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5 Insights into the Latest Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics

Social networks are embedded in our lives. To put that in some perspective it is worthwhile from time to time to see what the social media landscape looks like and review the latest social media usage statistics, facts and figures.5 Insights into the Latest Social Media Facts Figures and Statistics

The latest GlobalWebindex Study for 2013 shows that social networks are not all about English speaking media. Large populous countries like China have significant social media platforms that are larger in size than some of the largest well known networks such as Linkedin and Pinterest. These include Sina Weibo, Qzone and Tencent.

Facebook still dominates driven by increased mobile usage and also growth by the older demographic.

Other interesting revelations are:

  •  Twitter is the fastest growing network with more than a 40% increase in active users over the last 9 months
  • Facebook continues to grow with more than a 37% increase in active users from Q2 2012 to Q1 2013
  • Google+ is not far behind in growth with 35% growth in 9 months
  • Linkedin is growing at over 30%
  • Pinterest’s popularity continues with a 20% increase in active users in the period

So what else does the this extensive study of 31 different markets covering 87% of the global internet population by the GlobalWebIndex study reveal?

1. Global social media network penetration

Facebook maintains its top spot at over 60% penetration of all internet users globally with YouTube at around 44%, Google+ (43%) and Twitter at 35%.

LinkedIn sits at 15%, MySpace still in the mix at 11% and Pinterest at 7%.

Global Social Network Ownership 2013

2. The top 5 social networks

What I found rather insightful with this graphic is that Facebook and LinkedIn have older audiences than the other platforms. The younger demographic is hanging out on Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

The other surprising facts are that social networks are dominated more by the males. This even extends to Facebook (55%) but is not as marked as LinkedIn (66%) .

Top 5 social networks globally

3. Higher adoption rate of social media networks by the older generation

Twitter’s charms are being discovered in increasing numbers but what is surprising is that the 55-64 age bracket is getting rather excited about its virtues with a nearly 80% increase in usage over just 9 months.

Older adoption rate of social networks is is higher

4. Engagement split at a global level

This comparison needs to be understood with Google+ activity not just measured on the Google+ platform but also the fact that activity can be measured on the G+ layer (eg Gmail etc). This leads to a skew in the Google+ statistics.

Active users for the last month:

  • Facebook with 701 million
  • Google+ at 359 million
  • Twitter with 296 million

The purest figure here is maybe the number of (post) text updates.

Engagement split at a global level

5. Active usage measurement

Facebook’s active usage level is very high with an incredible 82% engagement rate in terms of the proportion of active users to account holders. Next highest is Twitter (62%), Google+(60%), Pinterest (53%) and Linkedin rounding out the top 5 at 51%

Active usage measurement


So what are the top findings from the study.

  • The major social media networks are still growing worldwide with mobile being the main driver.
  • Twitter is the fastest growing social network globally
  • Facebook has the highest engagement with active users as a percentage of account owners at a very high 82%
  • Google+ is the second largest social network with 359 million active users

What did you find revealing about any of these facts and figures? Look forward to your feedback in the comments below

Image by Shutterstock

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Very interesting insights here Jeff, good stuff!

  • Suzanne Parrott

    This helps understand marketing and promotions strategies, especially for age related products. I also heard on the news last month that the “younger crowd” is starting to dislike Facebook as there is “too much drama” going on, so are leaning toward Twitter, Google+ networks. Thanks for posting this —

    • Yes, I was surprised by the demographic data with Facebook.

  • I had looked up the stats a while ago, definitely surprised MySpace was mentioned Hehehe,
    It was good to see the graphical representation of logins, posts etc, though Google doesn’t have more posts, people have access to G+ a lot of the time, even when not doing social stuff on the internet ~~

  • John Gardner

    I have ignored Googla+, but I need to re-think that. Thanks for the info.

  • It is used in the same way as Facebook. One of the major applications that users have for Google+ is the hangouts and photos.

  • Good question but I don’t know of any sources for that data.

  • twilley

    Why was Instagram left out?

  • I don’t know why GlobalWebIndex didn’t include it. Maybe they consider it an app rather than a social network?

  • Sabre

    MySpace higher than Pinterest?

    I misread that right?

  • Rahul Patel

    Considering the time spent on networks, certainly Google+ will not be above Twitter. Although what surprises me it that 3 platforms out of top 10 are there with China only operation. China is a huge market if it opens up for global players.

  • Sorry to join the conversation so late Jeff, but I’m curious if you think LinkedIn’s lower active user rate may be a side effect of the SWAM “feature” (for lack of a better word,)