7.7K SHARES

In the ongoing race for social media active users world domination, everybody wants to know the statistics. Specifically, how many active users are on a given social media network?

Well I’ve done some homework, vetted some more popular claims that were floating around, and created the ultimate list of the six most active social networks. And as always, I made a pretty little graphic to go along with all the info. You might just call it an ‘infographic’.

A Brief Word About ‘Active Users’

Just like my previous infographic stating the number of registered users on social networks, the active user base is a great metric to know and understand. When you’re deciding where to invest your time on social media, it’s crucial to know where the buzz is and where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck.

With that said, it is my belief that the overall numbers aren’t nearly as important as the audience-specific numbers. What audience? Your audience.

The first question you need to ask is not “How many active users are on a platform,” but rather, “what platform is my audience on?”

You can have tons of success on the least of the social networks if you find your audience and pour into them on their preferred platform. Give so much value to that specific audience that they can’t help but keep coming back for more. And that’s all that matters.

People can argue “my network is bigger than your network” all day long. In fact, those people usually look like this:

show offs

What they can’t argue with are raw results.

All that said, these stats are still fun to know and helpful to understand social media trends as they continue to shape the future of online marketing and human connection.

Social Media Active User Stats

Without further ado, here are the quick and dirty statistics that you’ve scanned all the way through this article for:

social network active users 2013

And for those of you who like reading more than big pretty pictures:

  • Facebook1.19 Billion active users
  • Google+540 Million active users
  • LinkedIn259 Million active users
  • Twitter232 Million active users
  • Instagram150 Million active users
  • Pinterest70 Million active users

Digging A Bit Deeper

Now since some will want to debate how these Monthly Active Users (MAU) are calculated (especially the Google+ naysayers) let’s dig a little deeper on these numbers.

Facebook

A MAU according to Facebook is anyone who has been logged into Facebook in a given month and taken some sort of action (shared a post, clicked ‘Like’, etc.). To clarify, these ‘actions’ don’t even have to be from within Facebook as they count third-party app activity or a simple clicking of a ‘Like’ button on a website as active use.

This takes a bit of steam out of the gigantic number of 1.19 Billion ‘active’ users and makes one wonder just how many people are actually using Facebook within the web property and mobile app. Even still, this number is nothing to scoff at.

Google+

Most people want to debate that Google is counting Gmail users and YouTube users as active Google+ users. This is just a fun thing that all those Negative Nancy’s made up to make themselves feel better. There’s no truth in it.

However, it’s safe to assume that Google may be using a similar method as Facebook in counting off-site activity such as +1ing, sharing, or even commenting (through a Google+ comments plugin). However there are significantly less third-party apps when compared to Facebook since Google+ has limited its API access to only a handful of developers.

Google has also been more transparent about its active users by declaring how many users are active in just the stream alone300 Million. I appreciate this extra layer of transparency as you won’t find it on any of the other networks.

LinkedIn

According to LinkedIn’s official release, they’re not clear on the term ‘active’. In fact, they don’t mention it at all. It is assumed that this is the number of active users, but the term LinkedIn uses is “members”.

Twitter

The active users according to Twitter is included in their public filing for their IPO. These are the most recent and up to date numbers and there is no clarification of how an active user is defined.

Instagram

As far as I could find, there is no clear definition of an active user according to Instagram. Though being that they’re owned by Facebook, I would bet their measurements are similar.

The only difference is that there aren’t any Instagram buttons floating around the internet and not many of third-party apps in which users can be ‘active’ with.

Pinterest

The Pinterest statistics were gathered by third-party research companies and no official active user numbers has been released by the company.

One Last Thing

In my infographic I found it interesting to note the age of each network. From oldest to youngest:

  • LinkedIn10 years old, launched in May 2003
  • Facebook9 years old, launched in February 2004
  • Twitter7 years old, launched in July 2006
  • Pinterest3 years old, launched in March 2010
  • Instagram3 years old, launched in October 2010
  • Google+2 years old, launched in June 2011

This really puts into perspective just how quickly Google+ is rising, despite opposition and unmerited (often ignorant) criticism. While the growth of Pinterest is rather impressive and often talked about (the fact that it’s a goldmine for bloggers), it is funny to know that most people didn’t even hear about it until it had already been around for nearly 2 years.

