More than half of the people on Earth now use social media, according to the latest Digital 2020 report from social media management company Hootsuite, and We Are Social, a socially-led creative agency.

The report shows that 3.96 billion people use social media today – that’s approximately 51 percent of the global population. With a large number of social media companies restricting the use of their platforms to people aged 13 and above, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the world’s total ‘eligible’ population now uses social media.

“As expected, the data confirms that we’ve seen huge shifts in social and digital behaviour since COVID-19 lockdowns started around the world. Social media and messenger use has skyrocketed and even digital advertising has been forced to become more adaptive and agile,” said Tom Keiser, CEO of Hootsuite, in a news release announcing the research results.

Worldwide social media user numbers have surged by more than 10 percent over the past 12 months, with an average of more than 1 million people using social media for the first time every day since this time last year. With more than 376 million new users since July 2019, that translates to almost 12 new users every second, suggesting that user numbers are growing even faster today than they were at the start of 2020.

In terms of platform success, Instagram and LinkedIn have enjoyed impressive recent growth. Brands can now reach 1.08 billion people using ads on Instagram, with the platform adding 111 million new users —more than 1 million a day — to its advertising reach in the past three months. Meanwhile, LinkedIn now has 700 million registered users; the platform’s global user base grew by more than 25 million over the past 3 months, equating to quarter-on-quarter growth of almost 4 percent.

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