Every so often I’ll try to take the temperature of the social media world and try to dig up the latest numbers for how many monthly active users (MAUs) are on the dominant social media platforms. Here’s the latest result (done on 1/31/2015).
- This measure isn’t entirely scientific; it’s based on reports on blogs and in the news media. I believe in all cases the numbers are self-reported – so take them with a grain of salt (I’m not aware of any sort of independent body that actually goes in to look at the data and verify any of these numbers). Given that many of these companies are publicly-traded, one can easily imagine the temptation to tweak the numbers to eke out a positive quarter.
- For these graphics, I focus primarily on platforms that businesses are currently using. There are some new additions in this arena as companies and organizations are dipping their toes in (chiefly WhatsApp and Snapchat).
- In some cases it’s difficult to get the latest numbers (I suspect because the platforms are experiencing stagnant or declining use) so I’ve pushed those platforms off the main chart and tagged them with “unknown.” Foursquare, for example, split itself into two separate platforms (Foursquare – offering Yelp-like reviews, and Swarm – retaining the “check-in” feature of Foursquare) and the company doesn’t discuss their user base except to say that they have 55M users which is too vague.
- Though they boast 347M “total users,” Linkedin is likely flat in MAU growth; the 187M users number comes from February of 2014. Linkedin is a platform that people tend to use the “Ronco Oven” model for use: “set it and forget it” (creating a profile and then neglecting to interact or update it until they’re searching for a new job).
- You can find the previous version of this graphic (from 2014) here.