An average social media user scrolls their feed for 2 hours and 24 minutes daily. They also hop between 6 to 7 platforms.
Target these platforms, and you will be exactly where your audience is.
Although, how do you know which 2-3 sites to focus your energy on? Do you build a presence on all of them?
Is there a place for an IT business on Pinterest? Is the legal industry supposed to find its clients on Facebook? (Yes, surprisingly.)
Here are some key insights into the 2023 social media statistics to plan your marketing moves for the year and beyond.
Social Media Marketing Statistics Highlights 2024
137 million users joined social media from January 20222 to January 2023 globally. This amounts to a growth rate of 3% in the last year.
The numbers look even more positive if you note the progress from April 2022 to April 2023, when social media gained 150 million new users.
To put it into a financial perspective, the social media market value grew from $193.52 billion in 2022 to 231.1 billion in 2023.
This is in line with the global social app market valuation of 49.09 billion USD. While lower than in 2021, when the valuation was $60 billion, the potential for growth isn’t anywhere near dwindling.
Source: Grand View Research
From 2019 to 2021, the driving force behind social media growth and the rise of the app market was the Covid-19 pandemic. Of course, the rate wasn’t sustainable post-adjustment.
The current forecast points towards a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.2% from 2023 to 2030.
The big player is the adoption of 5G technology in developing countries. India, now the country with the highest population in the world, is expected to have 57% of its customers turn to 5G by 2028.
South Korea, China, and the USA are not far behind.
However, Europe’s projected CAGR is the highest at 31.4% from 2023 to 2030. The reason? U.K. and Germany’s increased use of photo and video editing apps.
On the other hand, France loves the push-to-talk button.
Social media apps are evolving to meet these high standards. As a marketer, you will have to adapt to these changing features.
Look at the market even two years ago. WhatsApp was primarily for personal messaging. Now, Whatsapp Business is the phone equivalent of email.
Countries With the Highest Number of Social Media Users
China, naturally, has the highest number of social media users at 1.02 billion. It leaves only 405 million people who aren’t on social media.
Less so if we account for the babies.
India accounts for 755 million social media users. The USA has half the numbers at 302 million.
This is what makes the social media penetration rate even more interesting.
- North America has a social media penetration rate of 74%.
- 72% of South America is on social media.
- The Eastern Asia social media penetration rate is 72%. The region has the highest number of social media users in the world at 26%.
- Southern Asia clocks a 41% social media penetration rate. 33.4% of it is from India.
- Northern and Western Europe has the highest conversion at 84%.
- Western Africa’s social media user percentage is a mere 13%, which is ironic because it’s also the region that spends the most time on the platform.
- Middle Africa has a 7% social media coverage as of now.
So, which countries should you target? Northern and Western Europe because of their high penetration rate?
No, your focus should be on countries in South Asia and Western Africa, which have a young audience and would see a higher social media penetration for every passing year.
Social media has already got hold of everyone in North America and Western Europe. These aren’t emerging markets but markets you have to nurture for the time being.
Most Used Social Media Platforms in 2023
Out of 5.18 billion internet users, 4.89 billion are on social media as of April 2023. A mere 5% of the internet users are inactive on social media.
54% are men, while 46% are women.
It’s unclear what percentage of these are unique users. You have to account for duplicate and abandoned accounts.
Still, it’s safe to say more than 60% of the world is on social media.
The spread of active users across all social networks is also consistent.
- Facebook is still leading the race with 2.9 billion monthly active users.
- YouTube is a close second with 2.5 billion. However, YouTube has lost 48 million active users since last year.
- WhatsApp and Instagram both have 2 billion active monthly users.
- TikTok is at 1 billion.
We suspect TikTok’s numbers would have been bigger if the platform had not been banned in countries like India, Canada, and Indonesia.
In fact, TikTok is the fastest-growing social network in the world. It had a 17% increase in users since last year.
105% more users signed up on TikTok in the US alone from 2021 to 2023.
The numbers for WeChat and Doyuin are equally impressive – with 1.3 billion active users – considering the platforms are limited to certain regions.
A new entry this year has been Threads, which reports 132 million total users as of September. It reached 1 million in the first hour of its launch on July 6.
However, it seems growth has been astoundingly slow after the first month. Whether Threads would turn out to be a major player in tandem with other Meta products is still debatable.
It’s a space you want to watch out for but not invest too heavily in.
Social Media Age Demographic Distribution
If you are under the impression Gen Z and millennials are leaving Facebook to Gen X, you aren’t wrong, but you aren’t right either.
If we go by Facebook’s ad reach, the highest demographic falls in the 24 to 34 age range at 29.6%. The second highest is 18 to 24 years old at 22.6%.
