Fact: Half the World's Population Uses Social Media

Grace Jeselson

Breaking down which platforms are the most popular among users and what will shape the social media marketing world in 2021.

In the last decade, the usage of social media among people in their everyday lives; work and socially, has increased tremendously. Social media usage has especially grown significantly in the last year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic and people being instructed to not leave their homes. With roughly 7.85 billion people in the world, more than two-thirds (5.27 billion people) now have a mobile phone, and over 4.72 billion people are internet users. More than half a billion new users joined different social media platforms in the last year, totaling to about 4.33 billion.

Graph of the percentage of people that have social media profiles in 2021 versus how many people had profiles in 2008.

Marketers are noticing this huge jump in social media use and are realizing the prevalence it has on businesses. Influencer marketing has become a very popular trend on social media and has beaten out print marketing since people with thousands of followers can collaborate with brands and advertise products through the click of a button. Facebook, Instagram Stories/Live Videos, and LinkedIn are all platforms that marketers can use to help their business.


Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform with over 68% of US adults reporting that they are Facebook users. Facebook has over 2.32 billion active monthly users. Facebook has users from all different demographics, ranging from teenagers to people 65 and up. Advertising on Facebook is affordable ($5.99 per thousand impressions) and highly targeted, so your business will most likely reach the audience they are paying for. Facebook also helps you get the word out by passing along information to friends of friends, multiplying the marketing effects. Lastly, Facebook allows you to measure the ROI for free. Through this, businesses, big and small, can track the results of their Facebook marketing ads and posts. This lets you in on your engagement through the app.

Instagram Stories:

Instagram has many different features and one of their most marketable ones is Stories. Stories started out on Snapchat, however once Instagram came out with an almost identical feature on their app in 2016, Snapchat was never the same. Stories on Instagram are basically images or videos that one puts on their profile and lasts only 24 hours. They aren’t too long to watch, making it easy to catch people’s attention from them. Around 500 million people watch Instagram Stories daily. Due to this high level of engagement and how easy it is for someone to make a “story.” it has since become a rather popular marketing hack for brands.

Live Videos:

Live videos are a popular trend on social media because of how easy and spontaneous they are. YouTube first launched them in 2008, then Facebook followed eight years later, and lastly, Instagram. Marketers started adding live videos to their marketing strategies because there is so much you can do through them, such as launch new products, perform a “how-to” to explain to viewers how to use the product correctly, do a Q&A live video session etc… You are also able to save your live video on Instagram for future viewing. These live videos are a great way to gain engagement and make positive interactions with the viewers. 


LinkedIn is a special type of social media platform because it was intended to be an online platform for people to connect with others in a professional space. It is just that, and more now. Over time it has also become a space for people to engage their audience while growing their business. LinkedIn now has over 750 million registered users. All these users are essentially little “brands” for themselves, and their profile shows what they can contribute to businesses. This online platform has helped millions of users get jobs, which is what makes it an incredibly popular tool.