Which are the social networks with the most users in the world

We cannot imagine the world without social networks: a statement that is more true than ever since the confinement by the Covid-19  has further boosted the use of these digital platforms. In this context of social media growth, Facebook has managed to remain in the lead of the social networks with the most users in the world, according to the latest  Digital 2022 report by We Are Social and Hootsuite.

Facebook closes to 3,000 million users worldwide

 For yet another year, the social network with the most users in the world is Facebook. If in 2021 the report indicated that Facebook had 2,740 million users in January 2021, 11.8% more than in 2020, for this 2022 report Mark Zuckerberg’s social network now accumulates 2,910 million (+6.2%). YouTube and WhatsApp accompany her for another year on the podium.

Among the first places in the table are networks with a strong presence in specific geographical areas such as Douyin, QQ, Sina Weibo and Kuaishou (a Chinese video social network, similar to Youtube) , highly prevalent in Asia.

TikTok, undisputed leader in growth

Despite the controversy surrounding his security, Zuckerberg still brings together most of the social networks with the most users in the world: WhatsApp (2,000 million users), Messenger (988 million users) and Instagram (1,478 million users). ), all of them in the top 7 of this ranking. In the case of Instagram, the rise is notable: 250 million more users (+21%).

In general, the top positions in the ranking remain stable year after year, with TikTok as the great protagonist in terms of growth : the social app of Chinese origin already has 1,000 million users, 45% more than in 2021.

For its part, and after years of stagnation, this time Twitter registers great growth (+23%), which leads it to reach 436 million users.

Users’ favorite social networks

Regarding the public’s favorite social networks, WhatsApp is preferred by 15.7% worldwide, followed by Instagram (14.8%) and Facebook (14.5%) among the top three places. WeChat, the “WhatsApp of China”, appears in fourth place with 11.4%, while Douyin , the version of TikTok exclusively for the Chinese market , surpasses the global TikTok in preference with 5.1% of the Chinese version compared to 4.3% Worldwide. Discord appears for the first time in the first places of this type of rankings worldwide.

Users of social networks by age

If we go to the classification by age, we can appreciate that Instagram is the favorite app for women between the ages of 16 and 24 (25.6%) , as well as those between 25 and 34 years (17.8%). For their part, women between 35 and 44 (15.7%) and those between 45 and 54 (18%) prefer Facebook more, while those between 55 and 64 (20.4%) like WhatsApp more.

In the case of men, those from 16 to 24 years old (22.8%) prefer Instagram; For its part, Facebook is the favorite of the male population between 25 and 34 years old (15.9%), as well as those between 35 and 44 years old (17.3%). For the most veteran (men between 45-54 years old, 19.3%, and those between 55-64 years old, equivalent to 19.6%), WhatsApp is their main priority in terms of social networks.

Average time spent on social networks

During 2021, the daily use time of social networks rose 1.4% worldwide, reaching 2 hours and 27 minutes, exceeding the average of 2 hours and 25 minutes that was maintained in the last two years (2019 and 2020).

Regarding the average usage time, the youngest users are the ones who make the most intensive use of them: between 16 and 24 years old, they connect to social networks for 3 hours, 13 minutes (in the case of women) and 2 hours with 43 minutes (in the case of men) . For their part, women between the ages of 25 and 34 spend an average of 2 hours and 50 minutes on the networks, while men of the same age range connect for 2 hours and 34 minutes. Those who spend the least time on the networks are older adults between the ages of 55 and 64: women of these ages are on the networks for an average of 1 hour and 33 minutes, while men only spend 1 hour and 18 minutes.

Countries with the most users of social networks

The United Arab Emirates is the country with the most use of social networks in 2021 in relation to its population, registering 106.1% use of these platforms in the last year, followed by Malaysia (91.7%), South Korea (91.2%), Sweden (90.8%) and the Netherlands (90.7%). Spain climbs positions from 30th place the previous year and is already the eleventh country with the most users on social networks in 2021, with 87.1% of its population: 7 points more than in 2021.

Why do we use social networks?

Keeping in touch with family and friends (47.6%) was the main reason many turned to social networks in 2021, in second place is spending free time (36.3%), reading news (35.1) in third place, look for content (31.6%) in fourth place and see the most commented (29.5%) in position number 5.

Types of most followed accounts

Regarding the types of accounts that are most followed on social networks, 45.5% of global users follow family, friends or people they know. For their part, 29.9% follow accounts of actors, comedians, etc., while 28.9% followed entertainment accounts, parodies, and memes in 2021. Likewise, 28.4% opted to follow musicians, singers, bands, etc.; 27.7% are aware of the news from the accounts of TV programs or channels and 25.1% follow restaurants, chefs and professionals related to the world of gastronomy.

Bonus track: what happened in the previous years

This is not the first year that we have shared the data from this study with you. What is clear is that Facebook reigns in the world’s social networks, but  until when?  Is there any social platform capable of posing a threat to Facebook immediately?


In the 2021 report, Facebook gained 2.74 billion users  in January 2021,  11.8% more than in 2020. For its part, YouTube ranked second with 2.291 million users, 14.5% more than the previous year. The pandemic boosted the use of Instagram, which went from sixth place in 2020 (1,000 million users), to fourth place in 2021 with a total of 1,220 million users (+22%). However, this is also because WeChat, the fifth most popular instant messaging platform in China, showed only slight growth from 1,151 million users in 2020 to 1,213 in 2021.

The United Arab Emirates continued with its leadership in percentage of users of social networks with respect to its total population, with 99% , closely followed by South Korea, which rose one position this year with 89.3% of its population connected to social networks. Taiwan fell to third place with 88.1%. The Netherlands (88%) and Malaysia (86%) closed the top 5. As for  Spain, it quickly rose from 30th place in 2020 to 14th with 80% of its users connected to at least one social network in 2021.


In the 2020 edition, Facebook reached 2,449 million users, 7.8% more than the previous year. As you can see, in second place is YouTube, which had 2,000 million users.

In 2020, the United Arab Emirates maintained its leadership in the percentage of users of social networks with respect to the total population, with 99%, followed by Taiwan, with 88%, South Korea (87%), Malaysia (81%) and Singapore (79%).

In the case of Spain, it fell to 30th place: 62% of the population used social networks, an increase of two points compared to the data from the previous year. Among the countries with the lowest penetration rate of social networks are North Korea, Eritrea (0.6%) and Sudan (0.7%).

And in 2017?

According to the Digital In 2017 report  , Facebook, with 1,871 million, was already the social network with the highest number of monthly active users in the world. More than half, 55%, used the social network on a daily basis . To this we must add that the second and third most used social platforms worldwide were  Messenger (Facebook’s messaging application) and WhatsApp , also owned by the social network created by Mark Zuckerberg. Instagram , also part of Facebook since 2012, was in eighth place, with 600 million users.