Earlier this month, I pointed out that the pandemic, and being locked indoors is turning us to social media in large numbers. And now that Facebook, Snap, and Twitter have reported their numbers, it would be an opportune time to check my thesis. During the months of April, May, and June my thesis has seemed to hold.
- Facebook reported that it had daily active users count of 1.79 billion, a jump of 12% year-over-year. DAUs were 1.73 billion on average for March 2020. From that standpoint, I am a bit surprised that the number didn’t go up higher, but it is a noticeable bump. Facebook’s daily active people (DAP) was 2.47 billion on average for June 2020 versus 2.36 billion at the end of March 2020. Facebook’s DAU numbers don’t include the details of Instagram’s growth and usage.
- Snap, too, reported strong growth in usage and number of users. Snap DAUs were 238 million in Q2 2020 versus 229 million in Q1 2020. Since the start of the year, Snap has seen its DAU go up by 20 million. It is hard to tell their usage. For instance, in Q1, the company said that its community created 4 billion snaps daily. In Q2, it said that its community opened its app 30 times a day.
- Twitter, it seems to have become the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic. The need for news, update, and increased amount of misinformation has seen Twitter’s monetizable daily active users count hit 186 million versus mDAU of 166 million for Q1 2020. At the start of the year, Twitter had mDAU of 152 million.
Snap did note that it reached more than 100 million people in the US alone. In comparison, Twitter had US mDAU of 36 million, once again reinforcing that Twitter seems to have an outsized presence in the “media” even though the younger generation is turning to alternative platforms — Snap, Instagram, and TikTok.
Back in 2018, it was reported that folks were spending as much as 38 minutes on TikTok, which has since caught fire. In February 2020 it had clocked 113 million downloads and 2 billion installs. It has since been slowed down by bans in India and also become a bit of a political pinata. With an estimated 800 million monthly users, the company’s growth is reflected in its deep appetite for data center space. It recently signed a new deal for substantial data center space in Ashburn, Virginia.
Data collected by Datareportal, a market research firm shows that social media users have grown by more than 10 percent over the past year, taking the global total to 3.96 billion by the start of July 2020. Akamai recently noted that there has been a 30 percent increase in Internet usage.