Nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide — or about one in three living on the planet today — logged onto a social network in 2017, according to new estimates of social media users worldwide by digital market research company eMarketer, reports O’Dwyer’s, which added that, as usual, “Facebook still accounts for the lion’s share of social media activity, as more than 1.5 billion people — or about 62 percent of all social network users worldwide — logged onto that site at least once a month last year.

“Sheer numbers aside, however, eMarketer’s report now suggests that photo-sharing site Instagram is quickly catching up, revealing big gains in new members and accounting for an increased share of total global social network users. The online photo service, which is owned by Facebook, now counts nearly 594 million regular users, accounting for nearly a quarter — 24 percent — of total current social network users worldwide. Instagram penetration among social network users as well as the population as a whole was highest in North America and Western Europe, according to the eMarketer report.

“eMarketer now predicts that nearly 700 million people worldwide will use Instagram at least once a month in 2018, representing more than 26 percent of all social network users. By 2021, that share is expected to surpass 30 percent.”

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