71% of Internet users are now accessing social media platforms once a month

Around one third of the world’s population and 71% of Internet users are now accessing social media networks once a month. That’s according to the latest eMarketer estimates. The figures represent an increase of 8.2% compared to 2016, driven by the growing mobile phone adoption.

In addition, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have been busy expanding their video content options to ensure they remain ahead of the competition. Meanwhile, apps such as Snapchat continue to innovate and launch new features and products to keep users engaged. It seems to be working as more and more Internet users flock to social networks to consume other media on a daily basis.

A study by Pew Research Center has previously identified Facebook to be the most popular social media platform, followed by Instagram and Pinterest.

Interestingly, according to comScore, despite Facebook clearly leading the pack in terms of reach and time spent with social media, Snapchat also showed some significant figures for the average time visitors spent using the app. It’s multi-platform reach is comparatively lower to Instagram or Twitter though.

Corey McNair, Forecasting Analyst at eMarketer, explains that social media is a way of staying in touch with loved ones.

“In recent years, leading platforms Facebook and Twitter have faced competition from Snapchat and messaging apps like WeChat, which eMarketer does not include in its social network definition, that have adopted overlapping features and services.”

Importantly though, the addition of video has not exactly boosted social network user growth. Instead, it reinforced existing usage. North America and Europe are expected to increase user growth by just 2.9% and 3.4% respectively, according to the research forecast.

A large number of user growth is driven by more affordable hardware and better WiFi and mobile network expansions, particularly in regions such as APAC, LatAm, Africa and the Middle East.

This year, almost 82% of social network users worldwide will use mobile devices. By 2021, that figure is expected to reach almost 87%.

In addition, eMarketer raised the outlook for China, saying that those aged 45 years and over were performing above expectations.

Although advertisers may not yet be carving out specific budget allocations for social mobile campaigns, they tend to go where their audiences are. And with over half of Facebook users now accessing the service via mobile devices, mobile ad expenditure continues to climb.