2017 Social Media Stats in 4 Charts

A few months after our post about reassessing your annual social media strategy, we’re back with more telling 2017 social media stats! What do the latest charts tell us about where we’ve been and where we’re going in social media? Look closely at the different numbers and assess for yourself what marketing efforts can be the most beneficial for your business. Psst… I’ll help you along with some ideas you can draw from.

Where to start with 2017 social media stats

A fairly classic stat that many look for when assessing which social media platforms to spend time on is how many active users that social platform has. The thought is that the more active users there are on that platform, the more eyes there are to see the content and the larger possibility that the platform has longevity. Nothing’s worse than investing golden marketing hours into a platform that crumbles a few months or years later.

Active Users = Those who have logged in and used their account on the web or mobile during a certain period of time. For example, you might want to know how many active users there were on Facebook in April or how many active users there were on Twitter between June 2nd – 10th.

Let’s take a look at the number of active users on each social media platform as of January 2017.

2017 Social Media Stats
Chart originally from Statista

It must come at no surprise that Facebook is leading the 2017 social media stats heavily by active users, with their own three apps following close behind.

Note: QQ, WeChat and QZone were all developed in China

Looking at some of the social platforms we talk about most in the United States, we can see that the app popularity in descending order is this:

Before we get into some analysis, let’s take a look at the growth comparison from 2016 to 2017 for these social platforms.

2017 Social Media Stats Social Media Growth Chart
Wow! Do these particular 2017 social media stats cause any questions or thoughts for you? They do for me! Let’s chat more about some of mine. If you have any that I don’t list, please add them in the comments at the bottom of this post. I’d love to chat more!

Instagram shot up in active users this year

It makes sense! With the onset and growth of Instagram Stories, the integration with Facebook Ads, and a number of other improvements, Instagram has become a platform for all ages. In fact, it’s become a place where Marketers now feel like they are missing out if they aren’t on the platform.

Facebook is the king of causing FOMO for not only users but also marketers. Will Instagram’s FOMO pressure be as big and longstanding as Facebook’s has been? Very possibly!

Twitter isn’t doing too shabby

Over the past few years, we’ve heard marketers tell us that Twitter is dying. There’s been some anger over the choices Twitter has made with their platform and also some irritation with the number of bots on the platform. OK, so the platform hasn’t grown a ton from last year (only 1%), but it is still in the top half of the social media platforms in terms of active user bases.

However, do you notice the large gap between Twitter and the next platform up, Tumblr in our first chart above? Twitter is officially part of the lower echelon, but it’s not done. It’s still a leader in social media customer service, and arguably the best place to make authentic B2B, C2B (customer-to-business), and B2C connections.

Snapchat has grown, but will it last?

With the copycat behavior of Instagram (hey, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing), Snapchat hasn’t been as exciting as it used to be. Although it’s difficult to say how many marketers have left Snapchat, Instagram has made it pretty convenient for them to do so.

According to Ad Age, Nick Sheingold, Associate Director of Strategy at social media agency Laundry Service, also thinks so:

It’s just another way to communicate with fans on their terms. We know users love Snapchat, and since the Instagram experience is so similar it makes it a little easier for brands. They don’t have to develop a totally unique strategy.

Is LinkedIn going down the tubes?

With the lowest number of active users and also a low growth percentage between 2016 and 2017, it might seem like LinkedIn is not the place to be. Is that so, though? I don’t think so!

LinkedIn is a very different social media platform. Unless you’re a marketer, you likely visit LinkedIn intermittently: when you need a job, when you’re looking for a professional, when you’re hoping to network or when you’re hiring. You’re not likely browsing LinkedIn at night for entertainment, nor do you get sucked in like you do on Facebook, because you just can’t resist snacking on one more video of your friend’s baby. You might find yourself visiting LinkedIn several times in one month, and then not again for another several weeks or months. This is the unstable/fluctuating user-base.

If you’re a marketer, well, of course you’ll be there to spread the good news about your product or service! This is the stable user-base.
As long as LinkedIn continues to serve those who are seeking help or attention from other professionals, LinkedIn will stay alive!

What’s going on with Pinterest?

Even with Pinterest having the largest growth over the past year (44%), they still have one of the lowest active user bases based on the 2017 social media stats we have available. Why is that? Well, it could be due to the fact that perhaps men didn’t feel as welcome on the platform for a while (perhaps some still don’t!) It could also be due to the fact that the concept is a bit unique.

I remember trying to explain the joy of Pinterest to my mother-in-law. I defended my poor explanation with, “It’s a lot better than I’m making it sound!” Since the concept seemed a bit different, I remember her not being jazzed to take the leap into it. Of course, when she did (at the persuading of a friend who must finesse words a bit more solidly than I do), she loved it!

So, where’s Google+, you ask?

Well… 2016 had no 2017 social media stats to compare it to! Last year, Google+ clocked in at 440 million active users.
This year, it’s unknown according to Business Insider

“It’s not clear how many active users Google+ has today, and a Google spokesperson declined to comment.”

Mobile optimization

2017 Social Media Stats

Last year, there was a lot of talk about how many mobile users there were, and therefore, how important it is that you:

  1. Have a mobile optimized website, and
  2. Make sure your social media images also look great on mobile.

Guess what? There are even more mobile users this year (as you can see from the 2017 social media stats above, created by We Are Social and Hootsuite) than there were last year. What does that tell you? Don’t stop your efforts!

And, just to pop in a protip for your pleasure, square video (and video) can be golden for you! Don’t believe me? Check-out this experiment done by the Buffer Marketing Team. They found that square video not only takes up more space than landscape video on a mobile phone, but it also results in more engagement.

Wyzowl also has a lot to say about the future of video in their The State of Video Survey for 2017. In case you don’t have time to read through the whole thing, here are a few of my favorite stats from the Survey.

2017 Social Media Stats Wyzowl Road Warrior Creative

Are you convinced yet that video matters? Today, a marketer who doesn’t use video will most likely fall behind their peers. If you need some tips for how to get going, check-out our post on How to Master Social Media Video.

Final Thoughts

All of the 2017 social media stats above tell us a lot about what those around us are doing. It’s great to know about them, think about how they can benefit us, and then use discretion as to whether or not they will fit into our strategies. Unfortunately, we can’t do everything; we need to pick and choose.

What will you choose to implement? We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Thoughts or Questions?

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