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Facebook Still Most-Used Social Network, But Growth Rate Can’t Match that of Tumblr, Pinterest

Facebook may still be the king of social media when it comes to sheer volume of members, but it’s growth rate just can’t compete with Tumblr and Pinterest.

Tumblr’s active user base skyrocketed 120 percent in the past six months putting it in the No. 1 spot as the fastest growing social network, Globalwebindex’s latest report has revealed. It had stiff competition from Pinterest, however, which took the No. 2 spot with 111 percent. Facebook grew a sluggish six percent.

“Despite its active user number having grown by just two percent since the start of 2014, Facebook is still the number one global network – and by an appreciable distance,” the Globalwebindex’s report reads.

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 7.26.39 AM“Outside of China, four in five Internet users have a Facebook account — a figure which peaks in LatAm at 93 percent. What’s more, one in two say they are actively using Facebook each month, giving it about twice as many active users as the three sites which compete for second position: Twitter, YouTube and Google+. More than half of Facebook’s active users are also logging in multiple times per day, a figure which is higher than the equivalent for any other network.”

It was not all sunshine for Facebook, however. The social network’s membership has declined in the key demographic of the 16- to 24-year-olds.

Although the dip was a “very small one,” the report says it “needs to be viewed in the context of all other networks posting substantial increases among this demographic.”

Another worrying find for Facebook is that half of adults surveyed in the U.S. and the U.K. say they are using the site less frequently than they used to. That number rises to 64 percent among teens.

“It’s clear that people are using Facebook more passively; since the start of 2013, we’ve seen behaviors like sharing photos and messaging friends fall by around 20 percentage points,” the report reads.

So what are the networks of choice for the young crowd?

Tumblr and Facebook-owned Instagram, of course. Both sites have largely young memberships — more than 70 percent are between the ages of 16 and 34. Facebook has the oldest user base, with one-fourth of its one billion-plus members being 45 or older.

“Social behaviors are diversifying, with people turning to a range of different platforms to carry out different activities. Smaller networks like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are thus rising into the mainstream, while bigger players like Facebook are being used more passively,” reads the report.

“For most brands, having a presence on just one social network is no longer sufficient. And while Facebook is still the clear number one, it’s no longer the catch-all site it once was; in certain countries, and among certain demographics, other services now represent just as effective touchpoints in terms of reaching particular audiences.”

Like Facebook, while YouTube, Google+ and Twitter have larger memberships that Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram, their growth rate is nowhere near as strong. Still, about two-thirds of those online are members of YouTube and Google+ (63 percent and 62 percent respectively), with Twitter following at 55 percent.

But, when it comes to active usage, it is the same for all three networks: about one quarter of Internet users.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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