Quite contrary to the comments about Facebook losing its popularity, especially among the younger generations, Facebook still remains the leader of social media. Looking at the Social Media Index, Facebook is by far the stickiest social media service in the U.S., with the average user spending 29 hours a month on it. Facebook has a 73 percent Verto Stickiness Index* (VSI), and the highest number of monthly sessions per user, which shows how addictive the service is. An average user accesses the service more than 8 times a day, spending 7 minutes on each session.
WhatsApp Has the Highest Engagement Level
WhatsApp may only have 17.1M monthly users, which is about 15 percent of Facebook Messenger’s 117M users, however, Whatsapp is used more frequently than any other chatting service. On average, a WhatsApp user spends 9 hours a month using the service, whereas the monthly average for Facebook Messenger is less than two hours. WhatsApp sessions are short but frequent; in a month, an average user has 319 sessions, compared to 161 Snapchat, 61 Instagram and 81 Facebook Messenger sessions.
Kik, the teen messaging giant, as Forbes calls it, has been growing its monthly user base fast. Its popularity is part of the trend that is shaping the way we use messaging apps, quick frequent messages multiple times a day from your mobile or tablet, rather than a desktop. An average session length for Kik is 01:15, which is just slightly longer than the average Snapchat session, lasting for one minute.
While the new challengers only compete with one or two services, the old incumbent services, such as Facebook and Google, dominate the Top 10 with three services each – Facebook with 231,8M monthly users and 73 VSI, Instagram with 122,7M monthly users and 29 percent VSI, and Facebook Messenger with 117,8M monthly users and 43 percent VSI. Google’s Youtube leads the average session lengths with 10:32 minutes. Google’s other Top 10 social media services are Google+ and Blogger.
Desktop vs. Mobile, New vs. Old
The more established social media services such as Facebook, YouTube, and Skype have the highest desktop user base with 158M, 157,5M and 68M monthly users, respectively. The new challengers, including Snapchat, WhatsApp and Kik, are mostly designed for mobile-only use, and the nature of these services also makes them more mobile-friendly.
Sometimes users have a different view on how to use a service such as Pinterest, which offers both desktop and mobile options, and has been trying to increase the desktop use by offering companies and brands a Pin It –feature to link visuals from a website to Pinterest. It might be that brands have not yet discovered the value in using the feature or that consumers find the service more appealing, as two thirds of Pinterest users, 51M out of 83M monthly users, are mobile-only.
*The Verto Stickiness Index (VSI) compares daily users with monthly users to reflect the active, loyal, and engaged part of the audience. The higher the stickiness, the bigger the share of daily users versus monthly users.