Social media’s infiltration into the lives of internet users has been on the rise. The latest figures show that there are 3.6 billion social media users worldwide in 2020—a 5.88 percent increase from a year ago.

It is also 740 million more than the number of social users in 2017, which represents a whopping 25.9 percent jump in just four years. The average annual growth rate over this period is eight percent. 

Going forward, while the number of social media users will continue to increase, growth is expected to plateau. The average annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025 is forecast at 4.4 percent.

Despite the slowdown, it’s clear that social media will continue to be a part of consumers’ daily lives, with smartphones and mobile devices as the main driving force. As it stands, social media statistics show that nearly all (99 percent) social media users use them to access social networks. 

Social Media Usage by Region

Looking at how many people use social media by region, the penetration rate is currently highest in North America, with as many as 69 percent of the population considered to be active social media users. 

This is followed by South America with 68 percent, Central America and Europe with 66 percent, and Eastern and Southeastern Asia with 63 percent.

Regions where social media usage is the lowest are Middle Africa (seven percent) and Eastern Africa (nine percent). 

Zooming in, penetration is highest in the UAE, where 99 percent of the population uses social media. To better understand just how extensive this is, consider this: The worldwide average is 51 percent.

These are the five places where social media usage is the highest:

  1. UAE: 99 percent
  2. Taiwan: 88 percent
  3. South Korea: 88 percent
  4. Malaysia: 80 percent
  5. Singapore: 77 percent

The accessibility of economically priced smartphones, Wi-Fi coverage, and improving networks play a massive role in increasing social media usage across the globe. This is especially so in the African, Asia-Pacific, Latin American, and Middle East regions, where we will see an uptick in the number of first-time social media users.

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

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