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…

Instagram

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

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 

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.

Ello 

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?

Snapchat

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