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The Must Know Social Media Usage and Growth Statistics for 2023

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Social media has become the fastest-adopted technology globally and has grown big today. It has gained access to half of the 7.888 billion people in the world since its inception in 1996. In the last decade, social network platform users have almost tripled. From 2010 to 2021, users increased from 970 million to 4.48 billion.

With the continuous growth in the number of individuals with smartphones and access to the internet, more new users are adapting to social media platforms. Find exciting statistics on social media usage, history, growth, penetration, and more below.

Social media growth statistics

Social Media Usage Statistics – (Top Picks)

Numbers don’t lie. People continue to use social media more and more. The following statistics were found based on research by The University of Maine:

1. The number of people using social media globally has increased from 2.07 billion in 2015 to 4.48 billion people.

2. An average social media user engages in 6.6 social media platforms.

3. A 12.5% year-over-year growth rate has been recorded in social media since 2015. But 2019-2020 data indicated a declining 9.2% growth rate.

4. In 2019-2020, social media usage growth was highest in the Asian continent, with +16.98%. African region had +13.92% social media growth; South America had +8.00%, North America had +6.96%, Europe had +4.32%, and Australasia had +4.0%.

5. 60.99% of the 7.87 billion people in the world use social media, and 63% of the active users are qualified consumers of age 13 years and above.

6. Social media is utilized by 93.33% of people using the internet; a gigantic percentage of 85% of people use the Internet on social media platforms.

7. 99% of the 4.48 billion social media consumers use mobile devices to access websites or apps, while 1.32% of the 4.48 billion social media user access websites through desktops.

8. Suppose someone signed up for social media at 16 years of age and lived to 70; they would have spent 5.7 years on social media. An average person spends 2 hours and 24 minutes daily on social media.

9. 2.9 billion people actively use Facebook, the world’s leading social network. YouTube follows it with 2.3 billion users, WhatsApp with 2 Billion, Facebook Messenger with 1.3 billion, and WeChat with 1.2 billion users.

10. 240 million people in the US are active on social media, 72.3% of the total US residents.

11. The global average of female social media users is 45.6%, and the male is 54.4%. But just 54% of females use social media in the US, while 46% of males use social media in the US.

(Source: The University of Maine)

What is the Number of People Using Social Media Platforms?

People using social media

4.48 billion people globally used social media as of 2021. Over 65.86% of people logging into different social media platforms daily use Facebook monthly. Currently, 56.8% of people globally use social media. 93.33% of 4.8 billion global internet users are on social media, while 85% of 5.27 billion mobile phone users are on social media.

According to a report from Backlinko, the following statistics were gathered:

12. According to reports of current users on social media usage, it was found that 4.48 billion people use social media globally.

13. Looking at qualified consumers aged 13 and above, 56% of the people worldwide are on social media. The figure has risen to 82% of people in only North America who use social media.

14. 56.8% of the 7.87 billion people in the world use social media irrespective of their internet access or age

15. 93.33% of the 4.8 billion people worldwide are active social media users

16. 85% of the 5.27 billion people with mobile phones are active social media users

17. 99% of the 4.48 billion users access apps or other sites from their mobile device

(Source: Backlinko)

How Many Accounts Does an Average Person Have on Social Media?

social media account on average

Globally, a millennial (born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s) or a Gen Z-er (born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s) has an average of 8.4 social media accounts, according to the Global Web Index. The number of accounts rose by 75% from 4.8 in 2014 to 8.4 persons with social media accounts.

Internet users aged 16 to 64, drawn from a study of 46 countries, show that Japan has an average of 3.8 people with social media accounts. In contrast, India has the highest number of people with social media accounts.  

According to a report from Backlinko, the following statistics were obtained:

  • Japan has an average of 3.8 accounts per person.
  • Canada has an average of 6.8 accounts per person.
  • The UK has an average of 6.9 accounts per person.
  • The USA has an average of 7.1 accounts per person.
  • India has an average of 11.4 accounts per person.

18. 8.4 per person is the average number of social media accounts.

19. The number of accounts per person grew by 75%, from 4.8 in 2024 to 8.4 in 2020.

20. The widening of social media platforms and the specialization of the different social media platforms are responsible for multi-networking growth. For example, Instagram specializes in photos, YouTube specializes in videos, and LinkedIn focuses on work.

(Source: Backlinko)

How Many People Use Social Networks for Business?

social media usage

Going by the report from Backlinko, the following statistics were gathered:

  • In Israel, 13% of people use social media for work; UK, 27%; USA, 27%; Australia, 30%; Canada, 31%; India, 47%; and Indonesia, 65% of people use social media for work

Globally, 40% of people using the internet do use social media in their job. 27% of people in the US actively use social media for work purposes. In contrast to Indonesia, with the highest 65% of people using social media for work purposes, Israel has the lowest, with 13% of people using social networks in their jobs.

