Global Social Media Statistics — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights (2024)

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Detailed analysis by the team at Kepios shows that there were 5.07 billion social media users around the world at the start of April 2024, equating to 62.6 percent of the total global population.

Social media user numbers have continued to grow over the past 12 months too, with 259 million new users joining social media since this time last year.

That equates to annualised growth of 5.4 percent, at an average rate of 8.2 new users every single second.

The latest figures indicate that well over 9 in 10 internet users now use social media each month (learn more about people’s broader internet behaviours on our Global Digital Overview page).

However, note that figures for social media users may not represent unique individuals, and due to issues like duplicate accounts, social media user figures may exceed the figures that we publish for internet users – or even for total population. This is why we refer to social media user “identities”.

On the other hand, it’s also worth noting that comparing social media users with figures for total population may under-represent the full extent of social media use, because most social media companies restrict use of their platforms to people aged 13 and above.

And for additional context, the latest data suggest that the number of “adult” social media users around the world (i.e. those aged 18 and above) now equates to more than 84 percent of all adults in that age group.

Meanwhile, data from GWI reveals that the typical social media user actively uses or visits an average of 6.7 different social platforms each month, and spends an average of 2 hours 20 minutes per day using social media.

Assuming that people sleep for between 7 and 8 hours per day, these latest figures suggest that people spend roughly 14 percent of their waking lives using social media.

Added together, the world spends roughly 12 billion hours using social platforms each day, which is the equivalent of more than 1.35 million years of human existence.

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The world’s most used social media platforms

App intelligence from data.ai suggests that YouTube has the greatest number of active users today, giving the platform an index of 100 [note that the top platform in this ranking will always have an index of 100].

WhatsApp and Facebook rank second and third (respectively), but there’s only a small difference in app user numbers between these two platforms.

However, data.ai’s figures indicate that YouTube’s audience is roughly 20 percent larger than the audiences of both these Meta platforms.

Instagram ranks fourth, with the platform’s active app users equating to 68 percent of YouTube’s active app user base.

Facebook Messenger ranks fifth with an index of 51.5, and Messenger is the only other platform where active app users equate to more than half of YouTube’s active app user base.

TikTok claims sixth place in the latest ranking, but data.ai’s figures suggest that the platform’s active app user base is only 42.8 percent the size of YouTube’s.

Meanwhile, all other platforms have fewer than one-third the number of active app users that YouTube does.

Social platforms with the largest advertising reach

Data published in the advertising resources of the world’s top platforms reveals that YouTube has the largest social media advertising audience.

The company’s latest data indicates that YouTube ads reach 2.50 billion users per month, which is more than 10 percent greater than the 2.24 billion figure that Meta reports for Facebook.

Instagram has the third-largest ad audience, with paid media placements on the platform reaching 1.69 billion users in April 2024.

Meanwhile, Bytedance’s tools indicate that TikTok ads now reach 1.58 billion users over the age of 18 each month.

LinkedIn reports global ad reach of 1.07 billion, but it’s important to highlight that this figure is based on the platform’s total registered members, and is not representative of monthly active users.

And Facebook Messenger is the only other platform outside of China to report global ad reach of more than 1 billion users each month.

Global Social Media Statistics — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights (1)

The world’s biggest social media platforms

Figures published by the platforms themselves suggest that Facebook has the greatest number of monthly active users, although it’s important to note that some of the figures in this ranking represent monthly active users, while other figures reflect potential advertising reach, which is typically lower than total monthly active users.

Caveats aside, this dataset indicates that there are now seven social media platforms that each claim one billion or more monthly active users.

For context, four of these seven platforms are owned by Meta.

Furthermore, a total of 14 social media platforms now report at least half a billion million active users, while Pinterest looks set to join this exclusive club within the coming months.

  1. Facebook has 3.065 billion monthly active users (see more Facebook stats here)
  2. YouTube’s potential advertising reach is 2.504 billion(a)
  3. WhatsApp has at least 2 billion monthly active users
  4. Instagram has 2 billion monthly active users (see more Instagram stats here)
  5. TikTok ads can potentially reach 1.582 billion adults over the age of 18 each month(a) (see more TikTok stats here)
  6. WeChat (inc. Weixin 微信) has 1.343 billion monthly active users
  7. Facebook Messenger’s potential advertising reach is 1.010 billion(a) (see more Facebook Messenger stats here)
  8. Telegram has 900 million monthly active users
  9. Snapchat has 800 million monthly active users (see more Snapchat stats here)
  10. Douyin (抖音) has 755 million(c) monthly active users
  11. Kuaishou (快手) has 700 million monthly active users
  12. X (Twitter)’s reported potential advertising reach sits at 611 million(a) (see more Twitter stats here)
  13. Weibo (新浪微博) has 598 million monthly active users
  14. QQ (腾讯QQ) has 554 million monthly active users.
  15. Pinterest has 498 million monthly active users (see more Pinterest stats here)

LinkedIn doesn’t publish monthly active user data, so we can’t include it in this list. However, you can find in-depth data for LinkedIn use around the world here.

