Tumblr is fastest-growing social site

1 December 2014

LONDON: Tumblr, the microblogging platform owned by Yahoo!, has overtaken Instagram to become the fastest-growing social network in the world, according to a new global study.

Based on a sample of more than 40,000 users across 32 countries, the survey from research firm GlobalWebIndex (GWI) established that Tumblr increased its active user base by 120% in the last six months while its membership grew by nearly half (45%).

It was followed by Pinterest, the visual bookmarking site, which increased its active users by 111% and its membership by 57%, Marketing Land reported.

Instagram, the photo-sharing platform, was ranked third after increasing its active users by 64% and its membership by 36% while LinkedIn, the professional networking site, recorded growth in active users and membership of 54% and 27% respectively.

By contrast, Facebook increased its active user base by only 2% and its membership by 6%, the report found, although with 1.35bn active monthly users it remained by far the largest social network in the world.

As if to underline the dominance of Facebook, the research found four-in-five global internet users have a Facebook account, rising to 93% in Latin America, while over half (54%) actively use it at least once a month.

That is twice the rate as for Twitter, YouTube or Google+ and, furthermore, 54% of Facebook's active users said they are frequent visitors to the site.

Perhaps of more concern for Facebook, however, is the research finding that 50% of its members in the US and the UK are using it less frequently than they used to, rising to 64% among teens.

Close to a half (45%) said they were simply less interested in the site – a view shared by 54% of teens – 37% said they're bored of it and 18% said it's just not as "cool" as it used to be.

While the report made clear that Facebook has some major challenges to face, a more positive finding for it was that internet users have just become more active across multiple networks.

"The once-influential idea that the rise of one network automatically leads to the demise of another is simply not true," said report author Jason Mander, GWI's head of trends.

"Multi-networking is now a major trend, with internet users maintaining profiles across a wide range of social platforms," he added. "Any new name entering this space is more likely to become an additional network that people use, rather than supplanting existing ones entirely."

Data sourced from Marketing Land; additional content by Warc staff