What we consider Gen X make up barely 11.3% of Facebook’s ad reach with an age range of 45 to 54.
Yet, ad reach isn’t the same as engagement. Gen Z and Millenials may be active on Facebook, but brand pages make them react rarely.
They aren’t going to use any of the reaction icons or leave a comment. But, if the product appeals to them, they will click on the ad.
Indeed, the average Facebook ad conversion rate is 9.21% across all industries. This is higher than any other social media platform. Of course, this depends on the industry.
The click-through rate for legal ads on Facebook is 1.61%. Retail, apparel, and beauty exhibit a CTR of 1.59%, 1.24%, and 1.16%, respectively.
The story is a lot different for Instagram, where the average conversion rate is impossible to determine.
Instagram reach plays a huge role in this instance. The higher your reach is, the bigger your conversion rate will be.
Up till a point. Brands with less than 10K followers witness a conversion rate of 2.6%.
Yet, brands whose followers fall in the 10k to 50k range see a conversion rate of 1%. 51k to 100k, the conversion rate drops drastically.
Until you reach 101k to 500k when it is 15 again.
The difference in conversion rate is interesting because Instagram’s age distribution is almost as consistent and similar to Facebook.
- 30.8% make up the 18 to 24 years age range
- 30.3% are 25 to 34 year olds
- 15.7% are 35 to 44 year olds
- 8.4% are 45 to 54 years of age.
Note: It may look like Facebook has a bigger Gen X audience than Instagram, it is due to the difference in the number of active users for both.
The only area where Instagram trumps Facebook in ad reach is the number of women it can show its products to.
India, particularly, seems to have more active women on Instagram than on Facebook. Ads can reach 96 million women on Instagram compared to 86.3 million on Facebook.
Despite having an almost similar age demographic distribution, the platforms appear to experience a large gap in terms of engagement.
Women also seem to be more active on Instagram, where they account for
Social Media Engagement Statistics: Overview 2023 – 2024
Social media engagement is the most effective way for a brand to measure its marketing efforts.
Even if a purchase isn’t made on the spot, the engagement points towards increased notice.
This is what makes determining the ROI on these social media platforms particularly complicated.
Facebook, which has the highest number of active users, has an average engagement rate of 0.15%. The only outliers appear to be the FMCG and Beverage sectors, with an engagement rate of 0.38% and 0.42%.
Yet, Facebook accounts for 71.64% of all web traffic referrals from social media. If the goal is to drive traffic to your website, Facebook is the obvious choice.
TikTok locks the highest engagement rate at 4.25% for followers and 5.10% for views. But it’s on a decline with a yearly decrease of 28%.
Instagram is also experiencing the same slippery slope of decline, with an average engagement rate of 0.60%
Still, it’s four times higher than Twitter, which captures a mere 0.05%.
Social media growth is on a decline across all platforms in general. As the number of users increases, the likes, follows, and views lower.
Part of it is due to the various policies established by the platform over the last couple of years.
There have been reports of users who have stopped posting publicly altogether. Their accounts are set to private and only used to interact with immediate friends and family.
If your ads aren’t overtly targeted or the content lacks a snappy, immersive quality, you are likely to get ignored.
This brings us to the user behavior on the platforms and how the usage changes based on the country.
Social Media Usage Statistics 2024
Nigeria logs the highest social media use, with individuals spending four hours and 31 minutes on social platforms. This is the complete opposite of Japan, where users spend 51 minutes at most.
Brazil, South Africa, and the Philippines also demonstrate a concerning level of social media use. Each country spends more than 3 hours on social platforms daily.
What do all these countries have in common?
These are emerging markets driven by a younger population of 18 to 24 years of age. Nigeria, which tops the chart, houses 60% of youth under 25.
You should note- a younger and more engaged population doesn’t always correlate to conversion. The age demographic might also be the one with the lowest amount of money to spare.
The Most Attention-Grabbing Content on Social Media Is Short-Form Videos
Videos, in general, get distributed the most among any content type. 51% of social media users are likely to share a video with friends and family they find valuable.
Short-form videos, especially, have 2.5x more engagement than long-form videos.
People appreciate the raw nature of these under-90-second videos. Many of them are created at home and almost always appear off-the-cuff rather than scripted content.
This is supported by 34% of consumers who admit to watching short-form content because they enjoy how genuine the videos look.
These videos are highly sharable because they are relatable, funny, or introduce a new idea.
Short-Form Videos Don’t Have the Same Reach on Facebook
The script is flipped a little on Facebook. According to the Social Bakers’ (now Emplifi) Key Trends Driving Social Media Engagement 2023 report, live videos have the highest organic reach on the platform.
