OSLO: Established social media platforms in Norway, such as Facebook and YouTube, are facing a growing challenge from smaller rivals that have recorded double-digit growth in 2013, new research has found.

As reported by eMarketer, an Ipsos MMI survey of social media usage between Spring and Autumn 2013 found Snapchat, the photo messaging app, nearly doubled its user base from 432,000 to 831,000 over the period.

Other social media platforms gained ground too with Instagram recording 37.7% growth, taking its user base to 913,000, while Linkedin, the networking site for professionals, grew 22.3% to 970,000 users.

By contrast, Facebook and YouTube recorded user growth of only 0.5% and 2.4% respectively, although Facebook continues to dominate the overall market with close to 3m users.

At more than three-quarters (75.2%) of all social media users in Norway, this means Facebook may experience difficulties expanding much further.

Spotify, the music streaming service, is the second most popular social media site in Norway, the survey found, registering one-third of all users while YouTube ranked third with 27.2%.

It would appear that the steady rise of the smaller social platforms is being driven by their popularity with younger female internet users.

For example, nearly 70% of women aged 18 to 29 said they used Snapchat, compared with 64% of men in the same age group, while almost 60% of female users used Instagram compared with half of male users.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff