Social media usage in the United States - Statistics & Facts

The United States has one of the highest social network penetration rates in the world. In 2019, over 246 million Americans were using social networks to post pictures, like and comment on content by others, or send private messages. With over 70 percent of the U.S. population holding a social media account, these platforms and services have become some of the most popular online activities of the past decades. By 2023, the number of social network users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.

Social media primarily used for entertainment, communication, news coverage, and business purposes. Among the various types of platforms, online users in the U.S. most frequently visit social networks, photo-sharing platforms, microblogging, and instant messaging services. These websites and apps have become an integral part of many American internet users’ daily routines. While the average daily usage time ranged from 30 minutes to two hours according to a 2019 survey, this figure will likely increase as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As many Americans started to self-isolate at home in March 2020, social media and other types of digital communication saw an unprecedented spike in usage nationwide.

Facebook is the most popular social network in the United States based on monthly active users. As of April 2020, the platform recorded over 190 million account holders in the United States and maintained a market share of over 43 percent. Mobile is an integral part of Facebook’s leading position in the market, as the networking giant is also the most popular mobile social networking app in the United States by reach,engagement , and audience. Seeing that mobile accounted for 83 percent of social media visits in the U.S. by the end of 2019, the importance of mobile-friendly user interfaces cannot be overstated.

Despite Facebook’s ubiquity, other social platforms are gaining space, particularly among U.S. teenagers and young adults. One leading player is Instagram, the popular photo and video-sharing app that has seen immense growth in user numbers over the past few years. In 2019, the platform recorded 107.2 million users in the United States and was projected to reach the 120 million threshold by 2023. As a majority of Instagram account holders are Millennial and Gen Z internet users who make up the country’s largest potential consumer base, marketers are increasingly using the platform for advertising purposes. By placing sponsored picture, video, or story ads, brands are reaching large audiences and taking advantage of the purchasing power of Instagram’s growing community. In 2019, Instagram’s net advertising revenue accounted for approximately 31 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue in the U.S., and revenue figures are forecast to increase in the years to come.

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Social media usage in the United States

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Leading social platforms

Social media activities

Mobile social

Facebook

Instagram

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