No seriously, Google+ is listed in the top three. This is not a joke or an attempt at being misleading or anything of the sort. I have to believe that it’s due to Google itself actively pushing its use through tighter integration with YouTube and its other services more than people just up and deciding that they prefer it to Facebook. Also, it’s just a small 2% gain in usage from Q2 to Q4 2013 according to GlobalWebIndex.
In fact, overall account ownership and account activity are in the same order for the top three showing that any announcement of the “death of Facebook” is greatly exaggerated. So their getting more heavily into the online video advertising game should be seen as a good thing because it’s still a great place to reach people and clearly still has tons of active users. There’s a lot of video usage in the top social networks here. But that in a vacuum is not at all useful really. So let’s dive a little deeper.
Mobile Social App Use Trends
GlobalWebIndex, as I mentioned, looked at the growth of mobile apps for social networks as well for last year and found that pretty much every one is being used more than they were. The only anomaly is Skype which lost 1%. Facebook still holds about a 10% lead over YouTube and I have to believe that a majority of Google+ users are also YouTube users. Interesting that it and Facebook Messenger are roughly neck-in-neck. Perhaps they’ve taken over some of the business-based communication that Skype had in the past.
Social Platform Usage by Age
Finally, if you’re looking to target a specific demographic or set of demographics, GlobalWebIndex had a nice breakdown of social platform usage by age. All of the platforms, surprisingly, skew slightly older but note that YouTube’s largest split is 32% in the 16 to 24-year-old demographic while the rest of the top five all hit the 35 to 44-year-old demographic slightly better and LinkedIn looks to be used more commonly by 35+, again, not surprising as it’s more of a professional-leaning social network.
Also interesting is the divergence between YouTube and Google+ where YT moves younger and Google+ older, perhaps also because brands are using it more for marketing than younger demographics are for communication.
Ultimately, if you’re going to want to target specific demographics you’ll have to do more research than this. GlobalWebIndex surveyed around 170,000 Internet users globally to pull this data together which is pretty good but if you want finer targeting control for your video advertising or marketing campaigns, more information is always better, no?