There are 7.9 billion people in the world. 4.5 Billion of them use the internet. That’s almost 60% of the population. 

How many of them use social media?

Over 3.8 billion. That’s almost half of the world.

How many hours do people spend online?

6 hours 43 minutes. That’s equal to 100 days a year. And if you sleep 8 hours a day, it means 40% of your waking time is spent on the internet. 

Take a moment to think about it. 

It is more than clear that social media is ruling over the kingdom of the internet. The question is which social media platform the Overlord is. 

Is it Instagram?

The photo-sharing platform (can we still call it that?) now has over 1 billion users. The only other social platform to cross that mark is Facebook. 

It is also one of the top 5 apps downloaded on Google Play or App Store, going toe to toe with Facebook to get the coveted position in app downloads. 

TikTok solidly occupied the first place. Until the pandemic hit, and Zoom zoomed out of nowhere and overtook it.

But even with these numbers, Instagram is not the social media platform ruling the world. That distinction is held by Facebook (more on this later).

That said, Instagram is the place for a business. It is the most popular platform to follow a brand, with 90% of Instagram users following a business. Also, given the younger user base of the social, we predict it will take over Facebook soon enough. 

No, it is Facebook.

People are not using Facebook. Facebook hasn’t launched a good feature in so long. These are rumours that constantly fly about Zuckerberg’s creation. But they are just that – rumours. 

Without a doubt, Facebook dominates social media.

It has 2.80 Billion active users in a month. That’s a 12% increase in its audience every year. But the total addressable audience on the platform is around 1.95 billion. It’s less than its total users but still far more than Instagram (or any other social media).

What about TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest & Others?

TikTok also reached 1 Billion users in 2020, but the majority of them are in China. Moreover, it is users from China that spend the most time on the app. Add in that TikTok is banned in India. We can’t consider it a part of the big picture.  

YouTube has 2+ billion users logging-in in a month. That’s more than Instagram and almost up to Facebook’s mark. But the platform is more content-centric than social-centric. That reduces its reach and impact for brands. 

Twitter is lagging at 339 million users and LinkedIn at 663 million. Both formidable numbers on their own but nowhere near Facebook’s reach. 

It is the fringe social media that surprises us the most. While they don’t have the clout to match Facebook, they are surging ahead. Reddit increased its monthly active users by a huge amount, reaching 430 million users. 

Pinterest has 459 million users per month. The jump was prominent and considerably due to the pandemic. 

The role of social commerce 

Social media began as a way to share your life with friends and family. It then evolved into the way of communicating. And that naturally led to advertising. Today, social networks have completely overtaken traditional forms of advertisements. 

Take a look at Deepika Padukone’s Instagram Profile, and you’ll notice it is just a long line of adverts. Cleverly disguised as content, but still merely ads.

The star is an example. Most celebrity and mega-influencer pages are a reel of adverts. And there is a reason for it – social commerce. 

The role social media plays in the buying journey of people is vital. 43% of people research a brand or product on a social network before purchasing it. With networks like Instagram, making it ridiculously simple to buy something without living the app, this number will increase. 

Besides the younger user bases, this is another reason we think Instagram may rule social media in the coming time. 

Keeping an eye on new socials like Clubhouse

But you may never know. 

Just take a look at Clubhouse. The audio-only network is making major moves. It is less than a year old. 

Yet, you cannot scroll through Twitter without reading at least one tweet about a Clubhouse Chatroom. Or Swipe through Instagram Stories without stumbling upon a Clubhouse mention. 

Now that it’s started the “Creator First” Accelerator Program to help emerging creators, the network will grow even further. 

But that only time will tell. Till then, Facebook rules social media with a worldwide share of 71.92%!