The GlobalWebIndex released its latest quarterly social media report, "GWI Social," with an overview of the state of social networks worldwide. Founder Tom Smith uses the moment to correct Facebook doom and gloomers overreacting to other studies by pointing out Facebook's overall dominance. Doom and gloomers like myself raise questions about messaging apps and point to drops in active users for not only Facebook but also for YouTube and, in a sadder note, MySpace. For some, the future looks bright. For others, the sky has already fallen.
GlobalWebIndex is a fee-based research service but they offer a free summary of their quarterly "GWI Social" report that provides a useful world view. Their findings are "based on 170,000 online interviews per year across 32 countries." This report compares Q2 2013 to Q4 2014. Images are from the report.
Here are some of their findings (click on images to enlarge):
"Facebook still dominant, but other networks are rising"
Yeah, Facebook is good overall but what about those teens we keep hearing about?
GlobalWebIndex Founder Tom Smith explains:
"Academics from University College London recently received a lot of coverage by claiming that Facebook is 'basically dead and buried' among teens, but the real picture is actually far more complex. While teen usage of Facebook has seen a small decline, there is strikingly little evidence to suggest that UCL's findings are representative of broader trends."
"We've been able to show that Facebook is still used by 48.5% of 16 to 19-year-olds globally on a monthly basis...Facebook is still the dominant, most popular social network on the planet among teens with 67% more active teen users than the nearest competitor, YouTube (29% of 16 to 19-year-olds). Twitter is third with 26% of 16 to 19-year-olds around the world using it on a monthly basis."
Now that we've cleared that up:
"Mobile is seeing significant growth" (especially messaging apps)
"Networking and messaging apps experienced huge growth between Q2 and Q4. The estimated audience size for WeChat rose by 379%, with significant increases also seen for Vine (+105%), SnapChat (+54%) and WhatsApp (+35%)."
Sure, Facebook is dominant from this perspective as well. But WhatsApp is looking quite strong, though its growth may be slowing, with 36% of respondents reporting using WhatsApp compared to 69% reporting using Facebook. That puts WhatsApp at about half the user base of Facebook in this report.
Active Users Down for Facebook, YouTube and Myspace
Is a -3% drop in active users a bad sign for YouTube and Facebook? I'd want to see some data over a slightly longer period but a -12% drop for Myspace couldn't be good though that's probably a smaller number than for YouTube or Facebook.
So, no, Facebook's not dead yet. But there's still plenty of time for that!
Download the report summary for more.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.