Conclusion

Numbers are fun to chat about, and even more fun to share when they’re made into beautiful infographics (hint hint). Social media is not about the numbers though, it’s about the people and the relationships that come out of it.

Know and understand the numbers, but focus on and add value to the people.

What was most interesting to you about these active user statistics? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Bonus for all you source junkies:

There were other various sources that I tirelessly sought out for all this info, but c’mon… #aintnobodygottimeforthat.

7.7K SHARES

Get On The Insiders List

Get exclusive content via email, gain instant access to a growing library of downloadable resources, and first priority for the latest happenings!

Comments

  1. Scott Buehler says

    Hey Dustin, not to nitpick here, but would you mind including a link to the source to the 540 million number for G+? I think that’s important. I know G+ officially has said 300 million to the stream.

  2. says

    Should see if you can dig up how many active users Myspace has. :)
    I’m one! And I’ll be more active once they get the Android app out :P

      • says

        Hey, thanks Dustin :)

        I was a late adopter of Facebook and have never liked it. Google+ is great but I still don’t have any RL friends that use it.
        So, I’m mainly attracted to Myspace because A. it’s not Facebook, and B. it’s pretty!
        The personal radio stations are great also, but the latest albums of most my favorite bands haven’t ended out being available on there with really sucks.

        • says

          That’s cool. I’m just not into music enough to get that sort of value from it I guess. And for me, social networks are where I go to find new friends, colleagues, clients, and business partners. That’s what Google+ is best at!

          Drop a link to your profile on Myspace… I need an excuse to get back over there! lol

          • says

            Well Myspace doesn’t lock your account for connecting to people that you “don’t know in real life.” So, that’s a + ;)
            https://myspace.com/loveletslive7

            They have been constantly adding new features, it’s gotten heaps better in the last year. They aren’t building as quickly as G+, but they also haven’t as many staff ;)
            Oh, and their (New Myspace) first release release looked much nicer than Google Plus’ first release.

  3. YuanHao says

    I really hate it when they almost “force” us into using something we don’t want — Flickr users getting forced to using Yahoo! accounts, or Microsoft trying to unite Skype and Live services, MSN messenger used to be good until they decided to try to bundle it with Live and mess everything.

    Google is in many ways brute forcing itself into social media (Youtube comments were a complete failure, why would they be better now with g+?), and opting out of g+ is harder and harder each time.

    • says

      I understand how that can appear to be forceful. But think at it from their perspective– it’s their property, and they’re letting you use it for free. They have business goals and vision for how the services are going to work together to make the online world better. There’s many reasons why big companies implement things in this way… too many for me to list, but if you really don’t like it (which is kinda silly if you think about it) then you simply don’t have to use their FREE products.

      • YuanHao says

        With all due respect (we’re all adults), I think you’re trying to play around with words. Google earns money from ads, Facebook does too. I offer a “free” service and advice but in the end I wouldn’t if I weren’t making money. Making the online world better sounds great and all but if that were the case Google wouldn’t force their big user base like a bully into using g+. I already said NO before and now they don’t allow me to say no. They would be pushing towards thinking how to put themselves ahead through creativity and innovation. Think about MS killing Netscape (which was very innovative), and now even pushing users to using IE 11. Are you using it? No? Why?

        Creativity and innovation towards a better world are something, but once big companies start having a monopoly, they tend to forget about that.

        Don’t get me wrong, big corporations are necessary to keep the world running. I make my living mostly off of Google (I do marketing and Google sends me tons of traffic, but it’s becoming more inclined to Facebook now), but that doesn’t make me agree with everything they said. Their “don’t be evil” scheme and how they push g+ and Chrome and their services everywhere, is just pretty much what Apple or MS or any other corporation has done. And I don’t really like it.

        My two cents. I’m usually reluctant to comment on the web, but something constructive can come from here and I will check how g+ evolves.

        Cheers–!

        • Ryan Gianan says

          Just to reiterate Dustin’s comment, if you don’t like how they run don’t use their product. It’s their license and their business, and they really do have goals just like any company. And I think the Google+ integration to anything Google is because they want to increase their Google+ users and there is nothing wrong with that.

