Every year, I look forward to hearing first-hand insights from Tom Webster on trends in new media that are emerging from his annual research report “The Infinite Dial.”
Every year there are some eye-popping surprises and the 2018 edition does not disappoint. Here are some of our favorite and unexpected finding.
Social media usage is down overall.
Edison Research found out, that for the first time ever, fewer Americans are using social media than the year prior. They found that in 2018 77% of Americans use social media, compared to 80% in 2017.
It’s almost 4% nationwide drop in social media. This number might look small, but consider this – social media usage increased at 7.7% on average for the past nine years.
“Social networks”, as we consider it (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), may have reached its peak and it is likely that we will see more declining in 2019.
Facebook usage is down.
Facebook received its first decline in numbers – usage dropped from 67 percent to 62 percent. It might be that constant arguing on Facebook is making it less enjoyable. We don’t think this is the main reason, but it surely adds up to its decline.
Twitter also is falling down.
While you can see that Facebook is contributing the most to all social media usage decrease, Twitter is also experiencing similar fall.
This year, Twitter’s usage also declined for the first time ever. This pattern mimics Facebook’s almost exactly, with a bump between 2016 and 2017, and then a retreat in 2018. Research found that 21 percent of Americans 12 years or older use Twitter, making it the sixth most popular social network.
Snapchat and Instagram are receiving more love from young people.
19% of Americans, aged 12 to 34 used Snapchat, and Instagram had 18% of young users. This year Snapchat gets 29% of 12-34 years old users’ love, while Instagram is said to be most favorite by 22%.
You may ask why are the numbers growing? It is because Facebook declined as a favorite from 48 percent to 35 percent in one year.
Photo driven social media is rising.
We know that all social media features a lot of photos and pictures, but only Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat are fully dependant on photo or video.
On the top 6 social media destinations, only 3 of before mentioned received an increase. Instagram risen from 34 percent to 36 percent, Pinterest grown from 30 percent to 31 percent, and Snapchat moved from 29 percent to 31 percent.
In this complex and conflict-full world, escapism offered by scrolling through pictures on Instagram or creating wish lists on Pinterest attracts more and more people.
This report proves that times of social media are shifting. They may have reached the top of the mountain, and now we might see minimal, but constant decline.