This increased usage of social networks is due to the popularization of mobile technologies in the past decade and the increasing availability and affordability of mobile internet. Some networks, such as Facebook, started out as web-based and then extended towards access through mobile browsers and smartphone apps, while other networks, such as Instagram, were initially mobile-only and later transitioned into cross-platform availability as well. An increasing number of social networks are therefore accessible through multiple platforms in order to offer users access to different features according to their needs, time and preferred device. There are however stark regional differences in use of mobile social networks. As of January 2018, some 61 percent of users in North America accessed social media via mobile while the global mobile social penetration rate was 34 percent.
On a worldwide scale, Facebook is the undeniable leader of social networks, with over 2 billion active users around the world as of April 2018. Other popular social networks are Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine and Twitter, while popular mobile chat apps include Whatsapp, WeChat, Kakaotalk and LINE.