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Facebook to reach over half the U.S. population this year

The company's huge user base gives it over 73% of social network ad spending in the U.S.

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 8, 2016
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4323

When it comes to number of users around the world, Facebook simply has no rivals. Its monthly active users at the end of last year was a whopping 1.59 billion, about four times as many as LinkedIn's 414 million users, and almost five times as many as Twitter's 320 million users.

This year, Facebook is expected, for the first time ever, to see more than half of all people in the United States to visit the site at least once each month, according to a new statistic from eMarketer on Monday.

In all, eMarketer expects 162.9 million people in the U.S. to use Facebook at least once a month this year.

Just think about that for a second. Half of the entire population. That means that for every single person you encounter, there's a more than 50 percent chance that they have a Facebook account.  

The closest will actually be another Facebook owned property: Instagram, which is expected to reach over 27 percent, or 89.4 million users, this year. It's tempting to try to combine those numbers, but there is probably a ton of overlap between the two, so it wouldn't really be fair. 

Twitter comes in third, though it has Pinterest hot on its tail. While Twitter will reach 17.5 percent of the population in 2016, Pinterest will see 16.9 percent visiting its sites. In a distant fifth place will be Tumblr, with 7.2 percent of the population. 

Growth for every single one of these platforms is expected to slow over the next few years, and by 2020 Facebook will have over 53 percent of the population, Instagram just under 35 percent, Twitter over 21 percent and Pinterest just under 20 percent. Tumblr will still be down at the bottom, with under 9 percent. 

Maybe the most impressive thing about this milestone for Facebook is the fact that it remains so dominant despite the looming threat of teens leaving the service. Reports from the last few years ago have been showing that interest among teens in "established social media" has already been declining, something that those of us who are getting older might see as a good thing, but which is likely not from the point of view of the company.

There certainly has been an influx of users on the more mature end of the spectrum, as the number of American adults using social media is now 65 percent, up from just 7 percent in 2005. Either the rise in older users has been enough to offset the youth abandonment, or those reports were simply overblown. One thing that is for sure is that it's not hurting Facebook, at least not yet.

Facebook remains the king of social networks, and the usage increases are coming primarily from people who are Generation X and older,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in the report. “Plenty of teens and young adults still use Facebook, but growth is slowing in these groups.”

Due to its overwhelming user numbers, Facebook is also dominating in terms of social network ad spending in the United States. This year it is expected to see $9.86 billion, or 73.4 percent of spending. Second place Twitter will get 13.8 percent. 

When it comes to mobile, Facebook will see more than half, 52.9 percent, of U.S. mobile phone users as well. This year, 86 percent of Facebook users in the United States will access it through a phone, a number that is expected to reach 91 percent by 2019.

Those number will give it 19.2 percent of total mobile ad spending in the U.S.

(Image source: flickr.com)

When it comes to number of users, Facebook has no rivals. It's monthly active users as of the end of last year were a whopping 1.59 billion. In the social sphere, I don't think that there's another one that has even 500 million. No one else even comes close.

Even knowing that, this new statistic from eMarketer on Monday still managed to surprise me: 2016 is going to be the year that more than half of all people in the United States use Facebook. 

In all, eMarketer expects 162.9 million people in the U.S. to use Facebook at least once a month this year.

Just think about that for a second. Half of the entire population. That means that every single person you encounter there's a more than 50 percent chance that they have a Facebook account. I can't think of any other service that has anywhere near that kind of penetration.

The closest will actually be another Facebook owned property: Instagram, which is expected to reach over 27 percent, or 89.4 million users, this year. Twitter comes in third, though it has Pinterest hot on its tail. While Twitter will reach 17.5 percent of the population in 2016, Pinterest will see 16.9 percent visitng its sites. In a distant fifth placr will be Tumblr, with 7.2 percent of the population. 

Growth for every single one of these platforms is expected to slow over the next few years, and by 2020 Facebook will have over 53 percent of the population, Instagram just under 35 percent, Twitter over 21 percent and Pinterest just under 20 percent. Tumblr will still be down at the bottom, with under 9 percent. 

Maybe the most impressive thing about this milestone for Facebook is the fact that it remains so dominant despite the looming threat of teens leaving the service. Reports from a couple of years ago were already showing interest among teens in "established social media" was already declining, something that those of us who are getting older might see as a good thing, but which is likely not from the point of view of the company.

There certainly has been an influx of users on the more mature end of the spectrum, as the number of American adults using social media is now 65%, up from just 7% in 2005, but either those have been enough to offset the youth abandonment, or those reports were simply overblown.

Facebook remains the king of social networks, and the usage increases are coming primarily from people who are Generation X and older,” eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in the report. “Plenty of teens and young adults still use Facebook, but growth is slowing in these groups.”

One thing that is for sure is that Facebook is still dominating will in terms of social network ad spending in the United States, with $9.86 billion, or 73.4 percent of spending. Second place Twitter gets 13.8 percent. 

When it comes to mobile, Facebook will see more than half, 52.9 percent, of U.S. mobile phone users as well. This year, 86 percent of Facebook users in the United States will access it through a phone, a number that is expected to reach 91 percent by 2019.

which will give it 19.2 percent of total mobile ad spending in the U.S.


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