Social Network Usage & Growth Statistics: How Many People Use Social Media in 2024?
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Social Network Usage & Growth Statistics: How Many People Use Social Media in 2024?

Brian Dean

Written by Brian Dean

Social Network Usage & Growth Statistics

Since its inception in 1996, social media has managed to infiltrate more than half of the 8.06 billion people in the world.

Social network platforms almost tripled their total user base in the last decade, from 970 million in 2010 to the number passing 4.95 billion users in October 2023.

The spectacular year-on-year adoption of new users on the platforms is, however, slowing down. It now relies on the continuous growth in the number of people with internet access and smartphones, particularly in developing regions.

So, how big is social media and how has it evolved today?

In this awesome statistical roundup, you’ll discover the latest social network data by the numbers and key demographics, here’s a summary of what you’ll learn below:

So without further ado, let’s dive into the top 7 statistics you cannot miss surrounding one of the fastest adopted technologies in the last century.

Social Media Usage Statistics (Top Picks)

  • 4.95 billion people currently use social media worldwide, up more than double from 2.07 billion in 2015
  • The average social media user engages with an average of 6.7 various social media platforms
  • 61.4% of global population in the world use social media, among audiences aged 18+ that’s as high as 80.8%
  • Globally, the average time a person spends on social media a day is 2 hours 24 minutes
  • Facebook is the leading social network at 3.03 billion monthly active users, followed by YouTube (2.49 billion), WhatsApp (2 billion), Instagram (2 billion), and WeChat (1.33 billion)
  • 72.5% of the total US population actively use social media, totaling a number of 246 million people
  • In the US, 54% of social media users are female, while the remaining 46% are male, compared with a global average of 46.4% for female, and 53.6% for male.

How Many People Use Social Media?

As of October 2023, the number of people using social media is over 4.95 billion worldwide, with the average user accessing 6.7 social media platforms on a monthly basis. Popular platforms like Facebook have over 68.38% of their monthly users logging in to use social media daily.

The number of people using social media is over 4.95 billion worldwide

All social networks report growth data on the number of monthly active users or MAU’s rather than the number of accounts, as this data is more accurate for measuring actual use and territory penetration.

What Percentage of People Use Social Media?

The current percentage of people using social media is 61.4% of the world’s total population. However, when we look into platform penetration rates from people in eligible audiences, 93.5% of 5.3 billion global internet users and 88.4% of 5.6 billion mobile phone users are on social media.

61.4% of the world’s total population is currently using social media

Key Statistics:

  • 4.95 billion people use social media worldwide, according to platform reports on the current number of active users
  • 80.8% of the world’s population is active on social media when looking at eligible audiences aged 18+ years
  • Out of 8.06 billion people in the world, 61.4% of the population use social networks, regardless of age or internet access
  • Out of 5.3 billion internet users, 93.4% are active users
  • Out of 5.6 billion unique mobile phone users, 88.4% are active users

How Many Social Platforms Does the Average Person Use?

According to the Global Web Index, the average number of social media platforms users aged 16 to 64 access regularly on a monthly basis is 6.7 worldwide. That rises up to 7.5 platforms among audiences aged 16-24 years old.

The average number of social media accounts is 6.7 per person

The study of 53 countries with internet users aged 16 to 64 shows Japan had the lowest average number of social platforms used at 3.5, comparably Brazil had the highest with 8.1 per internet user.

5 Highlights for Backlinko’s audience:

  • Brazil: Averages 8.1 platforms per internet user
  • India: Averages 7.8 platforms per internet user
  • USA: Averages 6.7 platforms per internet user
  • UK: Averages 6.4 platforms per internet user
  • Japan: Averages 3.5 platforms per internet user

How Many People Use Social Networks for Business?

37.6% of all internet users worldwide use social media for work purposes.

37.6% of all internet users worldwide use social media for work purposes

In the U.S., only 28.7% of people actively use social media in their jobs, compared with the highest by country in South Africa at 51.9%, or the lowest at 51.9%51.9% in Japan.

5 Highlights for Backlinko’s audience:

  • Brazil: 48.9% of people use it for work
  • India: 43.6% of people use it for work
  • USA: 28.7% of people use it for work
  • UK: 26.8% of people use it for work
  • Japan: 9.1% of people use it for work

Social Media Usage by Gender

The current global average gender split of social media users is 53.6% men versus 46.4% women.

Which gender uses social media more by region?

  • North America: 51% female vs. 49% male users
  • South America: 53% female vs. 47% male users
  • Western Europe: 50% female vs. 50% male users
  • Southern Africa: 50% female vs. 50% male users
  • Southern Asia: 33% female vs. 67% male users
  • Oceania: 50% female vs. 50% male users

Which gender uses social media more by platform?

As you can see from the data above, social network usage is different for men and women globally when examining location. Perhaps the most notable gap in gender differences is where we look at the use by platform.

Which gender uses social media more by platform?

When looking at the top 8 social platforms by monthly active users LinkedIn and X (Twitter) index higher in male users. Sites like Facebook YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are more female orientated, especially Pinterest, which dominates with female audiences in the US.

