The Stats on Social Media Worldwide In 2018

Michelle Ciantar      Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Image source – pixabay.comIn the world of the digital age and social media where the global population of internet users in 2018 is now over the 4 billion mark (over half the world population), it’s important for businesses, marketers, and entrepreneurs to know the data insights of social media statistics.


Here are some top key takeaways from the Global Digital Report compiled by We Are Social in 2018 (total world population 7.593 billion)

  • The number of mobile phone users is 5.135 billion (up by 4% year-on-year).

  • People consuming and sharing content via mobile phones (52%, up 4% year-on-year) is higher than desktop users (43 %, down by 3% year-on-year).

  • The number of active social media users worldwide is 3.196 billion (up 13% year-on-year).

  • Facebook has the most daily active users with 10.7% average post reach vs page like and 26.8% average paid reach vs total reach.

  • The top 5 global regions of the largest internet penetration of users to total population are in Northern Europe (94%), Western Europe (90%), Northern America (88%), Southern Europe (77%) and Eastern Europe (74%).


Much of the new growth in internet users is due to the expansion of more affordable smartphone devices and competing for mobile data plans which have seen more than 200 million people obtain their first smartphone device in 2017.

The usage of social media has grown rapidly in the past year with more than 3 billion people globally using it each month. Users spend on average around 6 hours per day on the internet with 9 out of 10 users consuming social media via their mobile devices (GlobalWebIndex). This is due to the aging population of users over 65 increasing by nearly 20% and the age of new mobile phone owners starting much younger than five years ago, with a 5% increase of teens aged 13-17 using Facebook since January 2017.


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The top four countries spending the most time on social media are the Philippines (3hrs, 57m), Brazil (3hrs, 39m), Indonesia (3hrs, 23m) and Thailand (3hrs, 10m). Facebook still reigns supreme as the dominant social media platform with almost 2.17 billion users in January 2018. The fastest growing social media apps are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with a 30% increase year on year.  WhatsApp has the stronger global geographic position being in 128 countries compared to 72 countries for Facebook Messenger. However, Facebook Inc.’s stand outgrowth story goes to Instagram, with the amount of global users up by one third.

With the ever-changing algorithms of social media platforms, it’s no surprise that organic reach and engagement levels have significantly reduced in the past 12 months, the average reach dropped by more than 10% year on year. These numbers are significant to internet marketers because they provide an insight into the growing number of brands using paid media. It’s also an indication of social media becoming more expensive to advertise in the future. Last to note here is the number of people who bought consumer goods using an e-commerce platform, growth is up by 8% (close to 1.8 billion people globally purchasing online), with the total value of the e-commerce market for consumer goods growing by 16% in 12 months. The annual total spend in 2017 was close to the US $1.5 trillion, fashion products being the highest single category of purchases. These figures only represent the consumer goods category; if you add the total global e-commerce categories such as digital goods, mobile apps, and travel, the value combined is close to the US $2 trillion.

The data used in this article has been compiled from the We Are Social Global Digital Report 2018


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