How important is Facebook compared to other social networks?


New research showing how Facebook dominates social media by audience reach AND engagement

We all know Facebook is the most popular social network. Yet it’s useful to be reminded how important it is since it helps us prioritise our attention accordingly. This new, free comScore ‘Digital Future in Focus’ report shows the importance of Facebook in an interesting format.

Digital Audience Penetration vs Engagement of Leading Social Networks

By comparing Reach on the X-axis against Engagement on the Y-axis we can see how far ahead Facebook is compared to the other social networks. This data is for a younger US audience, but the report shows a similar pattern for an older audience and the ‘Future in Focus’ series covers other countries too.

When reviewing social network reach vs engagement it’s useful to think about how this varies by platform, particularly since the proportion of social network use on smartphones is so high. The average smartphone user spends in excess of 2 hours a day looking at their screens, either texting, browsing the internet, scrolling through emails and more often than not using apps.

Now it’s the use of apps in particular which is the focus of this article, more specifically around social networks. The below chart compares the reach of social media, as well as the average number of days per month and the sessions per day.

The Social Media Landscape

One of the most pertinent takeaways from the Forresters Report, is just how “addictive:” Facebook is. The chart breaks down the amount of touch points or “session” we have with the apps throughout the day. Facebook leads the way with on average 8 sessions, per day used. Followed by Instagram with 6 and Twitter with 5. This highlights the constant need for communication and content, we need everyday.

This chart, once again, highlights the dominance Facebook has over their competition, with a penetration rate of 63%, a whole 35% higher than the next closest competitor Instagram. Twitter performs favourably too, with a 22% penetration rate, however it is somewhat overshadowed by Facebook’s dominance.

Facebook are again out in front in terms of Engagement, on average being accessed around one day out of every two. Instagram aren’t far behind, as it is being accessed on average one day out of every three.

* Forrester's mobile audience data helps you understand how your customers behave in their mobile moments — and if you play any role at all. It will give you a better understanding of your target consumers and how they use their mobiles and tablets, from the amount of time they spend on different social media outlets to their most popular time of day to visit shopping websites. We track behavior using a passive application on consumers' smartphones and tablets that allows us to subtly collect data without disrupting normal behavior. Compared with other data sources, it allows us to capture actions at a very detailed level with precision, eliminating measurement errors by analyzing usage of what consumers do, not what they say they do 

If you’re keen to find out more details about social media, take a look at our social media statistics post for similar information.

Smart Insights


About Author

Colin Cooper is the CEO of Boost Your Business, the leader in marketing and business development for both large and small scale businesses. As one of the most innovative marketing specialists for over a decade, Colin and his team of business and online experts collate their years of know-how and experiences with the Boost Your Business: Body Armour for Business, an online magazine created to provide a holistic resource avenue for everything business, health, and wellness.