Publishers have a complex relationship with social media. The scale and the opportunities afforded to reach new audiences have to be balanced with the fast pace at which the platforms change, and as a result, social media strategies have to be constantly adapting to the latest trends.
With that in mind, here are some global social media trends that are shaping how we connect with each other in 2019, and how they are impacting the publishing ecosystem.
1: Three of the top five most popular global social media platforms are owned by Facebook
According to Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends report, Facebook has the most global internet users accessing it at least once a day, at 30%. Although usage is declining in the West, it continues to grow in other parts of the world, meaning that overall usage has remained steady.
YouTube surprisingly comes in second at 27%, having risen from fourth place back in 2017. The strong performance of the platform should be reassuring to publishers looking to make money from video, after a study last month revealed that YouTube topped the list of platforms that publishing executives believed offered the most meaningful long-term revenue.
WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned platform, has climbed steadily over the past few years to come in at third place, with Instagram in fifth place, despite a rapid growth from 13% in 2017 to 19% today.
However, when it comes to how these platforms are used to access news, it’s a very different story. Reuters’ Digital News Report 2019 still had Facebook in first place for the best social media platforms for news, with 36% using it weekly to access news stories. But the other platforms are clustered near the bottom; 16% use WhatsApp, 10% use Twitter, and just 9% use Instagram.