Over the past 10 years, there has been an intense battle going on between the social networking sites to achieve the highest possible market share. Not all of the current Top 10 sites were even in existence 10 years ago, but have soared to prominence on the strength of providing services which are deemed highly desirable by at least a certain segment of the user audience.
With years of statistical data to draw upon, it has been very interesting to note the jockeying which has taken place among all the contenders. Undoubtedly in the future there will be some exchanges of position among the Top 10, but for the present time, those networking sites below have come out on top in the scramble for attention from online users.
Facebook can point to both good news and bad news in its quest to achieve supremacy among the social networking sites. Beginning with a market share in the neighborhood of 70%, the social media giant has steadily been losing share to some of the emerging platforms, and has now dropped down to a mere 36.64%. This isn’t exactly terrible, especially given the fact that so many powerful new platforms have come into existence, but it does mean that Facebook no longer enjoys the dominance it once had.
Still, Facebook is still in first place with its current market share, and it can take pride in the fact that it’s monthly active user account has reached a new high around the globe, with 2.2 billion active users. This is an astonishing figure when you consider the fact that there are only something like eight billion humans alive in the world at the present time. That means that one out of every four persons on the planet is active on Facebook at some point during their month, and that they are either sharing, or at least reading, information dispensed by the platform.
YouTube’s reach has been steadily expanding, as it has captured the imagination of video lovers everywhere. It has also expanded its services by offering YouTube Red, which a number of very interested fans have quickly become devoted to. Overall, YouTube has soared up to a market share of 27.01%, which puts it within striking distance of Facebook, and well ahead of all other contenders. Given the fact that YouTube’s niche is video and video is king on the Internet, it will be interesting to monitor market share for YouTube in the coming years, to see whether or not it can overtake the perennial leader, Facebook.
Twitter and Reddit
For a year or two, Twitter’s market share remained fairly stagnant, and then in October 2016, a significant increase began to occur. Since that time, Twitter has gained considerable traction, and has achieved its highest market share ever, with a statistical percentage of 6.82%. The platform also posted an impressive earnings plateau during 2018, which was not surprisingly reflected in its stock price. Shares of the social networking site are now being bought and sold at approximately $37 apiece, which is well above the $14.30 threshold they were at only about 12 months ago.
This impressive showing has allowed Twitter to reach the number three spot in the market share rankings, with Reddit right behind it in fourth place. Meanwhile, Reddit’s growth has been going in the opposite direction since May 2016, and in that year it lost its third-place position to Twitter. This should indicate that Twitter will retain that third-place position, if trends can be relied upon.
At the present time, Reddit is nearly 2 full percentage points behind Twitter in the race for third-place, and it would seem to be stuck in that position, since Twitter is the platform which has more momentum these days. Twitter has also shown a noteworthy increase in its monthly active user account, which now stands at 336 million users. This figure also eclipses Reddit, and is an additional indicator of the widening gap between these two contenders.
Pinterest and Instagram
For quite a while, the race for fifth and sixth place between these two social networking platforms was very close, but over the past six months, Instagram has shown a considerable increase, and has now pulled away from its rival. Pinterest has lost significant market share, allowing Instagram to race past it as the more popular image-based social media networking sites.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, since Instagram has a lot of factors going for right now, starting with a good mobile app and powerful backing from its parent, Facebook. Facebook has also included Instagram in its ad platform, which has directed major revenue toward Instagram. For much of the past five years, these two sites have been going back and forth in the competition for fifth and sixth place in market share, with Instagram currently on top at 2.47%.
Pinterest is not far behind at 1.95%, which represents a gap of a mere .52%. It’s hard to predict which of these two will retain the higher position, since Instagram is primarily featuring mobile-only functionality, and Pinterest seems to be offering more functionality. However, Instagram does have the backing of a powerful parent in Facebook, and that simply cannot be overlooked.
Best of the rest
The bottom five of the Top 10 social networking sites typically experiences a great deal of scrambling for position. LinkedIn is currently in seventh place with 1.58% of market share, and it figures to rise in the rankings when Microsoft successfully integrates LinkedIn with business software already owned by that giant. The B2B social network should get a huge boost from this move, although nothing is ever certain in that regard.
Quora is one of those social media networking sites which wasn’t even around at the beginning of the last decade, but it has risen to the eighth position already with 1.29% of market share, which puts it just ahead of ninth place Tumblr. Rounding out the top 10 is Yelp, at 1.03% of market share. It’s easy to see why there has been so much rising and falling in the bottom five of our social media top 10 sites, since all of them have less than 2% market share.
However, even among the top five there has been some movement, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see some jockeying for position there too. It does seem that Facebook and YouTube are comfortable in their top two spots, although it’s possible that at some point, these two could exchange their positions in the Top 10 as well.