In many ways, the monthly active user count is the most important number in tech. It’s a key performance indicator that helps determine the general popularity of a given network, along with being used to help determine value. Here’s a look at the monthly active user (MAU) count for seven of the major social networks.
1. Facebook: 1.59 billion (December, 2015)
2. Instagram: 400 million (September, 2015)
While Instagram has seen its growth and engagement rates decrease over the past 11 months, the network is still a juggernaut. In just a short run of open advertising, the social network already has more monthly active advertisers (200,000 vs. 130,000) than Twitter. Engagement rate decline could be attributed to both advertiser and brand noise, as companies take to Instagram to reach some of its 400 million users. When users follow more accounts, their feeds get busier, and there’s more of a chance that they’ll miss out on their favorite content. It’s very likely that Instagram’s recent announcement to switch to an algorithm-fuelled timeline was a response to this issue.
3. Twitter: 320 million (March, 2016)
Twitter is an international powerhouse, with 79 percent of its users living outside the US. It’s supported by 35 languages around the world, and the platform has also recently switched away from a live feed in favor of a more tailored experience. While its stock price may be down, CEO Jack Dorsey reiterated on the Today Show that Twitter is the easiest way to see what’s going on in the world in real time, which is one of the platform’s major differentiators from the other networks on this list. Twitter is seemingly stuck at the 320 million user mark, and it would be an understatement to say that I’m curious to see how the social network evolves.
4. Google+: 300 million (October, 2013)
If you’re wondering why that stat is so dated, it’s because Google really doesn’t like to discuss its social network’s active monthly visitors. Only 6.6 million users have made 50 or more posts according to Eric Enge, who has spoken out on the challenges that Google+ is facing. Enge also noted that 90.1 percent of profiles (as of April, 2015) have never posted anything at all. This is exactly why Google doesn’t go around boasting about its 2.5 billion ‘users’ on Google+. The social network has users in the same way that U2 had consumers of their latest album on iTunes.
5. LinkedIn: 100 million (October, 2015)
With 400 million members, LinkedIn on the surface appears to be larger than other notable social media platforms, including Twitter. However with just 25 percent of those members logging into the website each month, LinkedIn still trails Twitter by a count of over three to one in the MAU category. The website grew this number by 3 million users between Q2 and Q3 of 2015, and it looks to improve on those numbers in 2016.
6. Pinterest: 100 million (September 2015)
With a heavily skewed female user base, Pinterest continues to grow not just in the US, but internationally. 93 percent of pinners use Pinterest to plan or make purchases, a stat that’s pushing brands from all over the world to join Pinterest and engage with their active audience. Over 1 million businesses have signed up for Pinterest, and that number is steadily growing.
7. Snapchat: Unknown
According to chief executive Evan Spiegel, Snapchat is engaging consumers so deeply that he’s not interested in monthly active users—he prefers to look at daily active users, and even hourly in some cases. On the daily front, Snapchat was very close to topping 100 million users ‘in developed countries’ as of May 2015, and have likely topped that number by now. Spiegel has also touted that in the UK, telecom giant Vodafone has attributed three-quarters of its customers’ upload bandwidth usage to Snapchat – talk about an engaged audience.
Justin Kerby is the Founder of Cave Social, a digital marketing agency based in South Florida. He is also the curator of 52 Week Blog where he loves to write on all things social media, self-improvement and productivity. When he’s not working or writing, you can find him in front of a TV watching Steelers highlights.