There are 4.8 billion social media users worldwide today, and social media managers no longer have to convince stakeholders that it is a critical part of marketing. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy regarding the social landscape, as this enormous number speaks for itself. Still, with the power of social media insights, decisions can be made to help grab the attention of at least some of those billion users.
Trying to get half of the world's population to invest in your brand is an impossible goal, which is why leveraging social media insights and data can help you pinpoint your brand's intended audience. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the numbers, think about who you want on your team — and let the data empower your social strategy this year.
If you purchase a new home, you’ll likely research the market and explore every opportunity before investing. The social landscape should be no different, and social media demographics help to identify the various ages, genders, and backgrounds of users and where they spend their time. This can also serve as a support when making decisions around which influencer and creator relationships could be the best to partner with, and to ensure they are also the right fit.
The social landscape has evolved from social connection-driven feeds to content-driven ones, with a few new(er) kids on the block, but the OG’s have made it clear that they are here to stay. Video-focused platforms have made a resurgence with the rise of social entertainment. Before we dive into social media demographics by platform, it's important to understand where users are spending their time. Below are the most popular social platforms based on monthly users.
2023 is the year for brands to understand where their audiences may be so that they can diversify their social presence significantly based on the demographics of social users.
TikTok has quickly risen and grabbed the world’s attention, with over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide. This has been led by TikTok's dynamic short-form videos that bring users down a rabbit hole of entertaining content to keep them engaged.
In 2022, TikTok overtook Netflix to become the second most popular app in the US among people under 35 (with YouTube close behind). There is clearly a trend behind the collision between social and entertainment. TikTok was also the only social channel to report advertising growth.
The platform has also had a massive impact on a brand’s selling power, with viral videos leading to products flying off the shelves — a champagne problem every brand wants to have.
Is TikTok just for young people? When it comes to what age group uses TikTok the most, there’s no denying that the age demographics of social media users on TikTok skew on the young side — 10 to 29 year olds comprise 62% of the platform’s population, and only 7.1% of those users are 50+. But let’s not forget that 30.9% of those 1+ billion active users are outside this range. The average user spends 91 minutes on the platform daily, which is comparable to watching 1.5 episodes of White Lotus a day — they’re hooked.
40% of Gen Zs say their purchases are directly impacted by what they see on TikTok. According to social media demographics in the United States, Gen Z makes up roughly 46% of its users — that’s a big piece of the pie. TikTok has led the charge for the younger generations’ creator game and has put enormous energy into fostering future creators. Exploring how you can work with these future stars to speak Gen Z’s language may not be a bad idea.
From those who have specified their gender on the app, 57% percent of TikTok's global audience identified as female, and 43% identified as male. 17% of female users are between the ages of 25 and 34, and 14% consist of males within the same age group. In the US, 61% of users are female, while 39% are male.
TikTok usage is on fire, and the audience is dedicated to this platform in the name of entertainment. This is where people gather, open their FYP, and get ready to delve deep into inspirational, educational, and humorous content — so it's essential to take an entertainment-first approach when you produce content so you grab the user's attention.
Pro-tip: The media industry's content is a top performer on TikTok, and story-telling is a key piece of what drives success, so think like your brand's own creative director.
Instagram has been top of marketers' minds for years, with 1 billion monthly users gracing its platform. The platform has been the place to play for personal and professional endeavours, as all sorts of users use it.
Instagram has notably had one of the most significant shifts over the years, from the early ages of the idealistic static content to the lifestyle imagery of aesthetic influencers, now to a video-centric focus that matches the energy brought on by its competitors. If you have any business reliant on visuals, Instagram should play a role in your social media strategy, so look into who you can speak to directly.
So, what age group uses Instagram the most? Instagram is predominantly used across all age demographics of social media users; however, most of its popularity comes from age groups below 40, with over half of global users aged 34 years and younger. For Reels specifically, 18 to 24 year olds make up 31% of the users jumping on the vertical video bandwagon, and 25 to 34 year olds make up 31.2%.