Social network Share of female users in the US (vs. total platform ad reach) Share of male users in the US (vs. total platform ad reach)
Facebook 54.7% 45.3%
YouTube 51.4% 48.6%
Instagram 56% 44%
TikTok 55.6% 44.4%
LinkedIn 49.4% 50.6%
Snapchat 54.9% 44.9%
X (Twitter) 37.1% 62.9%
Pinterest 78.4% 12.9%

Sources: DataReportal 1, DataReportal 2

Global Social Media Growth Rates

How Much Does Social Networking Grow Year on Year?

In 2023, there are 4.95 billion people actively using social media in the world, and this is an increase of 7.07% year-on-year from 4.62 billion in 2022.

How much does social networking grow year on year?

Back in 2015, there were only 2.08 billion users – that’s an overall increase in users of 138.2% in just eight years.

8 Year Social Media Growth Statistics:

  • 2023: 4.950 billion active users (+7.07%)
  • 2022: 4.623 billion active users (+3.19%)
  • 2021: 4.480 billion active users (+13.13%)
  • 2020: 3.960 billion active users (+13.7%)
  • 2019: 3.484 billion active users (+9.2%)
  • 2018: 3.196 billion active users (+9.0%)
  • 2017: 2.796 billion active users (+21%)
  • 2016: 2.307 billion active users (+11%)
  • 2015: 2.078 billion active users

Day One: When Did Social Media Start?

The rise of social media began back in 1996 with the release of the networking site Bolt (now closed). Shortly after, in 1997, Six Degrees was released where users could add friends and make profiles. Following that, services like AOL Instant Messenger, Live Journal, and Friendster launched all paving the way for the leader, Facebook, in 2004.

Timeline: Early days of social media

  • 1996: The first social networking and video website is Bolt, which was active from 1996-2007
  • 1997: A site called Six Degrees was created where users could upload profile information and connect with users by making ‘friends’
  • 1997: AOL launched its Instant Messenger service, who acquired it from an Israeli based company, it was originally called ICQ and launched in 1996
  • 1999: This was the launch of LiveJournal, the first popular blogging platform
  • 2000: Habbo, a game based networking site, was released
  • 2002: Friendster launched, where users made profiles, connected, and share content
  • 2003: LinkedIn launched the first business-orientated social networking site
  • 2004: Facebook, the most popular platform of all time launches

Sources: DataReportal, Wikipedia

Social Media Penetration by Country

Which Country Has the Most Active Social Media Users in the World?

Social media penetration = active users vs. total population.

According to Kepios analysis from 2023, the most active country is the U.A.E., with 105.6% of its population using social media (due to duplicates and “fake users”, in some countries share may exceed above 100% as counted social media entities may not represent unique individuals). The average penetration rate globally is 61.4%.

Key Statistics by the total population

  • On average, 61.4% of the world are active social media users, regardless of age
  • On average, 80.8% of the world’s population aged 18+ are active on social media
  • USA has 72.5% regardless of age, 88.6% for only those aged 18+ years
  • UK has 84.4% regardless of age, 92.4% for only those aged 18+ years
  • Canada has 85.7% regardless of age, 90.8% for only those aged 18+ years
  • Australia has 81% regardless of age, 91.5% for only those aged 18+ years
  • India has 32.8% regardless of age, 40.2% for only those aged 18+ years

Social Media in the US by the Numbers

What Percentage of Americans Are on Social Media?

According to recent estimates, the number of active social media users in the US is 246 million in 2023, meaning 72.5% of Americans are on social media.

72.5% of Americans are on social media

Number of Americans on Social Media:

The US social media penetration is calculated by the total number of active social network users versus the total population.

  • 72.5% of the total US population have social network accounts, regardless of age, totaling a number of 246 million people

US Social Media Use by Gender:

In America, social media is more prevalent among women, in particular, Snapchat and Pinterest, whereas men are using sites like YouTube and Twitter more.

  • 78% of females
  • 66% of males

US Social Media Use by Ethnicity:

The percentage of social media use versus the total population by race for the entire US population is:

  • 80% Hispanic
  • 77% Black
  • 69% White

US Social Media Use by Age:

Unsurprisingly, the percentage of Americans using social media by age is primarily Gen Z and Millennials.

  • 84% of those aged 18-29
  • 81% of those aged 30-49
  • 73% of those aged 50-64
  • 45% of those aged 65+

Sources: Pew ResearchDataReportal

What Are the Most Used Social Media Sites Worldwide?

In 2023, Facebook is the leading social network with 3.03 billion active social media users worldwide.

Most Used Social Media Platforms Worldwide

YouTube, WhatsApp and Instagram follow this with over 2 billion, then, WeChat,TikTok, Facebook Messenger all having 1 billion or more users.

Social network Monthly active users worldwide (in millions)
Facebook 3,030
YouTube 2,491
WhatsApp 2,000
Instagram 2,000
WeChat 1,327
TikTok 1,218
FB Messenger 1,036
Telegram 800
Snapchat 750
Douyin 743
Kuaishou 673
X (Twitter) 666
Sina Weibo 599
QQ 571
Pinterest 465

What Are the Most Used Social Media Sites in the US?

