- Our census, which used a liberal definition of social networks, yields a few widely known but many surprising facts. Facebook still has the largest user population at 1.16 billion monthly active users.
- But it's seldom-discussed that YouTube is close behind with 1 billion MAUs.
- China's social media giant, Qzone, is running in third place at 712 million total users. It's twice as large as global social messaging app WhatsApp, and nearly three times as large as Twitter.
- Three of the world's top 10 social properties are messaging platforms: WhatsApp, LINE, and WeChat.
- IPO-bound Twitter is smaller than many of its less-known rivals, including Tumblr, WhatsApp, and LINE.
- Social media professionals should understand not only how large each network is, but the countries of origin of the people who populate them. For example, 86% of Facebook's users are outside the United States.
- Facebook's new center of gravity is in emerging markets. Facebook has 95 million users in China (despite the fact that it's officially blocked), 68 million in India, 42 million in Brazil. Taking these population together, they're twice as large as Facebook's U.S. population of 100 million.
- Nearly 25% of LinkedIn's users are in India. In fact, there are more Indians than Americans on LinkedIn and Google+. Since India and the U.S. both have English as a principal language, there is bound to be a great deal of shared activity.
- Other major social networks blocked in China still have many millions of Chinese active users who use various stratagems to access these services. Google+ has 100 million users in China, Twitter has 80 million, and YouTube has 60 million.
- LinkedIn, the only major social network that is not blocked in China, has more than 20 million users in the country.
- Asia-Pacific overall has more active social media users than any region, and several Southeast Asian markets are off the charts when it comes to mobile social media usage. Eighty-two percent of Thai smartphone owners access social media daily on their phones.
In this report, we compare the world's top social networks in two ways.
We first evaluate them side-by-side in terms of total [...]