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Number of social network users worldwide from 2010 to 2018 (in billions)

 Number of users in billions
2010 0.97
2011 1.22
2012 1.4
2013 1.59
2014* 1.79
2015* 1.96
2016* 2.13
2017* 2.29
2018* 2.44
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This statistic shows the number of social network users worldwide from 2010 to 2014 with projections until 2018. In 2016, it is estimated that there will be around 2.13 billion social network users around the globe, up from 1.4 billion in 2012.


Social network usage

Social network penetration worldwide is ever-increasing. In 2012, 63.1 percent of internet users were also social network users and these figures are expected to grow. Social networking is one of the most popular online activities with high user engagement rates and expanding mobile possibilities. Overall, US users spent more than 121.8 billion monthly minutes on social media.

The increased worldwide usage of smartphones and mobile devices has opened up the possibilities of mobile social networks with increased features such as location-based services like Fourquare. Most social networks are also available as mobile apps, whereas some networks have been optimized for mobile internet browsing, enabling users to comfortably access visual blogging sites such as Tumblr or Pinterest via tablet.

With over 1.1 billion monthly active users, social network Facebook is currently the market leader in terms of reach and scope. The site has been shaping the social media landscape since its launch and has been an important factor in discussions about users’ privacy and differentiating between the private and the public online self.

Social networks not only enable users to communicate beyond local or social boundaries, but also offer possibilities to share user-generated content like photos and videos and features such as social games. Social advertising and social gaming are two major points of revenue for social networks.

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