Study: Mobile Users & Older Generations Are Driving Social Media Growth Around The World


social-media-network-peopleA new GlobalWebIndex study analyzing international social media behavior revealed that mobile use and older Internet users are driving growth for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. To conduct the Social Stream Q1 2013 study, GlobalWebIndex surveyed 31,779 consumers in 31 different countries, examining global social media behaviors during the first quarter of this year.

According to the findings, Android and iOS users were more likely to be on social networks than average Internet users. In Japan, iOS users were 133 percent more likely to use Google+ than average Internet users. The trend continued in Germany with iOS users 125 percent more likely to be on Google+, and 73 percent more likely in Italy.

Russian iOS users were 51 percent more likely to participate on Facebook; Android users in Russia were 34 percent more likely to be on Facebook. Twitter saw 211 percent more engagement from iOS users in Poland. The upward swing also happened in France where iOS users were 116 percent more likely to be on Twitter.

GlobalWebIndex Social Media on Mobile

While mobile use was a key driver of growth for each of the social media platforms, more engagement by Internet users age 45 years and older also impacted international social media growth. Facebook saw a 46 percent increase in users age 45 to 54 years, while Twitter grew nearly 80 percent with users age 55 to 64.

GlobalWebIndex Social Media by Age

On the whole, Facebook is the leading social media network across the world, with 63 percent of global Internet users possessing a Facebook account. Not only does Facebook lead in penetration of Internet users, it also has the highest rate of engagement at 82 percent, with 51 percent of account holders performing a specific activity on the site within the last month.

Facebook statistics from the GlobalWebIndex study do not match up with a recent Guardian article claiming Facebook’s global usage has peaked and appears to be in decline with the loss of millions of global users. But the source of that data, SocialBakers, said that the Guardian interpreted it incorrectly, repeating an earlier misinterpretation.

At 359 million active users around the world, Google+ is the second largest social media network. Twitter is the fastest growing social media site globally, with a 42 percent increase in active users globally between Q2 2012 and Q1 2013.

Other findings from the study show Russia’s social network vKontake is the second fastest growing platform in the country, while most local platforms outside Russia and China continue to decline. Local social platforms on the rise in China include Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo and Qzone.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.



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