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Tumblr beats Instagram as fastest growing social platform, Facebook lags behind

Tumblr

Research published today by Global Web Index shows that blogging site Tumblr’s active user base grew in the last six months by 120% and discovery platform Pinterest by 111% while Facebook’s only grew by 2%.

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However Facebook continues to be the world’s largest social network by some margin. When it comes to picking up new users though, it appears that it is slowing down.

A latest report by International Telecommunication Union shows that there are 3-billion people online worldwide. Facebook’s has an active user base of 1.36-billion, meaning that it commands an astounding one-third of the world’s population.

Nonetheless, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and even Google+ all grew faster than Facebook.

In overall member growth, Pinterest took the lead with 57% growth while Facebook’s member base grew by 6%.

Earlier this year when GWI released numbers covering the first hlaf of the year, Instagram topped the list as the fastest growing social network.

Mobile stats

Facebook, though its growth has stunted, is the most downloaded app today while photo chat startup Snapchat is the fastest growing mobile app, up by 56% this year, with an emphasis on teens and 20-something users.

Following closely behind is Facebook Messenger and Instagram respectively. With the introduction of the Facebook Groups, another standalone app, Facebook appears to be capitalising on the popularity of Messenger and attempting new ways of growing their user base.

Read more: Facebook introduces Facebook Groups App

“Facebook has some major challenges to face,” notes Jason Mander, head of trends and author of the report.

“Firstly, people are growing tired of it, with 50% of members in the UK and US saying that they’re using it less frequently than they used to (rising to 64% among teens).”

He says that the stats appear to show people using Facebook much more passively today than in the past: “Since the start of 2013, we’ve seen behaviors like sharing photos and messaging friends fall by around 20 percentage points.”

A significant finding by the research is that Instagram — which had topped the list for the fastest growing social network earlier this year — has dropped down to number three, both in overall members and active users.

Trends and numbers

Tumblr and Instagram have the youngest audiences, with more than 70% of their users between the ages of 16 and 34. In contrast, Facebook has the oldest user base; a quarter of its active users are aged 45+. It should be noted that Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means that the Big Blue has made a decent investment to keep up with the cool kids.

The research also reveals that cross-site visits are flourishing with the exclusion of China. About 91% of 16 to 64-year-olds visited YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ in the last month. Moreover, some 19% visited all four.

Read more: Facebook’s new ad platform targets users across sites, tracks offline sales

Mobile devices are seeing a big rise in social network usage and this is due to their portability and convenience. Desktops and laptops, for the converse reason, are showing a decline. It’s now about 6 in 10 who use social networks via a PC/laptop, compared to more than 4 in 10 logging in via mobiles. Mobile networking has climbed further to pass the 50% mark among 16 to 34-year-olds.

See the full report below:

GWI Social Report Q3 2014

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