Social Media & User-Generated Content

Social media and user-generated content define interactive technologies designed to create and share information, ideas, and interests among virtual communities. Social media varies by text posts, images, videos, comments, and network platforms. Social media global penetration reached nearly 54 percent in 2020. Northern and Western Europe had the largest penetration rate, followed by Northern and Southern America.

Social media consistently expands, advances and grows around the world. The total number of social media users is expected to hit over 4.4 billion individuals by 2025, which would be approximately half of the world population.

Global social media penetration rate
Global annual social network user growth
Leading reason to use social media
Stay up-to-date with news & current events

Market size

Geographical distribution of users
Distribution of worldwide social media users in 2020, by region
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Given that Asia accounts for nearly 60 percent of the global population, it is no surprise that the continent has the largest number of all social media users. In fact, 30 percent of all world users were in Eastern Asia, followed by Southeast and Southern Asia. The number of social network users equaled 3.6 billion worldwide in 2020 and the figure is projected to increase to over 4.4 individuals by 2025: an increase of 22.5 percent over five years.

Social media worldwide
Social media in Asia Pacific
Social media in the United States

Market segments

Types of social networks
Number of social network users worldwide from 2017 to 2025 (in billions)
Further details: Visit original statistic

There is a wide range of social media, but the leading type is social networking. Whether one needs to connect with friends, to follow the news, or to expand one’s business network, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn keep attracting users. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube focus on photo and video exchange. Blogging networks, as well as visually focused networks such as Pinterest, are where users share interests, and messengers like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are used primarily for texting.

Social networks in China
Mobile messenger apps
Most followed Instagram accounts

Industry leaders

Facebook is king
Most popular social networks worldwide as of October 2021, ranked by number of active users (in millions)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook is the biggest existing social network with 2.8 billion monthly active users recorded in late 2020 and a revenue of 86 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. Despite its great success, the company has been criticized in recent years and is less popular with younger online users. Both the video-sharing giant YouTube and messaging platform WhatsApp had two billion users in 2020. Billions of individuals were using Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Instagram too.


Industry trends

Social media influence
Number of first-time TikTok installs from 2nd quarter 2016 to 4th quarter 2021 (in millions)
Further details: Visit original statistic

Digital content creators and influencers are very visible on social media. Short-form videos like Instagram stories, TikTok, IGTV, or YouTube content, as well as hosting live streams are popular types of content published by such accounts. The video-sharing app TikTok was global sensation in 2020. With the COVID-19 outbreak causing millions of people to work and study from home and in need of entertainment, TikTok has boomed.

Social media marketing
Content created by social media influencers

Industry Definition

Statista offers a broad range of statistics, facts, and market data on social media and user-generated content. In this section, customers will find up-to-date information on the number of social media users, mobile user shares, and data surrounding online user demographics and behavior.

The platform provides industry data for the world’s most popular social media platforms and apps. It covers key social media metrics, ranging from reach and penetration rates of leading social networks to revenue figures and engagement rates. Breakdowns of the most-followed accounts and channels are also available to provide further insights into the latest social media trends and technologies.

More interesting topics from the industry "Social Media & User-Generated Content"

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