Facebook is flat. Instagram is down. Snapchat is on its way back. LinkedIn is seeing more traffic. Tik Tok is a rising star. It can be difficult to know which platform to use to meet our content marketing needs. So let’s take a look at the findings of a few studies that show the rise and fall of social media platforms.
Instagram: up or down?
Engagement rates on Instagram are dropping because of the prevalence of sponsored posts, according to a study that analytics firm InfluencerDB shared with Mobile Marketer.
However, sponsored posts tend to generate higher engagement than those that are not sponsored. InfluencerDB gives two reasons for that. One is that influencers tend to create better quality posts. The other is that Instagram’s algorithms give higher precedence to sponsored posts.
On the other hand, engagement rates for influencer content are declining as Instagram feeds get cluttered with sponsored posts, according to InfluencerDB.
On the upside, since Facebook-owned Instagram launched Instagram Stories in 2016, that function has overtaken Snapchat in overall usage.
Facebook: flat or losing?
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted early this year, Facebook use – as well as that of other platforms — is flat among adults. However, Facebook still has around 2.4 billion users, and that number includes 69% of adults.
“The shares of adults who say they use Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are each largely the same as in 2016, with only Instagram showing an uptick in use during this time period,” according to the survey.
But just last week, Facebook boasted that it is now up to 2.4 billion monthly actives and its daily active users figures continue to trend upward as well. Its most significant audience growth once again comes in the Asia Pacific region.
Other reports take a different view of Facebook’s numbers. Here are a few:
- The latest Edison Research ‘Infinite Dial’ report indicated that the platform has lost around 15 million active users in the U.S. since 2017.
- eMarketer estimates that Facebook lost around 2.1 million users under the age of 25 in 2018.
- Older studies show that found that 42% of Facebook users had reduced their daily activity and engagement and that Facebook has continued to lose popularity with teens.
What about other platforms?
- LinkedIn reported in April that it is seeing “record levels of engagement” among its 610 million users.
- Snapchat may be making a comeback. It is now serving more users than ever, some 203 million people every day.
- TikTok was the 4th most downloaded app in 2018. It was #3 position in the first quarter of this year, topping the chart for Apple non-game apps.
- Twitter is the top platform for government leaders, but user growth is predicted at just 1%. However, the number of daily users has increased consistently since 2016, with 9% more people using it each day.
Growth may be slowing
The previously steady growth in the use of social platforms in the United States during the past decade appears to be slowing, says the Pew report cited above.
While Facebook and YouTube have the broadest reach among adults, Instagram and Snapchat have a strong following among young adults. These findings illustrate the age-, gender-, and race-related differences in platform use that the survey documented, information we shared earlier this year.
For more, check out this infographic, “The Demographics of Social Media in 2019.” It comes from Jones PR and highlights some key social platform usage stats and how things currently stand.
We can help move the needle
If you’re wondering which platforms to choose to meet your company’s goals and reach your intended target audience, Triple Canopy Media can help. We can assist you in setting your social media goals and metrics so you can actually move the needle forward for your business.