Similar to the global ranking, Meta-owned social networks – Facebook and Instagram lead the ranking with the highest number of monthly active users in the US, at 177.5 and 138.5 million, respectively.

Social network Monthly active users in the US (in millions)
Facebook 177.5
Instagram 138.5
TikTok 107.8
Snapchat 90.5
Pinterest 86.8
X (Twitter) 50.5

Sources: DataReportal, eMarketer

Average Time Spent on Social Media

How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media Each Day?

In Q2 2023, the average time spent on social media per day is 2 hours 24 minutes globally for users aged 16 to 64 on any device.

The average time spent on social media per day is 2 hours 24 minutes

In comparison, the time spent on networks by the average person in the US is 2 hours and 15 minutes, 6 minutes less than the global average.

Key Statistics:

  • Globally, the average time a person spends on social media a day is 2 hours 24 minutes / 144 minutes
  • Out of the 51 countries surveyed, people in Nigeria spend the most daily time networking at 3h 49m
  • People in Japan spend the least daily time on networking at 49 minutes

Time Spent on Social Media by Country

Below, we have the average daily time spent on social media in hours and minutes in select 10 countries; the data source is the Global Web Index 2023 report.

Country Average time spent on social media per day
Nigeria 3 hours 49 minutes
Brazil 3 hours 44 minutes
Philippines 3 hours 36 minutes
Indonesia 3 hours 10 minutes
Canada 1 hour 54 minutes
Spain 1 hour 53 minutes
France 1 hour 45 minutes
Italy 1 hour 41 minutes
Germany 1 hour 39 minutes
Japan 49 minutes

5 Highlights for Backlinko’s audience:

  • Brazil: 3 hours 44 minutes
  • U.S.A.: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Australia: 1 hour 53 minutes
  • U.K.: 1 hour 48 minutes
  • South Korea: 1 hour 9 minutes

Daily Time on Social Media Growth Statistics

Below, we have the growth in time spent on social media in minutes; the data source is from all internet users from 51 countries, aged 16 to 64, and on any device.

Date Time (minutes)
Q2 2021 147
Q3 2021 147
Q4 2021 149
Q1 2022 149
Q2 2022 148
Q3 2022 151
Q4 2022 144
Q1 2023 146
Q2 2023 144

How Often Do Americans Use Social Media Sites?

Below we have the frequency of visits Americans have to these popular social media sites, all platforms other than Twitter get at least half of their users visiting the platform every single day.

Platform Use “Less often” (%) Use “Weekly” (%) Use “Daily” (%)
Facebook 9 17 74
Snapchat 22 17 61
Instagram 16 21 63
Twitter 29 29 42
YouTube 17 32 51

Sources: GlobalWebIndex, DataReportal

Social Media Usage by Device

What’s the Percentage of Social Media Usage on Mobile vs. Desktop?

In regards to social media usage by device, 99% of people in the world access networks on a mobile device (tablet or phone).

99% of people in the world access social networks on a mobile device

Around 78% are solely accessing platforms from their mobile phone, compared with only 1.32% visiting their social networks via only their desktop.

What’s the Internet’s Mobile vs. Tablet Market Share?

According to StatCounter, the current mobile vs. desktop market share worldwide is weighted more towards mobile, with 53.59% of people accessing the internet on a mobile device. Only 44.59% of people now access the internet on desktop (leaving 1.82% on tablets). By comparison, this shows just how “mobile” social media is.

Sources: DataReportal, Statcounter

Conclusion

There you have it for my rise of social media statistics roundup.

In terms of technology adoption, it’s mind-blowing to see how quickly a social network can explode. For example, TikTok was on one in five devices connected to the internet in 24 months.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

What else would you like to see added to this roundup? Or have a question?

Either way, please jump in and leave a comment below.

6 Comments

  1. Jim D. Avatar Jim D.says:

    Interesting that youtube is considered social media. It would be fascinating to break down the hours spent on each social media site so we could get a better idea of where people from each nation spend there time.

    2 hours a day on facebook is hard to see, but if you’re watching videos on youtube it would make sense.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Jim, yes, YouTube is generally considered a social media platform (but as you said, it’s very different from something like Facebook).

  2. Tikka Karlotta Avatar Tikka Karlottasays:

    Hey, do you think Telegram also can be considered as social media? Well, the function itself is kinda look alike with WhatsApp. And now that i saw WhatsApp is in the 3rd position of most used social media application it makes me wonder whether they forget to count Telegram also or else. Thanks!

  3. Surprising to see how many accounts the average user has although the monthly usage figures suggest that actual consistent use will be marginally lower for a lot of them.

  4. Andrea Avatar Andreasays:

    I’m curious where you found those numbers from because I have been trying to find them out and couldn’t 🙁
    Thanks for sharing these data!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Andrea. We gathered this data from a variety of different sources.

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