Consider this: about 2.34 billion people — that’s 32.0 percent of the global population and 68.3 percent of internet users — will access a social network regularly in 2016. The startling fact? That’s up from just 9.2 percent in 2015.
The reason? Mostly it’s due to growing global access to the internet, driven by mobile phones. That growth is due to continue, according to a new eMarketer report entitled “Worldwide Social Networks Users: eMarketer’s Estimates for 2016.”
“The global social network landscape has transformed significantly over the past few years with the rise of Snapchat, Instagram, and other major players entering the market,” reports eMarketer. “To muddle the landscape even further, many messaging apps (which eMarketer does not include in its social network definition) have now adopted features and services that often rival and overlap with those of social networks.”
In mature markets, growth is becoming tapped out. Social network penetration in the more advanced digital markets of North America and Western Europe is close to saturation.
“This year, the number of social network users in those regions will increase by just 3.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively,” concludes the report summary. “But a new wave of social network users will come from mobile phone users in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa, who are accessing the internet for the very first time by way of inexpensive smartphones, widely available Wi-Fi coverage and expanding 3G and 4G networks.”
To check out the full eMarketer report, click here.