Facebook remains top social network, Google+, YouTube battle for second

Facebook remains top social network, Google+, YouTube battle for second

Summary: Everyone knows Facebook is the most popular social network, but battling it out for second and third place are Google's YouTube and Google+.


According to eMarketer, a digital marketing analysis firm, Facebook is still the number one social network by a large margin, but second and third place go to Google's Google+ and YouTube.

Facebook is in the lead, but the Google's double-team of Google+ and YouTube isn't far behind.

That Facebook is number one, with its 1.11 billion members, is no surprise. EMarketer believes that just over half, 51 percent, of all internet users visit Facebook at least once a month. The company also stated that worldwide Facebook penetration will only continue to grow higher, reaching 60 percent of internet users by year's end.

Behind Facebook, things get more interesting. There are numerous companies fighting it out for second place, with Google+ out front at 26 percent of internet users. Google+!? Yes, Google+. As eMarketer stated, "In the US, Google+ gets limited attention, though its user base is growing. Worldwide, Google+ has been much more successful."

This analysis agrees with GlobalWebIndex's numbers. GlobalWebIndex found in January 2013 that Google+ had moved into second place, with approximately 343 million active users.

YouTube, which both analysis groups now consider a social network, is right behind Google+ with 25 percent. Combined, eMarketer concluded "that Google, which owns YouTube, is giving Facebook a run for its money in the global social network space".

Of the other major Western social networks, only Twitter, with 22 percent in fourth place, was above 20 percent. Twitter, by eMarketer's count, is growing quickly. "Between Q2 2012 and Q1 2013, active users of Twitter rose 42 percent globally."

The other most popular global social networks, those with more than 10 percent of the global social network market, are all regional Chinese networks. The top three, in order of popularity, after Twitter are Sina Weibo, at 21 percent; Qzone, at 21 percent; and Tencent, at 20 percent.

Of the other Western social networks, only LinkedIn, at 8 percent, and Pinterest, at 4 percent, broke into the top 15 global social network list. A better way of describing these networks isn't with the word "Western", but non-Chinese.

As eMarketer described the global social network market, "Chinese social networks garnered among the greatest percentage of users worldwide, a reflection of both the vastness of the social audience in China and the limited availability of foreign properties, like Facebook, in the country." At the same time, if you look at the countries with the greatest rate of growth in social networking, you'll find, in this order, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the US, and Russia. Much of this new growth is being driven by smartphone and tablet users.

What all this means for business is if you're going to spend marketing dollars on social networks, the biggest bang for your buck in most countries will be from either Facebook or the Google+/YouTube pairing. Twitter would be your next choice. As for the other social networks, unless you're looking to the Chinese markets or want to reach business people on LinkedIn, they're far in the back.

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Topics: Social Enterprise, Google, Networking

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  • Since YouTube is part of Google

    And is getting increasingly integrated with G+, they should count as one to be honest,.
    • Could be

      You could be right however I visit much more Google+ than Youtube and I know a lot of friends who are using Youtube but did not have a Google + account.
  • Not too bad.

    Hopefully G+ can pull an Android and catch up to Facebook in ACTIVE USERS as soon as possible. I haven't used Facebook in over 3 years now and don't plan to go back.
    • When logging into your gmail account counts as "active"

      it should not be a hard thing to achieve.
  • would be nice to see

    would be nice to see a chart with only American sites. all the foreign jazz is pretty meaningless to me
  • @tweetingHR

    The Google Plus membership number is incredibly inflated. Merely having a Gmail account essentially gets you a Google Plus profile. Anecdotally: I and virtually all of my friends use Gmail, yet a small fraction of them use their Google Plus accounts.
    • It's not about friends

      My real life friends are as well poor on using G+. But G+ is not a "FriendBook". For that, you can keep interacting on FB.
      Dusan Vrban
  • Is ANYONE using Google+?

    Last year a guy on facebook said he was dumping FB and going with Google+ and asked all his contacts to join him.
    I noticed he posts on FB frequently.
    • Active Users

      Of course people use Google+, it has only been around for 2 years and look how far it has gotten already. My friend interacts with 1,515,238 people on a daily basis. Hangouts by far are the most interactive way to talk to people from all over the world for free.
      • Hangouts in my humble opinion

        Hangouts in my humble opinion will not encourage new people to come into your circles. It can probably strengthen existing real circles of friends. Look at the video of it: https://plus.google.com/114169372903004788775/posts/12HknQT5Tg2
  • Facebook is an information Harvester

    Lets get one thing straight that people really need to know !

    Facebook may be the biggest Community around but lets call it what it is , They are information harvesters that cannot wait to get more members to upload photos and likes and dislikes and all your info !

    Why ?

    Because they take all that information and sell it to the spammers that send you all that crap mail you get in your email everyday !

    So they are the biggest yes , but also in that role of the biggest , goes biggest contributors to helping spam get INTO your email box !

    Read the fine print folks ! Anytjhing you upload is THEIR property to do with as they wish !

    That includes text , photos that are your kids or grandkids , anything on their site is theirs to sell , advertise and exploit as they wish !

    Now . . . . .
    Want a place unlike The Facebooks , the Twitters , the Pinterests and all those places that sell your info ? A place that doesnt sell your info, your photos , then you need to read below :

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    A legally licensed internet radio station and video chatroom site and Social Media Network all incorporated in one. BullsEye Radio invites you all to come and relax and have some good conversation, enjoy some good music, make requests and dedications and meet some really wonderful friends. And the best part is that to listen or Video chat is 100% free.

    Unlike other places on the web, BullsEye Radio doesn't have all the drama that you'll find on other sites. Most of the people there are adults, mature, but still like to have fun and laugh, chat and meet new people enjoy music. There are Oldies shows, smooth Jazz shows, Classic rock shows, Country shows, Blues shows and more. It's an all genre station with a little something for everyone.

    Within BullsEye Radio's site, you'll have an opportunity for the 1st time anywhere on the web to have an over 27 year veteran DJ host a private online party for you and all your online friends or family for a small fee. This is a service never before offered on the web. It is unique, new, innovative and creative. You can share a special party with family and friends thousands of miles away, maybe family in the military, maybe a brother or sister getting married in another state. You can see them, talk to them vocally or by text chat, dedicate special songs to them and so much more.

    The Lead DJ and Owner John Michaels has been in the Disc Jockey service for over 27 years. Formally an FM radio DJ, he started his his own DJ service and Internet Radio station and has been on the climb up to the top of the entertainment industry since he started.

    Its a full featured site, Internet radio, Video chat, and a social community as well, much like other social networking sites but not cluttered with all the annoying silliness like you'll see on the above mentioned. It's more of a place to socialize with adults not teens.

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    BullsEye Radio would love for you to come check it out for yourself, have a good time, meet some new people from all over the world that are respectful and nice, and maybe make it your online home that you will want to come back to visit again and again.
    John Michaels