South Africa’s Top Social Media Platforms & Market Share

South Africa's Top Social Media Platforms & Market Share

Meta-owned Facebook remains the undisputed leader among social media platforms in South Africa, boasting a remarkable market share that surpasses the combined share of all other platforms. According to data from GlobalStats Statcounter as of February 2023, Facebook dominates the South African social media landscape with a staggering 72.4% market share. Elon Musk’s Twitter trails behind as the second most popular platform, holding a 9.79% market share. Other major players include Pinterest, Meta-owned Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit. However, it’s important to note that GlobalStats does not include the massively popular TikTok in its statistics.

  1. In South Africa, Facebook dominates the social media landscape with a 72.4% market share, far surpassing other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. The global market share rankings show a similar trend, with Facebook leading at 69.32%.
  2. Despite its strong market share, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has faced challenges, resulting in significant job cuts totaling 21,000 employees. The reasons include a slowdown in the digital advertising market, a fragile economy, and the company’s investment in the Metaverse.
  3. Other major tech companies, such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, have also laid off thousands of employees as the industry grapples with various challenges.

Despite being excluded from GlobalStats’ data, the Chinese app TikTok enjoys immense popularity worldwide and ranks as the second most downloaded free app on both the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store in South Africa. The following list highlights the most popular social media platforms in the country, excluding TikTok:

  1. Facebook – 72.4%
  2. Twitter – 9.79%
  3. Pinterest – 7.86%
  4. Instagram – 6.93%
  5. YouTube – 1.89%
  6. LinkedIn – 0.75%
  7. Reddit – 0.26%

Globally, the situation mirrors South Africa’s social media market share rankings. Facebook reigns supreme as the world’s largest social media platform with a commanding 69.32% market share, followed by Twitter (10.49%), Instagram (9.74%), and Pinterest (5.75%). Once again, YouTube, Reddit, and LinkedIn lag behind, failing to secure a 5% market share.

Although Facebook maintains the highest market share for social media platforms on mobile and tablet devices in South Africa, it does not hold the top spot on desktop. Surprisingly, Pinterest edges out Facebook with a 36.03% market share compared to Facebook’s 32.04%. However, this trend does not hold true globally, as Facebook dominates the desktop market with a nearly 50% share, far surpassing Pinterest’s 17.45%.

Despite Facebook’s massive market share, Meta, its parent company, has faced significant challenges in recent times. In November, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would cut 11,000 jobs, approximately 13% of the group’s workforce, and extend its hiring freeze into the first quarter. In March, Meta announced another round of job cuts, totaling 10,000. These retrenchments were attributed to several factors, including a major slowdown in the digital advertising market, a fragile economy on the verge of recession, and the company’s multibillion-dollar investment in the VR-centered Metaverse.

Meta is not the only major tech company to reduce its workforce, however. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter have also laid off thousands of employees in response to the challenges faced in the industry.



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