How Many People Use Social Media in 2020?

Social media’s infiltration into the lives of internet users has been on the increase. Over the past decade, the number of social media users has more than tripled, going from 0.97 billion in 2010 to 3.08 billion in 2020. 

Going forward, while the number of social media users will continue to increase, growth is expected to plateau. The year-over-year average annual growth rate from 2020 to 2023 is estimated at 3.65 percent, approximately one-third of the 12.42 percent growth rate from 2010 to 2020.

Despite the slowdown, it’s clear that social media will continue to be a part of consumers’ daily lives. Social media statistics show that the time spent on social media has also been on the rise, reaching 144 minutes, or nearly two and a half hours, per day in 2019.

Such statistics are a clear indication of the growing trend and reliance of consumers on social media, and a clear opportunity for social media marketing opportunities for ecommerce businesses worldwide.

Social Media Usage by Region

Looking at how many people use social media per region, much of the growth in social media usage from the past year has come from Asia Pacific. The populous region saw 190 million more social media users in 2020, 9.8 percent more than the previous year

Here’s a regional breakdown of the year-over-year increase.

Africa: 12% (+23 million)
Americas: 6.0% (+38 million)
Asia Pacific: 9.8% (+190 million)
Europe: 4.4% (+20 million)
Middle East: 14% (+16 million)

The accessibility of economically priced smartphones, Wi-Fi coverage, and improving connections play a massive role in increasing social media usage across the globe. 

In terms of social media penetration, the worldwide average stands at 49 percent. This figure is the highest in East Asia, with more than seven out of every ten (71 percent) internet users also using social media.

This is followed by North America, where social media penetration is just slightly lower at 69 percent, and North Europe and South America, whose penetration rates are both at 67 percent.

In comparison, social media usage is the lowest in Africa, with its regions registering penetration rates that are much lower than the global average. This is particularly so in Middle Africa, with just six percent of its total population using social media.

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