet) has majorly shifted the marketing field throughout these past two decades. The TV set that your audience used to gather around is a thing of the past. Nowadays, the majority of people are only interested in checking their social media accounts. How about a little experiment? Just walk through any street of your choosing and count how many heads are bent down with their eyes not moving an inch from their mobile’s screen. You’ll eventually lose count. People traded the TV for the Internet and they aren’t looking back.

Social Media for Business

So, how can businesses follow suit? How can you communicate with your audience using social media as a mediator? The truth is, if businesses fail to evolve their marketing techniques, they won’t be able to keep up with what their audience wants. It’d only be a matter of time before they lose their consumers. People want a brand that will connect with them, wherever they are. Moreover, you want your audience to trust and like you, but for that to happen, they need to connect with you. They can’t connect with you if you’re not present where they spend most of their time.  The first thing you should do to start a connection is to figure out who your audience is. What do they like? What don’t they like? Who are their favorite celebrities? Why do they use social media? To answer these questions, however, you need to know exactly how many people use social media. You’ll also benefit from learning what people use different platforms for

How Many People Use Social Media in the World?

The Global Digital Report of 2018 estimated the number of social media users in the world to be 3.196 billion, 13% higher than the year before. With a total worldwide population of 7.6 billion people, that estimate is a penetration of more than 40% of the population. Additionally, each social media user has an average of 7.6 social media accounts.  Previous reports had predicted that 3.02 billion social media users would only be reached by 2021. It was also estimated that 750 million of those users would be from China, while one third of a billion would be from India. Talk about a jump!  The country with the highest increase in year-to-year social media usage is Saudi Arabia. Gulf countries saw a 32% increase in the number of social media users as opposed to the global average of 13%. The U.A.E, South Korea and the UK all have an average of <5% increase, the lowest globally. According to a study by IDC Research, 80% of people check their smartphones for notifications within 15 minutes of waking up. People now spend an average of 87 minutes of their day on their smartphones on weekdays. On weekends, they spend more than 160 minutes on social media.  The Philippines managed, for the third year in a row, to hold on to its title as champions of social media. Filipinos spend the longest time on social media with an average of 3 hours and 57 minutes a day. Meanwhile, Brazilians are catching up with an average of 3 hours and 39 minutes spent on social media per day.

Increasing Potential Reach

With social media quickly becoming a part of everyone’s daily routine, the above statistics are bound to double and triple within the next few years. When you think about how many people use social media, consider the many business opportunities that come with that change in behaviour. The more people use social media, the higher the number of potential reach will be. Knowing where to reach your target audience is key to your business’s survival. If you’re thinking about expanding your business or branching out in different countries, you should start by finding out how many people use social media in the country you plan on expanding to

How Many People Use Social Media in the UK?

In countries like the UK, finding out how many people use social media should not be taken lightly. Statistics have shown that over 83% of the UK population are now active on social media. As a business owner operating in the UK, ignoring that huge potential market could be catastrophic for your company.  In 2017, a BBC Newsbeat study about how many people use social media in the UK showed that the highest percentage of all social media users is among those aged between 23 and 34. On the other hand, the lowest percentage is among the age group of 50-65 years old. It’s best to approach your target audience using the social media platforms they’re most active on. If they’re among a young age bracket, then YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat would be the right spots to start. However, if your target falls in the older segment, then using Facebook and Twitter would be a better approach.

How Many People Use Social Media: Statistics

How Many People Use Social Media? 2
  • 76% of Facebook users check it everyday. 
  • 60 billion messages are exchanged through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp each day.
  • 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube daily.
  • 51% of Instagram users open the app daily, while 35% check it more than once throughout the day.
  • Instagram Stories now have a soaring 300 million active users compared to Snapchat’s 150 million.
  • 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once a day.
  • 6,000 tweets are sent every second and 500 million tweets are sent every day.
  • 18% of LinkedIn users login a maximum of once a day.

Most Popular Social Media Platforms

There’s an endless list of social media websites to reach your audience through. Once upon a time,  MySpace was the place to be for most Internet savvy hipsters. Nowadays, however, only someone born in the early 90’s or before will even remember what MySpace was. The Internet has evolved since those days, but that doesn’t mean people got bored of user-created content. Care to guess which social media channel is a hotspot these days?