Note that you’ll find the sources for these numbers at the bottom of this page.

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Social media audience overlaps

These individual platform user numbers tell a compelling story about the rise of social media around the world, but – on their own –they don’t tell the whole story.

Critically, the world’s connected population makes use of a variety of different social platforms each month, which means that there will be considerable overlaps between the user bases and advertising audiences of each of these platforms.

The chart below shows the extent of these overlaps, with fresh data from GWI providing valuable insights for anyone looking to build a social media ‘mix’ or digital marketing plan.

The key takeaway from this great data is that marketers don’t need to be on all platforms at the same time in order to reach the majority of their audiences.

Indeed, if reach is your primary objective, you can focus on just one or two of the larger platforms, safe in the knowledge that you’ll already have the potential to reach the majority of social media users.

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Reasons for using social media

Reach isn’t the only thing you should consider when building a marketing plan of course, but this data also allows us to think differently about how we construct a social media platform mix.

For example, different people will use different platforms for different needs, and it’s well worth marketers exploring these needs to identify which platforms are best suited to individual campaign and activity objectives.

The chart below offers some great insight into the reasons why people use social media today, but remember that these motivations differ by country and by platform, so be sure to dig into our local market data too.

GWI’s data also allows us to explore these motivations by age group.

Note that it’s particularly difficult to identify a representative sample of internet users over the age of 65 once we look beyond the world’s richer countries, which is why the dataset only includes people up to the age of 64.

However, this data still provides rich insights into how people’s reasons for using social media differ by age.

Favourite social media platforms

It’s also worth noting that high user numbers don’t necessarily translate into preference.

Once again, data from GWI can help us make sense of which platforms people have the greatest affinity for, with the chart below showing overall social media platform preferences at a global level.

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As you might expect though, these preferences vary considerably by age and by gender.

As you can see in the chart below, GWI’s research finds that younger people are more likely to say that Instagram is their “favourite” social media platform (at least in most Western markets), whereas older generations tend to prefer Facebook and WhatsApp.

However, there are important differences in these preferences at a country level, and those local nuances are particularly important for marketers who are hoping to reach the right audience in the right place at just the right time.

Activities by social media platform

Research also reveals that people visit different social media platforms to achieve different things.

GWI’s survey reveals that messaging friends and family is a particularly popular topic on Facebook, but that TikTok users aren’t really all that interested in this functionality.

Instead, TikTok users primarily visit the platform to look for funny and entertaining videos.

Meanwhile, users on Instagram and Snapchat are particularly interested in publishing their own content, but this activity is significantly less popular on TikTok, Reddit, and LinkedIn.

And marketers may like to know that Pinterest users are particularly interested in following or researching brand-related content on the world’s most popular online pinboard.

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Social media behaviours by country

Social media preferences and behaviours also vary meaningfully from one country to another, so it’s important to dig deeper into the data to understand what’s happening at a local level.

If you’d like to know more about social media use in individual countries, including local social media platform rankings and audience profiles by age and gender, take a look at our complete collection of local reports.

We also have dedicated pages exploring the latest statistics for a number of the world’s top social platforms, which you can explore via the links below:

  • Facebook statistics and trends: click here

  • YouTube statistics and trends: click here

  • Instagram statistics and trends: click here

  • TikTok statistics and trends: click here

  • Facebook Messenger statistics and trends: click here

  • LinkedIn statistics and trends: click here

  • Snapchat statistics and trends: click here

  • Twitter statistics and trends: click here

  • Pinterest statistics and trends: click here

And if you’d like to stay up to date with all the latest developments in social media use around the world, sign up for our newsletter using the form below to receive notifications whenever we publish new reports.


Notes:

(a) Where platforms only publish daily active user figures, or where platforms have not published recent updates to monthly active users, we've used the latest advertising reach figures published in each platform’s respective self-service advertising tools, in order to provide a more equal basis for comparison.

(b) These platforms have not published updated user figures in the past 12 months, so the user figures published here may not be as reliable as the user figures we’ve included for other platforms in this list.

(c) Based on data published by iiMedia

LinkedIn no longer publishes monthly active user figures, and its monthly advertising audience reach figures are based on total registered members, not monthly active users (MAUs). As a result, it’s difficult to identify how many active users LinkedIn has each month. However, our calculations indicate that the platform likely has an insufficient number of MAUs to qualify for the ranking above.

* Note that we report both monthly active user figures and potential advertising reach figures for various social media platforms in our reports. Please read each slide carefully to understand which metrics we’ve used for each platform.

Global Social Media Statistics — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights (2024)

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