Social networking entails the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or for finding individuals with similar interests, as well as enables interacting on online platforms. Social networking websites enable users or subscribers to build social networks or social relations with other users who share similar personal or career interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections. Currently, some popular social media websites where individuals can network include Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
Increasing penetration of smartphones globally has resulted in an ever-expanding social networking application user base, especially on mobile devices. In addition, increasing Internet speeds and better connectivity is driving adoption of online applications, and social networking applications in particular.
According to Statista in 2017, 46.8% of the global population accessed the Internet that year, and there were approximately 3,900 Mn internet users worldwide in 2018.
In addition, rapidly growing digitalization trend across developed and developing countries have been contributing significantly to the ongoing high adoption rate of social networking sites.
According to Statista in 2017, there were 71% social network platform users out of the total global internet users.
According to Statista in 2019, there are approximately 4,400 Mn active Internet users, out of which, over 3,500 Mn were social media users.
US teens about Social Media
|81% teens feel more connected to their friends though social media platform||45% teens feel overwhelmed by all the drama on social media|
|69% teens think social media platforms help them to interact with a more diverse group of people||43% teens feel pressure to only post content that makes them look good to others|
|68% feel as if they have people who will support through their tough times||37% feel pressure to post content that will get them likes and comments|
Social networking has become a relatively popular online activity across the globe. These networking platforms also offer a wide of range of innovative features, including creating a user profile, personalizing profile page, adding and accepting friends, sharing updates and personal photos, among others. Among all the social networking websites in Q1 of 2019, Facebook ranked highest in terms of monthly active users at 23,800 Mn, and revenue of over 15.08 billion U.S. dollars for the first quarter of 2019.
Every social media/ networking site has unique features, using which users can express themselves creatively. For example, Instagram application users can use hashtags, geotags, and graphical stickers. Similarly, Snapchat offers, snap feature, which allows users to take a collective series of photos and upload them with Geofilters and Geostickers.
Some applications are focused on displaying information in the form of images, GIFs, and videos. Pinterest’s offers innovative visual discovery tools that are designed to enhance user experience in unique and personalized ways, making it an irresistible tool for users who are actively visualizing their future. Life events, like getting married, purchasing a home, family-related events and children, remodeling, vacationing, meal planning and so on, all require some form of planning, and that means visual search and discovery can set the stage for brands looking to engage with consumers who are looking to make purchases in the near future. According to Pinterest in 2019, over 17,500 Mn Pins were saved by Pinners globally. While some other social media platforms such as Twitter work as a single global platform wherein a single tweet is shared to all logged in users in the application worldwide.
Moreover, social media applications such as LinkedIn is primarily focused on career orientation of individuals and highly depend on content marketing for their businesses. These applications go beyond boundaries to make high technical skills visible and elaborative and offer various social network services. According to the LinkedIn annual report in 2016, the company registered over US$ 622.7 Mn revenue from its talent solution business segment.
A comparison of top social networking sites on the basis of daily active users indicates that Facebook holds dominance with over 15,600 Mn, followed by Instagram with 500 Mn, Pinterest 250 Mn, Snapchat over 190 Mn, and Twitter 134 Mn as per the Q1 2019.
Furthermore, social media applications that require less storage and bandwidth to upload and download digital content are high in demand. In the category of social networking messaging application, WhatsApp dominates and is witnessing high adoption and user base rates. According to Statista in 2018, WhatsApp registered over 450 Mn daily active WhatsApp Status users globally.