by Jastra Kranjec
Last year has witnessed a surge in the number of social media users, with billions of people spending more time than ever on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube amid the lockdowns. However, the world’s largest social media platforms continued their growth in 2021 with no signs of stopping in the years to come.
According to data presented by StockApps.com, the combined number of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram users, as the three most popular social media platforms globally, is expected to hit 5.7 billion this year. The increasing trend is set to continue in the following years, with the number of users growing by another 800 million to 6.5 billion in 2023.
340 million new Facebook users in three years
As the leading social media app worldwide, Facebook has witnessed a remarkable growth of its user base. In 2019, the popular social media platform had over 2.1 billion million active users, revealed the Statista Key Market Indicators data. After the pandemic struck and millions of people started spending more time indoors and online, the number of Facebook users rose to nearly 2.3 billion. This figure is expected to hit 2.4 billion in 2021. By 2023, the number of people using Facebook is forecast to hit 2.63 billion, a 340 million increase in three years.
The Statista data showed Asia is the region with the biggest Facebook audience worldwide. In 2021, there were over 1.1 billion Facebook users across all Asian markets, and this figure is projected to grow to 1.24 billion in 2023. The Americas and Europe follow, with 665 million and 385 million users as of this year.
However, the world’s second-largest social media platform, YouTube, witnessed even more impressive growth. Last year, around 2.1 billion people worldwide had been using YouTube. India accounted for the biggest share of that number, with 373 million users in 2020. The United States and Brazil followed with 205 million and 145 million users, respectively.
Statista data indicated the number of people using YouTube is set to jump to 2.24 billion in 2021 and continue growing to 2.56 billion in 2023, a 15% increase in two years.
Instagram witnessed the biggest user growth
Although Facebook and YouTube convincingly lead in the number of users, Instagram, as the third most popular social media platform in 2021, is the most rapidly evolving.
Instagram’s user growth has been consistent and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Last year, the photo and video-sharing social networking app hit 926 million users, an impressive 140 million increase in a year. Also, according to Sensor Tower data, Instagram was among the top five most downloaded apps in both the App Store and via Google Play last year.
In 2021, Instagram`s user base is forecast to hit over one billion for the first time, a massive milestone that was seemingly only reserved for social media giants like Facebook. By 2023, the number of people using Instagram is expected to grow by another 23% and hit 1.3 billion worldwide.