The Social Media Monster: More Than Half of Americans Will Log into Facebook This Year

The Social Media Monster More Than Half of Americans Will Log into Facebook This YearLet’s face it, Facebook is a force to be reckoned with these days. The social site will retain its dominant status in both usage and social media ad spending.

Consider eMarketer’s latest social network usage forecast: “This year, for the first time, more than half of the U.S. population will use Facebook. In 2016, 50.3 percent of Americans of all ages will be on Facebook at least once a month, up from 49.3 percent in 2015.”

In fact, Facebook will remain “the dominant social network by a wide margin through at least 2020,” according to eMarketer’s forecast.

Currently, 162.9 million U.S. internet users log on to the site at least once a month. Facebook-owned Instagram, the second-most-used social network, will have 89.4 million US users this year, or 27.6 percent of the population. Twitter is a distant third, with 56.8 million users this year, representing 17.5 percent of the U.S. population.

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

“As a result of Facebook’s strong usage rates, it will continue to command the lion’s share of U.S. social network ad spending,” reports eMarketer. “This year, Facebook will capture 73.4 percent of social network ad spending in the country, or $9.86 billion. Twitter is a distant second, on course to capture 13.8 percent of U.S. social network ad dollars, or $1.86 billion.”

Additionally, that Facebook usage is now migrating to mobile. More than half of U.S. mobile phone users will be Facebook users.

“In 2016, 52.9 percent of mobile phone users will log on to Facebook at least once a month from their mobile phone,” notes eMarketer’s report. “And mobile will continue to play an important role in Facebook”s growth. This year, 86.0 percent of U.S. Facebook users will access the platform through a phone, with that figure climbing to 91.0 percent by 2019. Strong user engagement on mobile is helping to drive Facebook’s mobile ad revenues, which this year will amount to 19.2 percent of total mobile ad spending in the U.S. (Google is No. 1 with a 31.7 percent share).”

Twitter still leads in terms of the percentage of users who access the service via mobile. It also leads in the percentage of revenue from mobile. But Facebook is climbing steadily up that hill.

“Twitter and Facebook are far ahead of other companies in the percentage of ad revenue that comes from mobile. They are helping to convince marketers that mobile is important to their business strategy,” said Williamson.