The monthly active user count is an important statistic to use when identifying the most active social media sites. Along with being used to help determine value, it’s a key performance indicator that helps determine the general popularity of a given network.
Approximately 2 billion internet users are using social networks. Expect these figures to grow as mobile device usage, messenger apps and mobile social networks increasingly gain traction in 2018.
Here’s a look at the social networks sites and/or apps with the highest monthly active user count in 2017:
Facebook increased monthly active users from 1.94 billion in March 2017 to 2.07 billion in the fourth quarter 2017. The social media channel dominates the market as the top social media channel for 2017.
What does this mean for 2018? We expect Facebook to continue to dominate the social media landscape in 2018. Brands will start investing more time and money in connecting with consumers on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger. In 2018, more brands will begin to realize the power of live streaming and start incorporating it into their content strategy.
Something else to watch from Facebook will be an initiative called Spaces, which allows friends to connect to VR. Facebook owns Oculus, a virtual reality hardware and software company. It will be no surprise that the social network will make use of this new technology in 2018. Additionally, Snapchat or Instagram will soon support filters that allow users to take a selfie with a friend or celebrity projected via augmented reality.
On the flip side, Facebook’s recent announcement on their new News Feed algorithm, pushing users’ friends and families content over paid content, is likely to increase paid media spend. Businesses will be fighting to stay in the forefront of user’s feeds. As news-related content is shared across users’ pages, publishers will likely not see much of a decline in impressions. What will be important for brands and publishers active on Facebook is differentiating the traffic that was easily accessible versus the audience they have created.
YouTube comes in at second place in terms of highest monthly active user count for 2017. More than 5 billion video views are watched each day on YouTube. That’s a lot of eyeballs for brands. Clearly, video is the dominant form of content grabbing your audience’s attention. Over 60% of videos on YouTube are watched on mobile devices, additionally, the sharing rate is higher on mobile devices. Brands should focus on creating better video content optimized for mobile devices in 2018.
Instagram Stories is just over a year old and their monthly active user count is already over 200 million, 50+ million more users than Snapchat. At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018. Brands interested in connecting must take the time to properly incorporate Instagram Stories into their social strategies.
Other Social Media Sites
Other social media sites dominating the space in 2017 include platforms popular in China such as WeChat, QQ, QZone, Sina Weibo, Baidu Tieba, and yy. Brands marketing in China should pay attention to these sites and include them in their social media strategies.
What about Gen Zers?
The oldest Gen Zers are turning 22 years old in 2018 and are beginning to enter the labor force. This will have a big impact on their increased buying power. Brands will be paying attention to this as they shift their social media strategies to focus on this generation. We should expect brands to invest in platforms preferred by Gen Zers such as Snapchat and Instagram.
In conclusion, more and more users will turn to video streaming and virtual reality. Brands will also start paying more attention to social platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat as Gen Zers increasingly spend their time there.