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The majority of social media sites are seeing far more traffic and time spent coming from mobile devices than from desktops.

According to comScore’s latest research, of the largest social networks, only LinkedIn and Tumblr maintain a majority share on desktop. Newer social networks like Instagram, Vine and Snapchat are almost exclusively used on mobile.

That probably seems a little bit obvious when you consider the fact that those networks are almost entirely camera dependent. In fact Vine only launched a desktop site at the beginning of the year and neither the Vine nor the Instagram desktop sites are particularly user friendly.

As you can see Facebook now has a majority of its audience accessing it through mobile. Although this figure of 68% isn’t quite as high as the 78% that Facebook itself published last August.

Unique visitors on social networks

Instagram is ranked as the third most popular social network in the US, just behind Facebook and Twitter. In fact it only narrowly lost to Twitter by 600,000 unique visitors. 

Instagram is leader of the mobile-first social network gang, especially now that it has introduced video functionality. Vine had a pretty glorious USP with its short-form video capture, but thanks to Instagram’s update last year, Vine’s growth has been curtailed

In fact you can see from November 2013, just after the time of the Instagram update, how Instagram has grown in contrast with the dip in Vine’s popularity. 

Instagram already had 130m incumbent users that theoretically no longer need to adopt another short-form video platform because they already have one.

Prior to this, Vine had grown 403% between Q1 and Q3 in 2013 and was the fastest growing app of 2013. In August 2013, Vine had 40m users, tripling its base since June 2013. It seems that access to Instagram’s filters and editing tools may prevent further accelerated growth, especially as the two platforms share largely the same demographic.

Snapchat increased growth over 2013. By December 2013, 44% of 18-24 year-old internet users accessed Snapchat. As I reported in November in Is Snapchat right for your brand? Snapchat has edged out Facebook in being the most frequently used platform to upload photos. 

Out of 809m daily photo uploaded in November 2013 Snapchat had a 49% share (accounting for approximately 400m daily uploads), with Facebook at 43%. 

Snapchat’s appeal is in the ephemeral nature of its content, which is only available to viewers for 10 seconds before the message disappears. This seems to be a popular trend for younger demographics that don’t necessarily want to leave behind an online footprint for all to see for an undetermined amount of time.

The comScore research is available here: US Digital Future in Focus.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 9 April, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)


Patrick Ryan

The LinkedIn stats do not surprise me, as it is dominated by older professionals. I doubt its executives even want to move in the mobile direction.

At the same time, I know that Pepsi Cola and other Fortune 500 companies are investing in apps that enable mobile job applications. Will LinkedIn move in this direction? It sounds like a strategic boon for them.

Imagine if LinkedIn consulted these larger corporations to for the building of application APIs. Could be an unexplored opportunity.

over 2 years ago

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