          • says

            You’re right Ryan. And it’s not just about Google+. Their company makes revenue in a wide variety of ways, but Google+ isn’t one of them. It is simply a way of adding value and social integration to their many other products.

  4. says

    Thanks Dustin. I shared this image (not the post, which I didn’t know about till now) with my Twitter network, hoping some would see the light. Didn’t work m in fact, one – a digital marketing director – took issue with the stats. Here’s the exchange. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts:

    HIM: Sorry, I’ll counter your graphic with another more important graphic. ‘Active Users’ meaningless http://twitpic.com/dnp49a

    ME: That’s nice, but what it doesn’t show is that every Gmail user is an active g+ user, whether they use the social network or not

    HIM: ‘Active users’ is meaningless if actual time spent engaging with users / content on ‘social network’ is next to non-existent.

    ME: Inactive on the social network doesn’t mean inactive on the platform. It’s that distinction that makes it so powerful.

    HIM: Google+ is a ‘social network’. Amount of time spent on it who is on it is determinant of whether people/brands should take note

    ME: No, it’s a social platform that also has a Facebook-like social network. Gmail interactions are part of it & will be a big part

    HIM: No, it was developed as Social Network. It was failing so Google added ‘platform’ aspects (logins etc) & tied it to SERPs. And has forcefully extended it’s social login’s to YouTube etc to drive more ‘active users’. All artificial. Hence time spent is right KPI, not ‘active users’. This is my bread & butter. Understanding audiences, network/platforms usage is key, not hype.

    ME: Given that Google’s had Agent Rank in mind since before 2009 (the patent was granted in 2009), I don’t believe that. But it’s irrelevant. G+ is a means for Goog to keep tabs on the authority of authors, which will ultimately inform rankings. No doubt they plan to use it for other huge things too, but the rankings side is enough.

    EDIT
    I’ve since told him your stats don’t include Gmail or YT usage, but haven’t heard back from him yet.

    • says

      Yea, he’s confused on a number of things. Just because users spend 6 hours and 58 minutes playing Farmville doesn’t necessarily mean they’re interacting with brands and businesses on Facebook. You see, with enough creativity, stubbornness, and ignorance of real facts, you can make any stat sound stupid, even if it is significant.

      He’s really just clueless and has latched onto a few opinions that validated what he wanted to believe. See this post. Just nod your head and walk away from conversations with these types of people. You can throw all the facts in the world at them, and it’ll go nowhere.

      A shame he labels himself a digital marketing director. He should just stick to film, he seems pretty good at it.

      • says

        Hey Dustin. Good point re Farmville. I hadn’t thought of that. I never play any FB games. But yeah, there comes a time when you have to walk away… Better things to do.

  5. says

    Dustin, this is great information. True, numbers are only a tiny bit of the equation and I think that is a big reason why G+ has grown so quickly. Since the focus there is not “how many friends” but rather WHO you INTERACT with, the difference becomes clearer than any info graphic could show.
    Truly social media gets you “social interaction” not just numbers.
    Gonna share dis one!!

  6. Keith Heggaton says

    Dustin – Brilliant work! I signed up for the newsletter and it looks great too.
    I read in another article you put out about taking in more content than you write – do you have any regular spots you go to for content curating (besides Google +)? I look forward to more of your work.

  7. says

    Hey Dustin, I’m an analytical guy so I love number crunching posts like this. However, I don’t think the number of users on a platform should be a big factor in whether a person/organization decides to engage there. Ultimately, I’m not looking for a billion or even a million clients, vendors, partners, friends and resources. A Ning network with 1,000 engaged people in my target market could be a better investment of time than Facebook.

    • says

      You’re right. You can have a social network with 5 users– you and 4 paying clients who buy $50,000 worth of product/services from you every year and you’ll be more successful than 99% of self-proclaimed social media marketers out there. It’s just like I said in my closing thoughts. Numbers are good to know (spotting and staying on top of trends) but it’s the real connections that matter.

  8. Sonny Andersson says

    Hey man!

    I’m going to launch a social media application in the future(I’m working on the application during the creation of this comment).

    When is the best time to launch our social media application?

    Is there any stats of when it is most effective to launch a social medium?

    I apologies if my english is bad, I’m from Sweden.

    I really appreciate if you could give me some form of help.
    Please send you answer to my email.

Leave a Reply

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>