Despite reports suggesting that teens have been deserting Facebook in their thousands, a new study into global social media usage shows that the network is still in good health.

While the level of active usage fell by 3% in the second half of 2013, Facebook is still hugely popular among all demographics and has actually increased the audience size for its apps.

The GWI Social report shows that Facebook remains the most popular social network in terms of global account ownership (83%), active usage (49%) and visit frequency (56% of users log in more than once a day).

In terms of account numbers Facebook is followed by YouTube (59%), Google+ (58%) and Twitter (51%), all three of which saw increasing membership during 2013. Facebook still remains someway ahead of this pack, but the gap has been narrowing.

Active users

The data shows that Instagram achieved the biggest increase in active users (up 23%) in the second half of 2013. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and clearly the deal hasn’t had any undue impact on the photo-sharing app’s appeal.

Reddit saw the second-biggest increase in the second half of 2013, with active user numbers up by 13%. This highlights the fact that the social networking landscape is becoming increasingly diversified, which causes something of a headache for marketers.

Biggest increase in active users

Frequency of visits

A new addition to the research was a question about how frequently users visit each of the social networks.

More than half of Facebook’s active users (56%) visit the site more than once a day, while 95% visit the site on a weekly basis.

In comparison, around 30% of active users on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+ visit on a daily basis. Personally I find this G+ stat to be quite dubious, as I don’t know anyone who visits the network on a daily basis (other than our head of social).

Frequency of visits of social platforms

Socially mobile

According to the report the overall size of the social audience that logs on via mobile still lags behind desktop, however mobile users are among the most frequent and active users.

It also shows that networking and messaging apps experienced huge growth between Q2 and Q4. The estimated audience size for WeChat rose by 379%, with significant increases also seen for Vine (+105%), SnapChat (+54%) and WhatsApp (+35%).

To find out more about the SnapChat craze, read our blog posts looking at seven brands that have jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon and discussing whether or not it’s right for your brand.

The GWI Social report is based on 170,000 interviews in 32 countries. The full version can be downloaded here.