Unpacked: Average Social Media Accounts per Person

Social media remains a large part of what regular consumers do on a daily basis with their smart device. Like it or not, they play a major role in the connected economy. That is why I like to share intriguing statistics whenever I encounter them related to social media apps and services.

Interestingly, of those aged 18-65, 93% have a social media account of some kind. For the average online adult, social networking activities represent 30% of their online time and this stat has risen steadily every year. The total time using social networks by an average consumer on a daily basis is now around 1 hour and 50 minutes. For those in the 18-25 group, the average time spent on social apps or services is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The other stat that has risen every year, largely driven by the addition of new connected consumers in markets like India, Indonesia, and many other parts of SE Asia, is the number of social media accounts per person. The average online adult is now a member of nearly seven social media services. Obviously, not all are active users on a monthly basis and only a handful of apps dominate active usage. I find this statistic interesting primarily because it could be one of these fringe social media accounts that someone signs up for that could someday be the next Twitter or Snapchat. The point is not that consumers use all their social media accounts, but they are at least willing to give more than just the few dominant ones a try.

Where things really get interesting for multi-network users is what countries have higher number of accounts per person. Emerging markets where consumers are getting online for the first time are the ones with the highest – by far – number of users with multiple accounts. India for example, has an average of over ten social media accounts per online adult. Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are all above nine accounts per person average as well.

Developed markets are slightly more controlled when it comes to how many social networks consumers try. In developed countries like US, UK, Italy, France, etc., the average number of accounts per person is closer to five, where in developing countries it is closer to nine. The outlier here is Japan with an average of 2.1 social media accounts per person. Either Japan is doing it right or wrong; you can decide.

When I look at more than 30 countries and make the observations of accounts per person in developed markets vs. developing ones, I do so within the framework of where new opportunities may lie. The fact that consumers are more willing to try out the services even if they don’t stick with them, however, appears to be more prominent in developing areas vs. developed ones. So a new social media service may have an easier time growing and scaling up in a market like India, Indonesia, Philippines, and the Middle East rather than developed markets like the US, China, and Western and Eastern Europe. Developed markets may have a more settled list of winners where that may not be the case in lesser developed markets.

I call out these particular observations in particular because, if there are any apps that can scale to the high 100 millions, it is social networking apps. I’m not sure we will ever again see something like Facebook but this data point stood out to me. 86% of online adults now have an account on one of Facebook’s four services (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram). Facebook is the dominant conglomerate for the social era, in many ways as dominant as Google was during the search era. However, given consumers appetite for social apps and services and their willingness to try new ones, you could argue there is more opportunity for competition. Of course, Facebook can –and likely will– continue to buy popular apps to add to their conglomerate.

Published by

Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

One thought on “Unpacked: Average Social Media Accounts per Person”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *