News

Social Media Platforms Analysis – Part I

02.02.21

In this two-part series, we will be analyzing how the social media landscape has changed over the past 18 months both from an audience perspective, as well as learning about how these platforms are enticing users and content creators to maintain the platform relevance and drive usage. In this first part, we’ll be looking at:

  • how many unique users are going to these platforms,
  • trends in users by platform over time,
  • demographics that make up their userbase, and
  • time spent per user and per platform over the last 3 months (October 2020–December 2020).

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS BY THE NUMBERS

Facebook and Instagram remain the top two social media platforms with 223M and 140M unique users, respectively. Pinterest has risen to take the number three spot with over 111M unique users. You can see the full list of platforms in the table below.

Social media platform usage

FACEBOOK REMAINS STRONG WHILE TIKTOK SAW EXPONENTIAL GROWTH IN 2020

Facebook’s user base has remained consistent over the past 18 months; however, this was not the case for other platforms. Instagram has seen a drop in unique visitors of 11% from July 2019 to December 2020, while Reddit has seen a drop of 6% for the same time. Other platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat have seen significant drops with 40% and 52%, respectively. While these four platforms continue to experience declines in unique users, Pinterest has seen steady increases month over month, resulting in a 6% increase from July 2019 to December 2020 and now is larger than Twitter when it comes to monthly users. Although Pinterest overtaking Twitter is big news, the largest growth story has been from TikTok, which has grown users by 228% over the last 18 months; much of that driven as a byproduct of the pandemic and likely explains where Twitter and Snapchat’s audiences have gone.

Social Media Platform Monthly Users

FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM DOMINATE THE CATEGORY ACROSS DEMOS  

The analysis of demographic composition across platforms revealed that the “legacy” social media platforms are more effective at reaching users across all ages. Facebook’s largest user base is A25-64, making up 69% of its user base. Instagram’s primary demographic is A25-34 and makes up 23% of its total audience. Twitter user base falls evenly among A18-64, however, A25-34 make up 21% of its total audience. Another platform that is slightly on par with Facebook and Instagram’s demographic distribution is Pinterest; its user base spreads evenly across A18+. TikTok’s users are generally younger, with A18-24 making up 26% of its userbase, but the growth 25-44 age group (now 43% of user base) has been a big part of their success over the past 18 months. Reddit is more popular among A25-34, while Snapchat is effective at reaching A18-34, which make up a combined 64% of its audience.

Social Media Demo Breakdown

USERS SPEND THE MAJORITY OF THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA TIME ON FACEBOOK

Facebook remains the platform of choice when it comes to daily minutes per user. In analyzing Q4 2020, the average user spends a total of 33.8 minutes per day on Facebook—3x times more than the average time spent per visitor across the seven networks analyzed. TikTok and Instagram account for the second and third platforms with the most time spent, with 17.6 and 11 daily minutes respectively per user. Reddit is the platform with the least amount of time spent per user with 2.6 minutes per day.

Social Media Platform Minutes Per Day

In the second part of this series, we’ll analyze how some of these platforms are enticing usage and working with creators, AND brands, to compete with each other. We will also be looking at up and coming platform trends, new ad opportunities, and insights straight from the source. Stay tuned!

Platforms analyzed: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, and Snapchat
Time period of analysis: July 2019 – December 2020
Source: comScore