Social network usage Social network penetration worldwide is ever-increasing. In 2017, 71 percent of internet users were 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. North America ranks first among regions where social media is highly popular, with an social media penetration rate of 66 percent. In 2016, more than 81 percent of the United States population had a social media profile. As of the second quarter of 2016, U.S. users spend more than 215 weekly minutes on social media via smartphone, 61 weekly minutes via PC, and 47 minutes per week on social networks via tablet devices.
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 Foursquare or Google Now. Most social networks are also available as mobile social 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 1.86 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.