We imagine it has a lot to do with the trend of livestream shopping by brands on Facebook groups and pages. The presence of the Facebook marketplace certainly amplifies this.
Customers get to see the product in a raw setting with their eyes and make quick decisions on whether they want to buy it.
They are also willing to wait a long time for a trusted seller to reveal each product.
In general, videos longer than a minute have the highest interaction and reach on Facebook on average.
In fact, the longer a video is, the more it is likely to reach more people and gain comments.
Images and status updates also register high on the interaction counter.
This shows that while social media users may exhibit a specific behavior across most channels, the platform itself can influence user patterns.
You have to tailor and test your content on each platform to get the best results.
For example, while short-form videos get the most shares on Instagram, it is the carousels receive the most interactions.
Again, this is a matter of reel reaching absolute strangers who may not feel comfortable commenting on a video. In fact, the reach rate of reels is 30.81%, according to Socialinsider.
This is double that of carousels, which have a reach rate of 14.5%.
Instagram carousels generally reach a person’s followers or second-degree connection at most. A group is way more willing to interact on a post.
Carousels are also more conversation-driven, rather than falling into the meme category, like reels at times.
If your social media strategy had been to only include short-form videos for vitality, it might be time to reconsider.
Social Media Is a News Source
60% of users aged 18 to 24 get their news from social media. The percentage is the same for the 24 to 35 year age demographic.
This is expected for Gen-Z and millennials. Social media curates news snaps in a way digital and traditional news sites fail to do.
It is interesting that 51% of users in the 45 to 54 age range and 45% of users in the 55+ age range also use social media for news. Even those used to a time when traditional newspapers were stronger seem to prefer free access to all information.
It’s not only publications sharing the news on social media either. Most users get their news from secondary sources, such as a YouTube video or an Instagram reel.
- 41% use Facebook as a news source
- 30% rely on YouTube
- 21% get their news from WhatsApp (Yes!)
- Instagram is responsible for delivering 18% of digital news
- Twitter (X), which has been actually marketed as a news source, actually only reaches 15%.
Of course, this is partly due to the active users effect. Twitter only reports 556 million users, so its news reach and engagement are lower across all channels at first glance.
However, when it comes to active engagement with news, Twitter users tend to rank high.
Most People Open Social Media on Their Phone
Social media platforms always have a mobile-first interface, so this comes as no surprise.
But what’s astonishing is the amount of people this applies to. 99% use a tablet or a mobile, and 78% of them use a phone exclusively.
Even YouTube, a landscape mode first video platform, gets 90% of its visitors on a smartphone.
If a user clicks on a link to your website from Instagram, how jarring would it be if they were directed to a desktop site? Optimize your site for desktop and mobile.
This is not a thing you can compromise on while creating your social media strategy.
Social Media Business Stats: Roundup 2023
If you are a small business owner and not on social media, you are behind approximately 94% of your peers. This is the exact percentage who post on social media about their business every day.
24.41% of them are dependent on social media to generate revenue. 54% have noted the benefits of promoting on social media and plan on increasing their spending from 2024.
The latest GWI research suggests social media is more effective than word-of-mouth recommendations when introducing people to a new brand or service.
Again, the truth is that with the rise of social media influencers, they have become the new word–of–mouth. 50% of millennials trust product recommendations from influencers over celebrities.
The influencers have spent a lot of time building their audience- maintaining a level of authenticity in their product, service, and brand reviews. A route brands could benefit from following or by appointing influencers to do so on their behalf.
Social media is also the second most popular method people use to look up brands and products.
Social networking advertising statistics
48% of Americans admit to making an impulsive purchase of an item they saw on social media. Considering social media advertising spending is the highest in the US at $72.3 billion, it’s clear the amount isn’t going to waste.
21% of consumers do not buy a product they see on social media online. Instead, they visit a local store to make the final decision.
However, coming across the product on social media makes them consider it in the first place.
In total, businesses spent $173 billion on ads in 2022. The projected ad spend for 2023 is $268 billion.
The current projection for social media ad spending clocks it at $130.5 billion for 2027 by mobile.
In fact, social media ad spending has increased by 25% from last year, with a valuation of $137 billion. It took over paid search, which is at $135.
Clearly, brands aren’t hesitant about dishing out money on social media because the ROI is far exceeding their expectations.
The 2023 social media statistics can prove to be a valuable roadmap for 2024. Use it to create a social media strategy that can account for all changes down the road.
Don’t fall into the trap of posting at a certain time by relying too hard on analytics. Nor should you overfocus on a particular content type.
Ultimately, the goal of all social media sites is to keep users on it as long as possible. If your content can captivate, most platforms will reward you with reach, which translates to some level of conversion.