How Many People Use Social Media? 3 According to all statistics, Facebook seems to be the most popular social media platform among users. It’s also the leading mobile-accessible social application. Facebook now boosts a whooping 2.23 billion active users. It’s also the first ever social media website to reach the milestone of one billion monthly active users. Not too bad for a website that started in 2004 to cater solely to Harvard students. Facebook has helped many startups and small-to-medium businesses sell their products and services. For certain businesses, it’s the only source of communication between them and their consumers. In that case, a Facebook page acts as that business’s store. It doesn’t cost as much as old media and it’s an effective and simple way to reach your target audience. 


How Many People Use Social Media? 4 As the second most popular social media channel, YouTube is now pulling in more than 1.8 billion monthly users. With little competition against this giant video sharing site, it’s not hard to see why it’s still a favorite after all these years. YouTube was launched in 2005 as a video version of an online dating service. In 2006, It was bought by Google and is now a Google subsidiary. Youtube is fairly easy to use and to upload videos on. YouTube is a good way to reach your audience through informative and entertaining videos. There are different types of accounts that you can pick from, including accounts that are solely for business ventures. There are also many tips and tricks to get your content noticed and boost your YouTube SEO.


How Many People Use Social Media? 5 Instagram has quickly become the popular new kid on the block, reaching the one billion active users milestone last June. Since its launch in 2010, this, mainly visual, app has become a favorite for young people aged 18-34 years old. Upon seeing its long-term potential as a powerful social media force, Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. One of Instagram’s most popular features is filters. Instagram gives users the opportunity to put filters on their pictures and edit them as they please. This adds to Instagram’s appeal to the younger demographic. It also joined the likes of Snapchat with its story feature, as well as competing with YouTube after launching IGTV. Brands can connect with their audience on Instagram through aesthetically-pleasing photos and videos. Through the use of hashtags and tagging, brands are now receiving free publicity with their consumers as their own models. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

TwitterHow Many People Use Social Media? 6

While Twitter may not be the most popular social media platform, it still boosts a huge number of users. With 335 million active users, Twitter users continue to be loyal to the micro-blogging website. It is somehow inspirational: 12 years after its launch in 2006, many people still tweet to express their daily thoughts. Nowadays, many of the younger demographic are choosing to use Twitter instead of Facebook. With Facebook’s gradual shift towards being a more senior-based platform, Twitter has swooped in to become a refugee for millennials. Businesses could, in fact, benefit from Twitter’s 280 characters per tweet limit. When you post a tweet and link it to a longer Facebook post, you can check the click-through rate of the link and find out exactly how engaged your audience is with you. Find out what works with your audience and what flops. Try out a Twitter Analytics tool to understand more about what you need to do to reach more people.

Content Creation on Social Media

With more and more people gravitating towards social media, using this shift to your advantage should be a priority. Find out how many people use social media in the country your business operates in. This will give you a lot of insight into how to reach your target audience there. Something you should keep in mind is not to create countless accounts on various social media platforms just for the sake of having an online presence. You should always give a lot of thought to the actual content you’re posting. People connect with what you say. Plan a clear strategy and put it into action. Watch for feedback: evaluate and improve. It’s also important to plan your content in a way that suits the platform you’re posting on. For example,  post aesthetically-pleasing pictures with witty captions on Instagram. Try a catchy tweet with a quick link to your website on Twitter. Share content that not just informs your audience about your new products or services, but, additionally, engages them.

Content Planning

Articles, videos, and images are the top most engaging content on social media. Launch a holistic social media campaign that connects everything together. Don’t confuse your audience by sending different messages through the different media. Like a puzzle; let all your social media activity form one big picture. Your messages should be consistent. Of course, choosing which social media platform to use still depends on who you’re targeting. Put some clear thought into which social media platforms you should be using. If your target audience doesn’t use Instagram, why would you bother creating an account there? It would be a waste of time and resources. Know your audience: quality over quantity!

Word to the Wise

Finally, social media is always changing. What’s trendy today may not be so tomorrow. You should always keep yourself and your business up-to-date with the latest trends and features across all social media platforms. Keep yourself informed on the latest hashtags and trending topics and use them to connect with your audience.

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