Social Media by the Numbers

In February 2004, Facebook was created in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  In nearly two decades, the social media revolution it spawned has become a global phenomenon.  As of July 2022, there are more than 4.7 billion social media users worldwide.  That’s 59 percent of Earth’s human population. 

Social media continues to grow rapidly, following a burst of new users during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In just two years, the number of people using social media jumped by nearly one billion people.

The average user of social media spends 2 hours and 29 minutes a day using various social media platforms.  Collectively, people visit an average of 7.4 social media platforms every month.  The top ten most-used platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Whatsapp, Instagram, Wechat, Tiktok, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Snapchat, and Douyin.

According to Pew Research Center, 31 percent of Americans regularly get their news on Facebook.  Another 22 percent read news on YouTube, and 13 percent on Twitter.  This may help explain the decline in newspapers as a daily source of news–and why so many people seem misinformed. It’s easy to get a distorted view of what’s happening in the world if your primary source of news is a platform where uninformed or biased people can post whatever they wish and spread misleading or false information.

People use the Internet for a variety of purposes including financial transactions, purchasing products or services, research, and playing games, but they devote nearly one-third of their total Internet time to using social media platforms.

The highest per capita users of social media are located in northern Europe, Western Europe, South America, North America, and Central America.  The lowest per capita users are found in middle Africa, eastern Africa, western Africa, and central and southern Asia.

Source:  Smart Insights

Photo credit:  Social media platforms:  Photo 85888318 © Marcel De Grijs |

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Terry Bacon