The average smartphone user spends 2 hours and 20 minutes a day or 70 hours on social media apps every month and 55% of the population, or 4.88 billion people, have social media accounts. It is the most popular type of internet service, responsible for hundreds of billions of interactions every day.
In the late 1990s, as the internet was moving to web 2.0 stage, several online messaging and social networks launched with new multimedia services, propelling them to new levels of popularity. LiveJournal was the first on the scene in 1999, with MySpace, Facebook, Okrut and Bebo all launching between 2003 and 2005.
The 2000s saw these social networks compete for more users, with Facebook surpassing MySpace in 2008 to become the most popular social network worldwide. Qzone and VK were both launched as clones of Facebook for Chinese and Russian users. Twitter launched in 2006 and Tumblr in 2007, both cast as “microblogging” platforms.
Apple’s iPhone brought new life into the social media landscape, leading to the creation of apps like Instagram, Path, Snapchat, Keek and Vine in the early 2010s. Facebook would struggle with mobile to begin with, but acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 bolstered its position as the most popular social networking company in the world.
As the social media market started to mature, fewer apps were launched and several either folded (Google+, Orkut, Friendster) or were reworked by new owners, in the case of MySpace and Bebo. The mid-2010s saw the launch of video-first apps, such as Periscope and Musical.ly, the latter of which was acquired by ByteDance in 2017 and merged into TikTok in 2018.
Social media continuously evolves and while there is less competition in some areas, new ideas come out of new technologies or changing user preferences. Clubhouse introduced live audio conversations, which have been added into Twitter and LinkedIn. BeReal launched as the anti-Instagram, focusing solely on the user’s friends and “authenticity”.
The next five years has many branching ideas of social interaction, such as the metaverse, augmented reality and new creator monetisation tools, which could introduce new players to the social app ecosystem or further entrench the leaders, as we have seen happen with the decline of Clubhouse.
We have collected data and statistics on social networking apps. Read on below to find out more.
Key Social Networking Statistics
- Facebook and Instagram are responsible for around half of all revenue generated by social networking apps
- There were 4.88 billion social networking accounts active in 2021
- Facebook has the most users at 2.9 billion, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp
- Facebook is also the most used social networking app in the US, followed by Instagram
Top Social Networking Apps
|The dominant social network for over 15 years, which over 2.9 billion people access once a month
|Instagram has taken on many identities since its inception as a photo sharing app, it currently has a focus on short-form video
|The newest social app to reach one billion users, and kickstart the push by other social platforms towards short-form video
|A photo-sharing service which first gained users for its disappearing messages, and 24 hour photo and video stories
|The largest video network in the world, with over 2.5 billion users. Has recently moved into short-form video with Shorts
|A photo-sharing and idea board app which became popular with women in the US, and has since gained traction internationally
|A microblogging service that was recently purchased by Tesla CEO Elon Musk for $44 billion
|Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is the largest social professional network, which also operates as a portal for job seekers
|A social news and discussion website, which has tried to add more social networking elements in the past few years
Social Networking Revenues by App
Facebook and Instagram, which are the two main pillars of Meta Platforms, generate the most revenue. YouTube is a distant third, with LinkedIn fourth ahead of TikTok and Snapchat.
Social App Revenues 2010 to 2022 ($mm)
Social Networking Users
There were 5.27 billion people with a social network account in 2022, with most of them on Facebook, Instagram, or WeChat in China.
Number of Social Media Accounts Worldwide 2014 to 2022 (bn)
Social Networking Users by App
Facebook has the most total users, although it has been growing at a slower rate than newer apps like Instagram and TikTok.
Social Networking Users by App 2022 (bn)
Source: Social App Report
Social Networking Market Share US
Facebook still has the highest usage in the US, primarily through its usage amongst older age groups. Instagram is the only platform likely to reach Facebook’s level of usage in the next few years.
Usage of Social Networking Apps in the United States 2022 (%)
Social Networking Average Time Spent
There has been an increase in average time spent on social networks every year since 2012, however growth stalled for two years. It slightly increased in 2022 to 153 minutes per day.
Average Minutes Spent Per Day on Social Media 2012 to 2022
Social Networking Daily Engagement by App
Instagram has the most daily usage, with 39 percent of users opening it once a day. TikTok is second with 29 percent daily engagement, higher than Facebook and Snapchat.
Daily Engagement Rate on Social Apps 2022 (%)
More Social App Data
- LinkedIn Usage and Revenue Statistics (2024)
- Reddit Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- Pinterest Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- BeReal Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- Threads Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- WeChat Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- Facebook Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- TikTok Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- Twitter Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)
- Gas Revenue and Usage Statistics (2024)