(Source: Backlinko)

Social Media Usage by Gender

social media usage by gender

Globally, 54% of men use social media, while 46% of women use it. Nevertheless, in the US, which has the highest user base, 76% of women use social media, while only 72% of men have social media accounts.

(Source: Backlinko)

Social Media Gender Usage by Region

  • For the Oceania region, 53% of females use social media, and 47% of males use it.
  • In South Asia, 27% of females use social media, and 73% of males use it.
  • South African region, 52% of females use social media, and 48% of males use it.
  • In Western Europe, 50% of females use social media, and 50% of males use it.
  • For a South American report, 52% of females use social media, and 48% of males use it.
  • In North America, 54% of females use social media, and 46% of males use it.

The Use of Social Media – Platform Gender Gap Difference

Research carried out by Brandwatch and other research platforms shows the gender gap difference in the use of social media by platform.

  • Facebook social media has 63% of males and 75% of females using the platform.
  • Instagram has 31% of males and 43% of females using social media.
  • Twitter has 24% of males and 21% of females using it.
  • LinkedIn has 29% male and 24% female users.
  • Pinterest has 15% male and 42% female users.
  • Snapchat has 24% male and 24% female users.
  • YouTube has 78% male and 68% female users.
  • TikTok has 56% male and 44% female users.
  • Reddit has 15% male and 8% female users.
  • WhatsApp has 21% male and 19% female users.

Females dominate social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, while YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok have more male users.

(Source: Brandwatch)

Global Social Media Growth Rates

social media growth rates

Following the research carried out by Brandwatch, here is social media users’ growth in the last six years (2015-2021):

  • In 2015, there were 2.078 billion active social media users, with an 11% growth.
  • In 2016 there were 2.307 billion active social media users, by 21% growth.
  • 2017 recorded 2.796 billion active social media users, with 9.0% growth.
  • In 2018 there were 3.196 billion active social media users, with a 9.2% growth.
  • For 2019, there were 3.484 billion active social media users, with a 9.2% growth.
  • 2020 saw 3.960 billion active social media users, by 13.7% growth. 
  • In 2021, there were 4.480 billion active social media users, a 13.13% increase.

From 3.69 billion in 2020, global active social media usage rose 13.13% year-on-year to 4.48 billion in 2021. There were only 2.07 billion social network users in 2017, a global increase of 115.59% in six years.

(Source: Brandwatch)

Top 10: Growth of Social Media Users by Country

social media growth by country

According to the report from research by Kepios, India, with 130 million new users joining social media platforms, is the country with the highest social network growth in 2019-2020. This figure is almost 9.6% of their total population. China had the second highest country, with 15 million social media users.

(Source: Kepios)

Growth of Social Media Users by Region

Detailed analysis shows the social media growth by region in 2019-2020.

  • Australasia experienced a 4.9% growth.
  • Asia had seen an increase of 16.98%.
  • Africa increased by 13.92%.
  • Europe had a rise of 4.32%.
  • South America recorded a rise of 8.00%.
  • North America increased by 6.96%.

Europe had the slowest-growing rate of people using social media by region, whereas Asia had the fastest-growing rate of people using social platforms.

(Sources: Wikipedia, Pew Research, GlobalWebIndex, Kepio’s Analysis)

Day One: When Did Social Media Start?

starting of social media

Bolt site, which is now closed, was the first platform to be invented in 1996, which saw the start of Social media.

Early Days of Social Media

  • In 1996, the Bolt website was the first social network and video platform active 1996-2007.
  • In 1997, Six Degrees was created.
  • In 1997, AOL launched the Instant messenger service.
  • The year 1999, LiveJournal was created as a blogging platform.
  • In 2000, Habbo, a game-based social media site, was born.
  • In 2002, Friendster was launched.
  • In 2003, LinkedIn was invented as the first business social networking site.
  • In 2004, Facebook which is the most popular platform of all time.

(Source: Pew Research, GlobalWebIndex, Wikipedia, Kepio’s Analysis)

Social Media Growth in Different Country

Social media penetration is equal to active users against the total population.

Which country has the highest number of active users of social media worldwide? Research analysis in 2020 shows that the UAE has the most active social media users worldwide, with 99% of its residents consuming social media.

21. 49% of people globally use social media actively.

22. 63% of people globally aged 13 and above use social media actively.

23. 83% of people in the US aged 13 and above are active on social media, while 70% of the people, notwithstanding age, use social networks.

24. 79% of people in the UK aged 13 and above are active on social media, while 66% of the people, notwithstanding age, use social networks.

Conclusion

Social networks have blown up rapidly at the back of technological advancement. As many individuals and businesses realize the potential of these platforms in boosting connectivity, interactions, and driving growth, the statistics on their usage can only increase.

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Susan Laborde Tech Writer

Susan Laborde Tech Writer

Susan Laborde researches the latest technology trends in an ever-changing tech landscape to provide comparisons, guides, and reviews that are easy to understand for readers. When taking a break from being a tech word wizard, she plays games with her baby.