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Our 2017 social report showed 40% of internet users were most likely to use social networks to keep in touch with what their friends were doing, making this the top reason for social media use on a global scale.

But according to our latest statistics, internet users are now almost as likely to visit social platforms to keep in touch with friends as they are to stay informed on current news or events.

And it’s now over a third of digital consumers who say they visit to find entertaining content – jumping to 46% among smartphone-centric 16-24s.

This trend towards using social media as a source for news consumption or entertainment indicates how behaviors are continuing to evolve in the social arena – and shows why names like Bloomberg Media and Twitter are partnering on livestreamed news coverage network TicToc, and why Facebook has bet on its video hub, Watch.

In contrast, options relating to sharing personal details or content (such as photos, videos or opinions) sit towards the bottom of the list.

This suggests that digital consumers now seem to favor activities that are more passive, but purposeful in nature.

A key trend displayed in our 2017 chart lies in news consumption across social media platforms, as 4 in 10 were using the services to get news updates.

The top three motivations noted here have one common characteristic – they are all related to passive forms of networking.

Indeed, as we explore further in our Passive Networking report, many social media users are coming to view social networks as sources of content rather than platforms that require active contributions.

Equally telling is that only 19% of internet users say that they are using social media to share details about their daily life. By some margin, this motivation is less important to networkers than sharing opinions or photos/videos.

Clearly, then, many internet users have become more comfortable using social media to publish content rather than to broadcast personal details.

The chart below was originally published on 17th May, 2017.

social media

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