Facebook still rules social—but YouTube and Instagram are gaining ground

by | Oct 25, 2018 | Public Relations

Although Facebook has historically been (and continues to be) the dominant social channel, social media users had a tendency to use YouTube and Instagram more in 2018 compared to 2017, according to a new survey from business news and how-to website The Manifest.

Nearly two-thirds of social media users report they use YouTube (63 percent) and Instagram (61 percent) more in 2018 than 2017, compared to 52 percent 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, in a news release. “[These channels] serve as entertainment platforms first.”

Facebook still rules social—but YouTube and Instagram are gaining ground

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 of people use Facebook, compared to 75 percent who use YouTube and 53 percent who use Instagram.

Facebook is particularly 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 Vancouver-based digital marketing agency The Status Bureau, in the release. “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.

Facebook still rules social—but YouTube and Instagram are gaining ground

Daily use of social media is the norm for most people

Social media is part of most people’s everyday lives: 86 percent use it daily, and 72 percent 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 percent) and computer web browsers (57 percent).

“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.”

Facebook still rules social—but YouTube and Instagram are gaining ground

Gender dictates the frequency of social media use

Seventy-five percent of women use social media multiple times per day, compared to 64 percent 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, in the release.

Read the full report here.

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

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter