US social media trends: YouTube and Instagram gaining ground on Facebook

18/10/2018

Most people in the US use YouTube and Instagram more in 2018 than 2017, outperforming other channels such as Facebook, while women tend to use social media more frequently than men, according to a new survey.

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The poll, carried out by The Manifest in its report How People Use Social Media in 2018, quizzed

627 people from across the U.S. about their social media habits.

Key findings:


  • People tend to use YouTube (63%) and Instagram (61%) more in 2018 than 2017, outperforming other channels such as Facebook (52%).

  • However, Facebook remains the most-used social media channel: 82% of people use Facebook at least once per week, compared to 75% who use YouTube and 53% who use Instagram.

  • Nearly everyone (86%) uses social media at least once per day, and 72% use it multiple times per day.

  • People use a combination of methods to access social media, including mobile apps (67%), computer web browsers (57%), mobile web browsers (41%), and tablet apps (31%).

  • Nearly half of social media users (46%) prefer to access social media on mobile apps.

  • Three-fourths of females (75%) use social media multiple times per day, compared to 64% of males.

  • The majority of both females (83%) and males (81%) use Facebook at least once a week, but they vary in how they use other channels, including Pinterest, Twitter, and Reddit.

  • Females are more likely to use mobile apps to access social media (52%), and males are more likely to prefer computer web browsers (33%).


Nearly two-thirds of social media users report they use YouTube (63%) and Instagram (61%) more in 2018 than 2017, compared to 52% who say they use Facebook more this year.

“Instagram and YouTube have very strong user bases,” said Charlotte Chipperfield, founder and CEO of Chipperfield Media. “[These channels] serve as entertainment platforms first.”

Facebook Remains the Most-Used Channel

Although people use YouTube and Instagram more often this year, most people still use Facebook at least once a week.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of people use Facebook, compared to 75% who use YouTube and 53% who use Instagram.

Facebook is powerful as a social media channel because it is one of the oldest and most-established channels.

“[Facebook] has been defaulted to people’s home on the internet; it’s the other internet,” said Josh Loewen, digital marketing director of The Status Bureau, a digital marketing agency in Vancouver. “When people think of where to go and what media to consume, they go to Facebook.”

Facebook remains popular, but YouTube and Instagram’s usage is growing.

Daily Use of Social Media Is Norm for Most People

Social media is part of most people’s everyday lives: 86% use it daily, and 72% use it multiple times per day.

“Social media is a large part of everybody’s life,” Loewen said. “It’s how people communicate, look for events, notice stores and brands, and find the weather. It’s how people are aided in their daily life.”

People Use Mobile Apps and Computer Web Browsers to Access Social Media

People use multiple methods to access social media – mobile, computer, and tablet apps in addition to web browsers and smartwatches, but the most popular are mobile apps and computer web browsers.

Most social media users access social media from mobile apps (67%) and computer web browsers (57%).

“We have our phone on us at all times and our computer in front of us the other part of the time,” Loewen said. “They’re both really accessible mediums.”

Gender Dictates Frequency of Social Media Use

Seventy-five percent (75%) of women use social media multiple times per day, compared to 64% of men.

This is attributed to the greater appeal social media has to women and their interests, experts say.

“The amount of content out there on the internet and on social entertain women more than they would men,” said Joseph Rothstein, account manager at Social Media 55.

The Manifest’s 2018 Consumer Social Media Survey included 627 people in the U.S. who use social media at least once per week.

Read the full report here: https://themanifest.com/social-media/how-people-use-social-media-2018

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