As we barrel towards the end of 2014, let’s round-up how all the major players in the social web currently stand.

Has the mighty Facebook finally been usurped by a hipper, younger network? Has Snapchat brought a rain of fire down on its instant messaging competition? Has Ello caused enough of a stir to worry the more marketing filled platforms? 

When was the last time someone added you to their Google+ circles?

Let’s see if we can answer at least three of these questions…


As announced this week, Instagram has more than 300m active users, sharing 70m photos and videos everyday. 100m of which joined in the last 10 months.

The social photo/video network will also begin rolling out verified badges for celebrity Instagram users (a bit like on Twitter) and has begun a stringent process of removing fake accounts forever. Which may explain why some people’s follower accounts drop. Although that might also have something to do with the creepy late-night photos you’ve been posting.

The major triumph here for Instagram is that it’s now bigger than Twitter…


Twitter has approximately 16m less monthly active users than Instagram. However the short-form network is still growing.

Twitter published its own user figure report last month, showing a growth from 241m in 2013 to 284m in 2014. According to the same report, 500m tweets are sent per day, 80% of Twitter users are on mobile and 77% are outside of the USA. Its social video platform Vine has 40m users.

2014 was also the year where Twitter went beyond ‘ubiquitous focal point for opinion on all things media’ to actively creating news and affecting major social change. See Gamer Gate, Dapper Laughs, Ice Bucket Challenges and making scientists cry.


Facebook continues its dominance. The number of Facebook active users grew 2.3% in the past quarter to 1.35bn. This is up from 1.23bn in 2013.

However Facebook’s own data suggests that growth in some its key countries, notably India and Indonesia, has slowed considerably in recent months. Although this may be down to Facebook’s own strategic purging of fake accounts rather than loss of interest.

64m users log into Facebook daily, a 19% increase year over year. Facebook also has 1.12bn active users on mobile, a 29% increase year over year.


It’s insanely early to really get the measure of Ello, the Facebook-challenging social platform that uses data privacy as a USP, but there are a few revealing statistics out there…

RJMetrics published a report in October sharing some Ello data.

  • 37% of Ello users are female
  • 36% of Ello users have never posted
  • 27% of Ello users have posted more than three times
  • Six days after signup, 25% of users are still active

Growth for Ello was slow following its launch in March but reached a peak, thanks to a surge in media interest, in September. After this point user sign-up began tapering off. 

As the report continues however, don’t let this fool you into thinking Ello is a flash in the pan. New user acquisition is significantly increasing month on month and the number of active users is still 100 times higher than it was before September.

The early days of Ello are also comparable with how much user engagement Twitter saw in its first years, and user sign-up is outstripping Instagram when it arrived in 2011.  

Our head of social Matt Owen wrote a fascinating article on Ello and closed messaging platforms this week, so please give it a read: How can brands make money from social media if they aren’t allowed to join in?


Data on Snapchat is harder to find, but here’s what we can glean so far…

  • Number of Snapchat monthly active users: 30m
  • Total Snapchat users: 60m
  • Number of Snapchat snaps sent per day: 400m
  • Percentage of Snapchat users under 25 years old: 71%
  • Overall selfies shared on social from Snapchat: 5%

Our CEO Ashley Friedlein recently touched on Snapchat and the “broader shift to a world of socially-curated, or auto-discovered, feeds and streams which exist across fragmented devices and media” in his article Marketing in the Stream

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 11 December, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (8)

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Ryan Adcock

Ryan Adcock, eCommerce Director at Pet Threads

I'm assuming the Google+ stats are locked deep within a remote, underground bunker where no one can get their mitts on them.

over 3 years ago

Kevin Pham

Kevin Pham, Responsive Web Design at ProWeb365

In my point of view, the number of FB users from China will down more on next year. Besides, more and more people want to stop using FB for privacy.

over 3 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

Thanks for the stats update Christopher. Always interesting to see the numbers. Although I wonder what the data is telling us? What are the wider trends?

Something that intrigues me is how many users of one social platform are ALSO users of another one?

For example, what percentage of people have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest account? How many are LinkedIn, Facebook, Vine and Ello users? And so on.

We refer to platforms, 'having' users. Almost, in a sense, that they 'own' them. When, ironically, they also 'share' them with several other platforms.

over 3 years ago

Morgan Jones

Morgan Jones, Digital Manager at Freestone Creative

One thing that is definitely going to happen (is happening) is a depressing homogeneity starting to manifest itself across all these platforms.

Whereas once they had distinct functions/services, now they are all starting to offer similar services e.g. video, audio e-commerce, which will render them almost indistinguishable from each other.

All this fighting over the same social pie begs the question:

How long before Twitter introduces a premium aspect to it's platform that will allow those who (are willing to pay) to be able to enter more characters than the standard 140 limit? Commercial pressure from the other platforms will undoubtedly play a part, but I think Twitter will see an opportunity to maintain it's core (free) users but will need more revenue to fight of instagram and the like from overtaking them.

over 3 years ago

Andrew Lloyd Gordon

Andrew Lloyd Gordon, Digital Marketing Expert, Speaker and Trainer at New Terrain Limited

Hi Morgan - I think you're absolutely right. It's becoming increasingly difficult to see any major differences between the various platforms.

I think we forget that they're commercial organisations, in competition with each other for users and ad revenue. They are compelled, I suspect, to take part in a social media arms race for features and functionality.

It reminds me of the early stages of the search engine wars - when players like Alta Vista, Excite, Yahoo et al started to mimic each other. Until, of course, Google came along and destroyed them all.

I wonder if there'll be an innovative newcomer in this space in the near future? Could Ello be the Google of this arena??

Of course, if these platforms are offering their customers what they want - video for example - and these additions are based on solid data, then that's what digital marketing is all about :-)

over 3 years ago

Alison Battisby

Alison Battisby, Founder & Director at Avocado Social

Is there any comment about Google +? What does the future hold for the social media channel with the biggest question mark? Does it really have a positive effect on SEO, or is that scaremongering?

over 3 years ago

Tim Watson

Tim Watson, Email Marketing Consultant at Zettasphere

It's interesting to widen this post and look at where the volume of conversation takes place.

The network with the most communication is none of the above. See the stats here:

And when looked at on this basis, WhatsApp (second biggest), is much more important than you might imagine.

over 3 years ago

Rick Noel

Rick Noel, Digital Marketing Consultant at eBiz ROI, Inc.

Interesting post Christoper. For clarity, did you mean 640 M daily active users for Facebook (as opposed to 64M)? Thanks for sharing.

over 3 years ago

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