Social media trends: how long can Facebook hold the top spot?

Facebook is still number one, but are other platforms catching up?


Facebook remains the most popular social network, once again coming top of the list for account ownership (83 per cent), active usage (49 per cent) and visitor frequency (56 per cent of account owners log in more than once a day) according to recent statistics.

Global Web Index (GWI) reports, however, that other social media sites may be catching up, and are experiencing greater growth than the top-spot holder. In fact, Facebook experienced a 3 per cent decrease in active usage in the latter half of 2013, though it remains the most popular site in all regions across the globe and the number of people using its apps is steadily increasing.

YouTube, Google+ and Twitter follow close behind Facebook in terms of account ownership and active usage, but it is newer and less established platforms Instagram and Reddit which have shown the greatest amount of growth with 23 per cent and 13 per cent increases in active usage respectively.

With regards to how we are accessing these sites, our fast-paced, on-the-go, tech-obsessed modern culture means that mobile networkers are among the most frequent visitors and active users of social media.

Mobile messaging apps have also seen a huge increase in usage.  Instant messaging platform WhatsApp rose by 35 per cent, while the novelty of sending ridiculous images to our friends has resulted in SnapChat growing by a whopping 54 per cent.

The analysis has also unearthed another interesting trend, revealing that though 16-24s are the most active age bracket on sites such as Tumblr and Instagram, it is the 25-34s who hold the biggest share of users on nearly all other sites, including Pinterest (32 per cent), Google+ (31 per cent) and even Facebook (29 per cent).

In fact, those of us who have received a friend request from our parents won't be surprised to hear that almost a quarter of active Facebook users are aged between 45 and 64, a little older than Mark Zuckerberg's initial college-aged target market.

The statistics also show that online networking is growing fastest in emerging markets, most notably in the Middle Eastern, African and Asian regions. In Indonesia, 97 per cent of internet users have a Facebook account, with 62 per cent of these being active users.

On a regional level, internet users in Africa and the Middle East are the most likely to be on the major social networking sites, even more so than those in established markets such as North America and Europe.

The figures suggest that Facebook isn't going to be knocked off its top spot any time soon, though as users across the world embrace newer platforms, 2014 may just hold a few surprises yet.

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