If we had to guess which social media site is the most popular, most of us would correctly pick Facebook. It has been around as long if not longer than any other site, and has become the go-to social media platform for most people around the world.
But what other sites are popular? It’s a big world out there, and everyone uses social media a bit differently. Let’s do a deep-dive into the many different social media sites to find out which ones are the most popular both in the United States and the rest of the world.
Social Media Users Around the World in 2020
The landscape of social media has remained relatively the same since 2019. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are still the elite, while Snapchat and Twitter are starting to slip.
There are also some newcomers to the scene, mainly Tik Tok, which has rapidly become one of the most popular social media sites in the world. However, while the players in the game might be changing, one fact remains in 2020: people continue to love the internet and social media. According to Internet World Stats, there are about 4.54 billion people connected to the internet around the world, which is just a touch under 59 percent of the entire global population. But what about social media? As we would expect, social media use has been growing. Statista has been tracking this number over time.
Here are some numbers for you to think over:
The Most Popular Social Media Sites By Number of Users
Okay, so now that we have it clear that social media is a huge part of people’s lives all around the world, let’s get into which sites are the most popular.
Some of the numbers won’t surprise you, but others will.
This data is from Statista:
Facebook and YouTube being near the top of the list should shock no one, and it’s also not surprising they are getting more popular.
Instagram is also on the rise, with it now having more than one billion users.
Another interesting trend in 2020 is that Chinese sites are getting increasingly popular. This shouldn’t be too much of a shock – China’s massive population is getting more and more digital, and they don’t have access to other sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
However, for users in the United States, that WhatsApp is so popular around the world might be a bit of a surprise. If you’ve ever had
the chance to travel to Europe, then you will know that most people use WhatsApp in place of SMS messaging, which can help to explain why it’s so popular worldwide.
The Facebook Family
We must never forget that Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp are all part of the Facebook family of apps. Together, they represent a huge portion of the world’s total social media users:
However, part of the reason these numbers appear so dramatic is that many people have more than one account with Facebook.
For example, you can’t have a Messenger account without first having Facebook. Nevertheless, these numbers help to show just how
prominently Facebook features in our social media lives.
The Most Popular Social Media Sites By Time Spent on Site
Looking at the number of users on each social media site is a good way to figure out which platform is most popular, but another good
measure is the amount of time we spend on Facebook vs. Instagram vs. YouTube, and so on. On some platforms, people simply log in, check something quickly and then leave, but on others, they scroll through the feed for hours. Many of us likely know what this is like.
On average, people spend 142, or 2 hours and 22 minutes per day. However, this average is global, and some people use it much more than others. Here’s a breakdown of daily social media use around the world:
As you can see, Latin America and Africa are well above the average, whereas Europe, North America, and Asia are below. Part of this
could be because internet use in Latin America and Africa is growing, and social media and internet use is restricted to most people in China.
The Most Popular Social Media Sites By Frequency of Use
Another way to measure the most popular social media sites is to look at how often people use it. The Pew Research Center collected some of this data, which you can see below:
Some Stats About the Most Popular Social Media Sites
Depending on how we measure it, the same social media sites come up as being the most popular. Facebook clearly stands on top,
especially when you consider that Instagram and WhatsApp are also part of Facebook.
But to demonstrate just how popular these sites are, consider the following stats about each one:
- Each time someone visits Facebook, they spend an average of 10-12 minutes on the site. [We Are Social]
- 88 percent of all Facebook users access the site from a mobile device. [Hootsuite]
- Facebook’s revenue per user has doubled in the past three years. [Kleiner Perkins]
- Overall, 74 percent of all Facebook users go on the site at least once a day. [Pew]
- Over a billion people use Instagram, but 80 percent of users are from outside the U.S. [Statista]
- 72 percent of teens use Instagram daily. [Business Insider]
- Instagram users „like“ 4.2 billion posts a day. [Time]
- There are 95 million new posts each day. [Reuters]
- 63 percent of Instagram users use the site daily. [Pew}
- 500 million tweets are sent each day. [Twitter]
- Twitter became profitable for the first time in 2017. [Recode]
- User growth shrunk from 2018-2019, suggesting the platform may be in decline. [eMarketing]
- 71 percent of users are reading the news on Twitter. [journalism.org]
- Just 42 percent of Twitter users use the site every day. [Pew}
- 65 billion WhatsApp messages are sent each day. [Business Insider]
- WhatsApp is used in 180 countries around the world. [WhatsApp]
- WhatsApp has 1.6 billion daily active users. [Tech Crunch]
- There are 100 million voice calls made each day on WhatsApp. [WhatsApp]
- YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine, behind only Google, which belongs to the same company as YouTube. [Pulse Marketing]
- The average mobile session is 40 minutes. [YouTube]
- There are over 1 billion mobile videos viewed each day. [Statistic Brain]
- 73 percent of all Americans aged 18-24 use Snapchat, down from 78 percent a year ago. [Pew]
- 47 percent of U.S. teens think it’s better than Facebook. [Fool]
- 66 percent of all Snapchat users are under the age of 25. [Hootsuite]