It should come as no surprise that billions of people around the world use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Over the past several years these sites have become wildly popular and have proved instrumental in breaking news, solving crimes, showcasing intriguing stories and photos, sparking thoughtful dialogue and celebrity fights, and bridging all manner of social, cultural, and physical divides. Increasingly, all of these things are happening through the sites’ mobile apps.
With Twitter recently announcing that it is moving forward with its initial public offering—making it the third major social network to IPO—following LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) in May 2011 and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) in May 2012—we decided to take a look at how some of the world’s most popular social media networks have attracted different sets of users across countries, age groups, and gender through their mobile apps.
Here’s what we found:
- Twitter skews younger across all of its apps.
- Facebook has been able to maintain a balanced demographics across its customer base, with some slight skew toward the younger demographic.
- LinkedIn has an over-skew in middle-age bucket, with severe under-index in younger demos (18-24)
- Male and female skews are generally as expected, with most social media apps skewing slightly (or heavily in the case of photo/video-sharing apps like Vine and Instagram) toward females. LinkedIn and its companion CardMunch app skew toward men and indeed, Instagram and LinkedIn have reverse skew such that Instagram attract 62% of women and 38% of men while LinkedIn attracts the reverse.
- Twitter has the most reach in developing countries, where mobile usage is sparse; as mobile usage becomes ubiquitous, as in the US and Western Europe, the actual number of Twitter users increases, but is a smaller proportion of the overall mobile population.
- Finally—and it’s not pictured here—we saw that Twitter has 36% reach and Vine has 17% reach in the US. What’s interesting is that their combined reach is only 42%—thus, Vine only adds 6% “non-overlapping” Reach. Similarly, roughly 90% of Vine users also use Instagram. Both of these relatively high overlaps are mainly due to the overlap in customer segment that both Twitter and Vine have, as seen in the demographic analysis.