2017 statistics revealed that Facebook has over 2 billion active monthly users, making it the most popular social networking site. The user-friendly design ensures that it appeals to a wide range of ages, therefore, it is often used as a way to search for old friends. It also boasts a wide range of features including music, videos, photos, live stream and games. The constant updates and familiarity of Facebook make it highly probable that it will continue to be at the forefront of social media outlets in 2018.
Facebook understood where the social media market was heading and acquired Instagram in 2012. In August 2016 Instagram introduced ‘stories’ in which you could directly post pictures and videos that would only be available to view for 24 hours. The concept was dangerously similar to Snapchat, yet user figures have increased drastically over the past year, from 100 million Instagram story users in October 2016 to 300 million in November 2017. Instastories are more commonly being used by big companies such as Pretty Little Thing and Missguided as a form of marketing. The number of monthly users on Instagram is steadily increasing and this pattern will likely continue in 2018.
YouTube was purchased by Google in 2006, meaning that the related YouTube video would pop up from a Google search. This, as well as the fact that YouTube is widely popular amongst those advertising their products, means that YouTube had a successful year in 2017, reaching 1.5 billion active monthly users. It is clear that YouTube is expanding rapidly as people are interested in gaining their information visually. However, the growing number of users also means that YouTube risks losing control over its users. Recently, Logan Paul was slammed in the press for posting a video on YouTube in which he went to the Japan suicide forest and filmed him and his friends and their live reaction to seeing a dead body. The backlash after he posted the video has made people question YouTube’s morals and safety.
Snapchat keeps itself fresh and updated by changing the filters every day. However, the reality of Snapchat is that it is limited with what it has to offer. Rather than searching and finding people, your contacts are required through physically meeting people and asking for their Snapchat, or adding people that you already know through your contacts. This means that Snapchat only reached (approximately) 255 million monthly users in May 2017.
Twitter demographics reveal that the age group which use Twitter the most are 18–29, with 36% of Twitter users falling in that age category. Twitter was in the limelight quite frequently in 2017 though not necessarily for all the right reasons. President Donald Trump’s controversial tweets were in the press several times in 2017 and likely to be again in 2018. Despite this Twitter has established its own niche within social media outlets and will continue to provide a political voice to those who might not usually get involved, whether it will ever match up to the likes of Facebook in terms of usability is unlikely!