Instagram use declines gradually with age but remains consistent across genders. A recent report found that 17.1% of active global users were men between 25-34 years of age. Within the US, 54% of users identify as female and 46% as male. Considering that females make up 50.4% of the world’s population, that’s a pretty even split.
Teens and young adults are the generations that uses Instagram the most, while millennials account for 40% of users, and Gen Z for 34%. Notably, Instagram is one of the most influential channels for advertising amongst Gen Z when making purchasing decisions. Gen X still has their place here, accounting for 19% of users in the US.
In 2022, it was estimated that India contributed to the enormous number of Instagram users, with 201 million alone, followed by the US with 157 million, Brazil at 114.9 million, and Indonesia at 99 million. The list has quite a range, so if you’re a global brand, Instagram should be the bread and butter of your social media strategy.
To make an impact on Instagram, it’s important to diversify your content and maintain your place consistently. With ever-evolving algorithms, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach new audiences, but a great way to do so is by harnessing the power of Reels while leaning into an entertainment-first POV.
Users spend 30 minutes per day on average watching Reels, and even Mark Zuckerberg himself has reported that viewership of Reels accounts for 20% of the time people now spend on Instagram.
YouTube, Google’s child, is the second most popular search engine globally, with 2.6 billion active users.
Did you know from these users 1.5 billion people head to YouTube to be entertained by Shorts each month? This may be a newer feature for YouTube (created in 2020, to be exact), but it’s certainly a contender. Users and creators are most definitely there, but brands still haven’t fully jumped to this platform yet. High usage and low competition sound like the perfect opportunity; who doesn’t love a blank page to write the script?
Picture this — you’ve got a savvy team who has done their homework on their social media audience demographics and what they want. You start using YouTube Shorts to entertain those users, and based on the data, there’s a good chance you’ll start seeing the views (maybe even millions of them).
Based on the numbers reported in the US, YouTube is slightly more dominated by users who identify as male at 51%, and the remaining 49% of its users identify as female, an 11:9 ratio.
YouTube is one channel where the age demographics of its social media users are most evenly distributed. The tech-savvy generation again takes up the most significant share here, while millennials contribute to 30%, Gen Z is close behind at 29%, Gen X takes its place at 23%, and Baby Boomers show up for YouTube with a 17% stake.
When shifting gears to only focus on users watching Shorts, it was reported that users between the ages of 13-24 take 49.3% of the usage here, and 25-44-year-olds take up 44.3%.
YouTube has a massive following from all parts of the world and all ages; in terms of ethnicity of the groups who use YouTube, users who identify as white make up 57% of the group, and Hispanic users make up 20% of the platform.
YouTube has proven that it is adaptive and resilient, creating lucrative new opportunities for brands and creators to stay and show up on the platform. It is pushing for people to adopt Shorts and has created incentives with YouTube Short Funds that give creators an even bigger chance to optimize their earnings, allowing anyone to earn from $100 to $10,000 a month.
YouTube is in the business of long and short-form videos, where hi-fi campaigns and lo-fi BTS content have their place. Content can be leveraged for e-commerce, education, entertainment, and building trust through its savvy creators. Does your audience fit the script? If the answer is yes, it’s time to jump.
In the US, Facebook has 177.9M total users. This social media demographic comes to read about industry-related news, indulge in entertaining clips of short-form videos, participate with their communities in Facebook groups, and scroll through visuals shared by their loved ones. Facebook has always offered a helpful way to foster organic conversations, allowing members to share honest feedback on certain places, products, and people — which has prompted brands to want to create this open space and connect with this social media user demographic.
Having an inside look at conversations, good or bad, has allowed brands to understand not just the data but the voice of their consumers. Facebook pages are conveniently tied to messenger, allowing brands to respond directly to complaints.
Pro-tip: Use Dash Hudson’s Community Insights to gather a holistic look at sentiment.
