In 2021 it was officially announced that over half of the world’s population are internet users and since then, internet users have increased further and now make up 64.4% of the total global population. As the amount of internet users continues to increase, as does the amount of people using social media, with global social media users increasing by 3% since January 2022.

Although social media continues to be on the rise globally, this doesn’t mean that all countries are using social media in the same way. Some countries have a significantly higher use than others, and there are also differences in what social media is used for around the world. Below we will take a look at how social media is used globally in 2023…

Which countries use social media the most?

In total, there are around 4.76 billion social media users, which is about 59.4% of the world’s population. However, some countries have a higher amount of users compared to others. The top 5 countries with the highest amount of users compared to their total population are U.A.E, South Korea, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Canada. The countries with the lowest amount of social media users are Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, India, and Egypt.

The main reason why some countries may use social media more than others is most likely related to the economy of that country. The 5 countries with the lowest social media penetration are predominately developing countries compared to the top 5 countries with the highest usage, such as the UAE and South Korea, which have strong economies. Countries with stronger economies will have better access to the internet and the latest technology which will allow them to use social media platforms.

Another reason could be due to the culture of that country, as some cultures are more social than others and this could mean that they value social media a lot more. Some cultures are also more cautious when adopting new technology where as some cultures embrace new technology and are known as ‘early adopters’.

Social media users worldwide

What are the main reasons people use social media?

Whilst social media on the surface is mainly used to keep in touch with friends and family, there are actually many reasons why people use social media. Whilst 47.1% use social media predominantly for keeping in touch with friends and family, 36.2% use it to fill their spare time and another 34.2% use it to read news stories. Other notable reasons include finding content such as articles and videos (30.3%), seeing what’s trending/being talked about (28.8%), and finding inspiration for things to buy (27.3%).

It isn’t just one social media platform that people are using either, the average user aged 16-44 is said to use around 7 different social media platforms.

What are the most popular social media platforms worldwide?

The most used social media platforms in 2023 are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram and WeChat. This is based on the amount of global active users of each of these platforms. It is also worth noting that when social media users were asked which platforms were their favourite, the results differed to the platforms that have the most users. The platforms that users said were their favourite in 2023 are WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, WeChat, and TikTok. However, results vary again when looking at how much time is spent on each of the social media platforms as YouTube is the platform which users spend the most time on each month followed by Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and TikTok.

Whether you use social media or not, its ability to connect people worldwide cannot be denied. Social media also has the power to connect brands with their customers to create a more personal relationship with consumers. Like social media, translation can also be used to build international relationships by making it easier for brands to reach new markets overseas with localised content. Get in touch with our teams today to see how our language services can be used to support your international growth in 2023.