Social Media

Never in the past two decades of social media history have the features, ad formats, and other business initiatives of the four major social platforms looked as similar as they do today.

Instagram users in Western Europe grew by an estimated 17.0% in 2020—three times higher than we expected in 2019—driven by both the pandemic and the rise of ecommerce on the platform.

It’s no secret that consumers in Latin America are notoriously heavy social network users; 87.1% of the region’s internet users will use a social network at least once a month in 2020, more than those in any other world region. Now, TikTok is benefiting from that love of online socializing where its blend of music, dancing, and video is attracting a fast-growing audience.

China: As ByteDance’s international app TikTok navigates an uncertain political future abroad, its homegrown hit Douyin is having another banner year.

Data Privacy: A new legal challenge in the UK alleges TikTok has violated data protection laws regarding underage users, presenting another hurdle for the frequently controversial platform.

Social: In Latin America, Facebook’s user growth will accelerate strongly due to the pandemic, bringing its penetration to just over half of the population for the first time.

TikTok’s growth in 2020 has been, in a word, extraordinary. While the pandemic helped stoke user gains for all the major social platforms, it lit a particularly large fire under TikTok.

We predict reasonable Snapchat user growth of 6.8% in Western Europe this year, resulting in 76.2 million new users on the platform, or nearly 22% of internet users. However, this growth is up only slightly from our November 2019 prediction of 6.3%.

eMarketer principal analysts Mark Dolliver, Sara M. Watson, and Nicole Perrin, along with junior analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch, discuss the latest government lawsuits against Google, Twitter's new "Spaces" audio feature, 2021 Super Bowl commercials, the reception to Apple's new privacy labels, The Walt Disney Co. throwing its weight behind streaming, what all "Friends" episodes have in common, and more.

Facebook’s Instant Articles feature helped out top publishers this year, but that's a small bright spot for an industry that has lost ad revenue to the platform.

eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson, senior analyst Jasmine Enberg, and junior analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch discuss what they're paying attention to in 2021, and why: the rise of social entertainment, WhatsApp's next move, and stalling social commerce.

The coronavirus pandemic boosted social media usage around the world, as many people stayed home for weeks or months. In 2020, there will be nearly 150 million more social network users worldwide than we expected before the pandemic—more than the entire population of Russia. That will lift the total to 3.23 billion, well ahead of our predictions in November 2019 and June 2020. As a result, nearly 81% of internet users worldwide will be social network users.

eMarketer principal analysts Mark Dolliver, Sara M. Watson, and Debra Aho Williamson, junior analyst Blake Droesch, and vice president of content studio at Insider Intelligence Paul Verna discuss whether the FTC will break up Facebook, a new Discovery+ streaming service, whether Facebook ads are reaching saturation, how customer service changed in 2020, the FTC wanting Big Tech to explain what they do with data, what most people dream about, and more.

In China, an estimated 889.5 million people—97.3% of all internet users—will visit social networks at least monthly in 2020.

eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom and principal analysts at Insider Intelligence Jeremy Goldman, Andrew Lipsman, and Nicole Perrin discuss some very specific predictions for 2021: new leadership at Facebook, Amazon shops for a TV network and movie theaters, streaming services team up, and more.

As Twitter expands its own site with new video capabilities, it’s sunsetting its livestreaming platform Periscope.

Both reddit and Twitter announced third-party verification partnerships this week, the former of which provides information on ad reach and the latter on brand safety.

We recapped five digital trends that will take place next year: how Big Tech will be reined in, despite not breaking up in the immediate future; why a federal privacy law will likely pass; how a retail media trio—made up of Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart—will challenge the duopoly; how advertisers will test new targeting and measurement techniques; and, how first party data will reign. Here are five other trends we think will happen in 2021.

Reddit acquired Dubsmash in an unlikely move that should help both companies to reach audiences they’re currently missing.

The new ability to embed tweets in Snapchat and Instagram Stories is a win-win-win: It not only directs traffic back to Twitter, but it could help bump up engagement on the other two platforms as well.