68% of American adults make up the age demographics of social media users on Facebook. This audience uses the platform consistently as a starting point for conversations and interacting with engaging content. Users between the ages of 25-34 make up 22%, and only 14% come from ages 25 and under. 50+ makes up a larger portion here, with 29% coming from these users. Unlike Instagram, the platform becomes more active as users' ages increase (40+).
Surprisingly, what generation uses Facebook the most? It’s Millennials. Roughly 35%, to be exact, with Gen X at 27% and Baby Boomers at 20%. Despite being one of the world's largest platforms, it has received a slightly negative response from younger users who have adopted short-form video alternatives.
The gender split on Facebook is 54% female and 46% male; once again, considering the worldwide breakdown between those two genders, it’s fairly even.
Within the US, similar to YouTube, Facebook has many users identifying as either white (60%) or Hispanic (20%). Users who identify as black make up 12% of the platform users, and users who identify as Asian are at 5%.
Facebook is a great place for your small, medium, or large business to use bold headlines and entertaining visuals to attract an audience. Providing interactive content allows users to express their interests and opinions and can be a great way to help users engage with your brand before joining a more consistent Facebook group (the ultimate goal). Consider leveraging content that gets people to take action on your content.
Last but not least, Twitter has been the spot for savvy thought leaders, journalists, and users of all areas to share their thoughts. This site has been popular amongst users within B2B verticals, and marketers, politicians, and users simply looking for entertainment have taken part in the action. Twitter has a reported number of 55.1M users within the US alone.
The age demographic of social media users on Twitter is mostly 25 to 34 year olds. This age range makes up 22% of their user base. The 35 to 44 and 18-24 year olds are evenly taking their place in the platform, making up 18% of the platform users within the United States alone.
Once again, Millennials are in 1st place for usage, 35% of Twitter’s demographics use comes from this generation in the US, and Gen Z follows very closely behind them at 34%. Gen X is reported to take up 20% of the platform usage, and Baby Boomers is 11%.
Globally, men are the ones who dominate this platform, and almost two-thirds of their audience identify as males amongst users within the US; however, in the stats, the breakdown it’s reported to be 48% female and 52% male.
Twitter is reportedly used by users who identify as 51% white, 25% Hispanic, and 17% black. Notably, this data comes directly from users within the US.
This is a good place to focus your attention if your audience consists of male users within the 30-60 age range. However, Twitter can be a fantastic place to experiment with interactive content to foster conversations, receive feedback, and directly communicate with your audience in both text-heavy and visual manners in real time.
Start posting big, stabilized content here to communicate with your audience. Make sure to leverage your clever team's minds to post topical and relevant tweets.
Dash Hudson collected this data through secondary research using the source Emarketer.
The remaining data was pulled from Dash Hudson’s Social Media Trends Report, which examines marketing trends related to social entertainment, influencer marketing, and cross-channel social strategies. The Social Media Trends Report uses primary research collected from Dash Hudson users and secondary data from sources like PEW Research Center, Statista, and Horizon Media.
In the US, the average daily time spent on social media in 2022 increased by 27% since 2019, up to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Social platforms are increasingly the first place people go to be entertained, discover new products and trends, and search for recommendations on just about anything. This is most apparent amongst Gen Z — US teens surveyed by the Pew Research Center report logging onto YouTube (58%), TikTok (41%), and Instagram (27%) several times a day.
Across all channels, 25-34 was the top age for social media usage.
This helps brands focus on the channels they want to optimize with their limited resources and who they are speaking to so that they can tailor those messages.
Millennials are the greatest contributors to usage for the majority of social platforms, and they use social for an array of reasons — the most significant percentage of respondents said the main reasons are to stay up-to-date with news and current events (36%) and/or to find funny and entertaining content (36%). 34% use social mainly to fill their spare time, and 32% use social to stay in touch with friends.
Not only that, but Millennials spend more time on social media each day than other forms of media, including linear TV (1:55), streaming audio (1:40), online TV (1:37), and games (1:23).