With 2014 coming to a close and some of the social networks currently celebrating new milestones, let’s scratch a little deeper and see what the major players have achieved this year and where they stand in the current social landscape. Social media usage continues to rise, although much of this growth relates to the increased use of chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.


The social network celebrated it’s 10th anniversary this year and shows no sign of losing it’s dominance in the world of social media, content and now search. In the year that Facebook launched more standalone apps and Facebook Trends; the number of active users grew 2.3% in the past quarter to 1.35bn. This is up from 1.23bn in 2013. However Facebook’s own data suggests that growth in some key countries like India and Indonesia, has slowed in recent months. This could however be credited to Facebook’s own strategic purging of fake accounts rather than loss of interest. Currently 64m users, sorry ‘people’log into Facebook daily, a rather satisfying 19% increase year over year. Facebook also has 1.12bn active users on mobile, a 29% increase year over year.

In yesterday’s Q&A with Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO was asked about the idea of implementing a Facebook ‘Dislike’ button, something many people have been asking for quite a while.  Zuckerberg said that the company were indeed thinking about it, but looking for the best way to implement it.


This week, Instagram announced that it has now more than 300m active users who share 70m photos and videos everyday, 100m of whom only joined in the past 10 months. Launched just 4 years ago and purchased by Facebook in 2012 for the small sum of £629m ($1bn), the social photo/video network is now bigger than Twitter. By contrast, Twitter has 284m monthly active users.

In an attempt to make brands and celebrities easier to find, Instagram will also start to roll out verified badges and has begun to remove spam accounts.


As mentioned above, Twitter has approximately 16m less monthly active users than Instagram. Despite this, according to it’s own user figure report that was published last month, Twitter is still growing with now over 284m active users up from in 241m in 2013. According to the same report, 500m tweets are sent per day, 80% of Twitter users are on mobile and 77% are outside of the USA. Its social video platform Vine has 40m users.

This year’s #Oscars Tweets made an unprecedented 3.3 billion impressions, the tweet below surpassing the previous record to become the most retweeted.

…and of course, let’s not forget our very own Ross’ tweet (below) that went viral a week ago. Retweeted over 35,000 times it’s surly one of the most RT’d tweets of the year from someone who isn’t a celebrity (yet!?) or a brand.


Unfortunately, it’s been over a year since YouTube released any official usage statistics. Though it’s probably safe to say that once you pass 1 billion users, with the clear volume of new content and activity, this network is a powerhouse.

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform in terms of members and active users. However, Facebook dominance fails to hold up when it comes to visitor rates, i.e. the number of internet users who say they’ve visited social platforms in the last month. Here, perhaps surprisingly, YouTube takes the top spot with 85% of online adults outside China having visited the site, pushing Facebook, with 76%, into second place. What this essentially means is while internet users might not consider themselves active users of YouTube, they are visiting it more than Facebook. When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? Was it embedded from YouTube?

















Despite it’s “ghost town” misnomer, according to the latest figures, Google+ has achieved 1.15bn users, but only 35% of those are active monthly. The social network once dubbed ‘The Facebook killer‘  has surpassed Twitter, LinkedIn and now Instagram to become the third largest social network in the world. How true these figures are however, are perhaps debatable. When was the last time somebody added you to your Circles?


Data is pretty hard to find on the social photo/video network, but what we could find was that Snapchat now has 30m monthly active users. This year saw the introduction of sponsored ‘Our Story’, with the first movie trailer and music video launching on the platform. Also launched this year, in partnership with Square was Snapcash. After you enter your debit card details into Snapchat, it securely stored by Square, who swiftly processes your payment and sends cash directly to your friend’s bank account – all from a swipe of the $ symbol within chat.

With 400m Snapchat snaps sent per day and 71% of Snapchat users under 25 years old, Snapchat shows no sign of losing popularity, just yet.

Justin Taylor

Justin's path into design and marketing has been anything but conventional. A random selection of career decisions saw him designing rave flyers, t-shirts and (although refusing to divulge his stage name) he allegedly did a summer stint in Gt Yarmouth as a magician before finally settling on a career in marketing.