Social Media and its Trends

Just last month, harrowing clips of violent crimes have been surfacing through social media’s live streaming updates, highlighting the uglier side of social media that enables society. Consistently under scrutiny, Social Media has been criticized for its effects on society and the public’s usage of such platforms, how much does today’s society really use social media and how have these platforms changed to suit today’s trends in society?

With Facebook being the trailblazer amongst the social media industry, having over 1,968 million active users since the end of April, 2017, the platform has ballooned since its humble beginning back in 2004. While Youtube and Instagram ensuite having 1,000 and 600 million active users respectively. Social media has enjoyed a high penetration rate into the internet user market, with users steadily increasing over the past 7 years.

Social Media Users 2010 – 2017

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Usage of Social Platforms

  • Facebook reigns the Social platform industry with 88% of global internet users, and 84% of membership
  • Amongst social media platforms, Facebook reigns with 84% user memberships, while Youtube reigns with 88% visitor usage
  • Within China, 86% of internet users are accessing WeChat it daily.

Engagement with Social Networking

  • Consumers spend 32% of their total time online on Social Networks, primarily accessing platforms through their mobile phones, counting for 76% of the internet population.
  • 94% of digital consumers aged 16-64 have an account on at least one platform that is used/visited in the last month
  • Globally, 1 in every 3 minutes spent online is devoted to social media and messaging.
  • Digital consumers engage on a daily average of 2 hours, rising to 3 hours amongst the age rage of 16 – 24

Frequency of use of Social Media

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Recent Trends in Media Platforms

Mobile Apps


It wasn’t until the last decade that mobile culture became a large trend, with mobile phones being the point of access for most users, desktop cultured social media platforms are benefiting from transitioning to becoming mobile-first companies. Contrary to belief, Mobile apps aren’t a adaptation but rather a different product to desktop platforms. Meaning that companies had cater to the development and the change in market

Facebook was the first to do this, having an app Facebook shifted their business model focusing on their mobile app, citing 81% of their users accessing facebook through their mobile devices. Allowing Facebook to increasingly penetrate the internet user market, and reach a larger audience.


Sebastiaan ter Burg | Flickr

The recent trend of livestreaming has spread amongst social media platforms, starting out on Periscope and Meerkat, progressing to users dominantly using such function on Facebook and Instagram.

Starting out as a avenue for celebrities to interact with their fans, Facebook opened up Facebook Live to the public on Jan 2016, allowing anyone with an account to broadcast videos in real time while the audience comments. These live videos are permanently available for replay on the user’s profile, catering to audiences in different time zones.

Instagram, on the other hand, opened their live streaming function in Dec 2016. Starting out as Instagram Stories, similar to Snapchat Stories, where users are able to post their moments from their day in a slideshow format. Instagram Live allows users to broadcast their content in real time disappearing once the live streaming is stopped.

Comparatively lesser known, Youtube started their live streaming function on Jan 2013, with their infrastructure and audience, it was only logical move to make. However, when first released there were many technical problems, but with 4 years in the making, Youtube Live has made it’s comeback and is accessible for users all the way from small content creators to large corporations like NBC, CBS etc.



Using Social Media as a advertising platforms has been a common concept, with algorithms choosing ads customized to your interests. However, when Instagram started to allow advertisements, it opened the floodgates as the top social media advertising platform, with predicted USD2.8 Billion for mobile ad revenue in 2017. With Instagram’s 4.2% post engagement, comparatively Facebook is lower than 0.07%, it is only a logical step to explore advertisements.

Facebook too, has upped their advertisement game, with 3/4 of its advertisement revenue coming it’s mobile app, it’s no wonder FB became a mobile-first company. Youtube, likewise, is another competitor in the advertisement platforms with ads featured before videos. However, just at the end of March, Youtube’s ad algorithm has been under fire, with large companies suspending their ads due to the unfavorable ad placement.

With social media riding an exponential growth, the online communities have become large influences on society and businesses, creating and dismissing trends. Read about the user and consumer side of social media in our interview with a beauty youtuber and catch up with a rising intagrammer

Statistics and facts sourced from SMK Insight Reviews, Global Web Index Report and Statistica. Stock photos sourced from Pexels and Flickr.


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