Rebecca Twose of Language Insight evaluates social media usage and comes up with some surprises. She writes …
Did you know that nearly half of the world’s population are active social media users? As of 2020, 3.8 billion people use social media, which is a 9.2% increase compared to 2019. However, not all countries use social media to the same extent.
Which countries have the highest social media usage?
As of January 2020, Hootsuite & We are Social reported that the top 5 countries that have the highest social media penetration are the UAE at 99%, Taiwan at 88%, South Korea at 87%, Singapore at 79% and Hong Kong at 78%. This may be surprising to some as the US and the UK rank towards the middle of the list at position 16 and 23.
Countries that have the lowest social media penetration are Nigeria at 13%, Kenya at 17%, Ghana at 20%, India at 29%, South Africa at 37% and Egypt at 41%. However, even those countries’ social media usage is increasing year on year by at least 1%, with India in particular increasing the highest by 6% since 2019. These statistics are based on the amount of active social media users for the top social networks in each country compared to the total population.
Why do some countries use social media more than others?
The main reason why some countries may use social media more than others is most likely related to the economy of that country. The 5 countries with the lowest social media penetration are predominately developing countries compared to the top 5 countries with the highest usage, such as the UAE and Singapore, which have strong economies. Countries with stronger economies will have better access to the internet and the latest technology which will allow them to use social media platforms.
Another reason could be due to the culture of that country, as some cultures are a lot more social than others and this could mean that they value social media a lot more. Some cultures are also more cautious when adopting new technology where as some cultures embrace new technology and are known as ‘early adopters’.
Which social media platforms are the most popular in the world?
The Global Digital Report also highlights which social media platforms are the most popular worldwide. Facebook was found to be the most popular social media platform, based on the number of monthly active users and monthly visit worldwide. YouTube is the second most popular platform which is unsurprising considering it was predicted that video content will make up around 80% online content in 2020. A social media platforms that has grown significantly in popularity during 2020 is the video content platform TikTok, which is now more popular than Reddit, Snapchat and Twitter.
What is social media used for in different countries?
Social media can be used for many different reasons; to socialise with friends, to connect with celebrities and brands, and for work purposes. However, some countries are more likely to use social media for work purposes than others. Over 60% internet users in countries such as Indonesia, Columbia and South Africa use social media for work compare to just 27% in the UK & US.
Whether you use social media or not, the value of being able to connect with people all around the world cannot be denied.
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