Active social media user identities (not that social media user identities may not represent unique individuals) have passed the 5 billion mark — equivalent to 62.3 percent of the world’s population. The global total increased by 266 million over the past year – an annual growth of 5.6 percent.
This is according to Digital 2024, an annual report on social media and digital trends worldwide from We Are Social and Meltwater.
In terms of the world’s ‘favourite’ social platform, Instagram has taken the crown from last year’s winner, WhatsApp. According to Digital 2024 16.5 percent of internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 consider Instagram their most loved platform, pushing WhatsApp into second place with 16.1 percent.
The report also found that the typical social media user now spends 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on their social platforms of choice, and uses 6.7 platforms each month with TikTok having the highest average time per Android user of any social platform globally, clocking in at 34 hours per month – equating to more than an hour per day using the platform. In second place is YouTube, with the average user spending just over 28 hours per month on its Android app.
Japan followed by South Korea spent the least amount of time using social media in the world, with the Philippines and then Indonesia spending the most time in the APAC region according to the report.
Other key highlights from the report:
- The typical internet user now spends 6 hours and 40 minutes online each day – up by 3 minutes per day, or 1 percent, year-on-year.
- Facebook – which celebrates its 20th birthday on 4th February – grew its global ad reach by more than 200 million over the past 12 months, delivering year-on-year growth of 10.5 percent.
- LinkedIn, Snapchat, WeChat and Pinterest all reported strong user growth year-on-year.
- Digital ad spend grew by 10 percent year-on-year, with almost $720 billion spent on digital ads in 2023. Social ad spend increased by 9.3 percent to USD $207 billion, and investment in influencer activities increased by 17 percent.
- The typical internet user now spends 17 minutes per day less watching TV content than they did this time last year – a decline of 8.2 percent year-on-year.
- In a rich analysis of TikTok hashtags, Digital 2024 reports that TikToks tagged with #fyp (for your page) have amassed a total of 55½ trillion views – making it the platform’s top hashtag.
“Social media continues to be a vital part of the way we connect with one another, from building communities to researching purchases and everything in between,” said Nathan McDonald, co-founder and group chief executive at We Are Social.
“TikTok’s continued popularity has changed the way that people behave online – social is not somewhere where a broadcast approach works for brands, and the importance of thinking social first has never been more important.”
McDonald added that for marketers, “understanding platform nuances – and how to use social media to connect in culturally relevant ways – will be more crucial than ever.”
“As social media enters its next chapter with five billion-plus users, understanding usage patterns, engagement, and emerging trends is crucial to helping brands find their unique voice amidst all the online chatter,” said Alexandra Saab Bjertnæs, Chief Strategy Officer at Meltwater.
“The rise of TikTok, coupled with Instagram’s ‘favorite’ status and the growth of professional networking platforms like LinkedIn, paints a picture of evolving preferences. With so many platform choices, brands need to really understand where their target audience is going for information—and shape compelling narratives that engage them with unparalleled precision and authenticity.”
To view the report, go here.