Skip to main content

Blogs: Social media statistics - 2011

A lot has changed since we gave you some hard facts about online social media platforms last Summer. It’s amazing how much things can change in a year – but we wouldn’t expect anything less in the world of social media. For 2011 we're providing a more in-depth snapshot of stats and demographics for a handful of the most common platforms. Our resources are listed at the bottom of each section, and are sometimes quoted directly.

To put things into perspective, consider that as of March 2011 there were just shy of 7 billion people in the world – and just over 2 billion of those use the internet. You can learn more about how the UK uses social media in the recent internet access stats released by the Office for National Statistics. 


  • As of July 2011, there are more than 750 million ‘active users’ – 50% of whom log into Facebook ‘in any given day’
  • More than 250 million active users access Facebook with their mobile devices – and these people are twice as active as non-mobile users
  • The average user has an average of 130 friends
  • The average person connects to approximately 80 community pages, groups and events
  • The average person creates 90 pieces of content in a month
  • 20 million apps are installed every day
  • More than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites
  • An average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day
  • From May 2010-May 2011, 20 million minors used Facebook - of those 7.5 million were under 13
  • In the UK, 43% of users are female and 57% are male
  • Contrast this with the US who shows 57% of users are female, and 43% are male
  • In the UK, the largest age group is 25-34, with 36%. In the US, it’s 45-54 with 29%.
  • Age 35-44 is the second largest group of users in both countries
  • The third largest age group in the UK is tied at 12% for ages 18-24 and 45-54 (25-34 is the third largest in the US)
  • In the UK, only 5% of users are under 18. In the US, 7%.
  • Age 55-64 represents only 5% of users in the UK (9% in the US)
  • 65+ represents the smallest age group with 2% in the UK (3% in the US)

Facebook statistics are definitely the most difficult to explain because they come from a Facebook-only, marketing perspective. 750 million active users? Facebook defines active users as ‘people who have logged into Facebook at least once in the previous 30 days’. And they say that 50% of those log into Facebook ‘in any given day’ – what does ‘in any given day’ mean, does it mean ‘every day’? How many total users are there on Facebook? How many dormant accounts are there? And what’s the churn rate for Facebook? Does ‘active users’ accurately calculate individual people? …Lots of people have more than one account. No one seems to know for sure, and Facebook hasn’t answered when asked. One thing is certain: Facebook is losing users in the countries where it took off originally. As of June 2011 the US has lost nearly 6 million users, Canada has lost 1.52 million and the UK, Norway and Russia have lost 100,000.

Likewise, Facebook doesn’t provide an explanation for what ‘average person’ means – is it an average of the 50% who log in daily? Is it an average of the 750 million ‘active users’? One of Facebook’s marketing stats above says that the average person creates 90 pieces of content in a month – what does that ‘content’ comprise exactly? 20 million apps are installed every day. How many are uninstalled? How many are installed but never used? 

It’s all just very unclear when it comes to Facebook’s statistics, where other social media websites are a bit more open. We can get better clarity when looking at demographics, as these statistics are readily available on Google Ad Planner. Looking at the demographics provided above, we are all reminded to keep a close eye on the country of origin when we read blogs and reports we come across on a daily basis – especially for those of us working in the UK, as lots of these types of blogs are coming out of US sources. In actuality, our world is slightly different from the States'. 


Facebook Statistics 

7.5 Million Facebook users are under 13

Google Ad Planner Demographics - UK

Google Ad Planner Demographics - US



  • There are 106 million total users – 27% of those log in every day, 37% by way of a mobile device
  • 300,000 people join Twitter every day and 60% are from outside the US
  • 52% of logins update their status every day
  • As of June 2011, users on Twitter are now averaging 200 million Tweets per day
  • 41% of Twitter users have not Tweeted since they created an account
  • 50% of Tweets come from 0.5% of Twitter users
  • It’s currently unclear how many Tweets come from bots. In 2009 it was estimated at 24%.
  • 24% of Twitter accounts have no followers at all – 19% have at least 10 followers
  • 81% of users are following less than 100 people
  • 97% have less than 100 followers
  • 25% of users follow brands
  • Thursday and Friday are the most active days on Twitter, with 16% of all Tweets
  • Last year it was reported that in a study of 1.2 billion Tweets, 29% generate a reaction (71% do not generate a reaction).
  • Of those reactions, 6% are ReTweets and 23% are @ Replies. And interestingly, 92.4% of ReTweets and 96.9% of @ Replies happen within the first hour.
  • Only 1.53% of Twitter conversations are three levels deep - after the original tweet, there is a reply, reply to the reply, and reply to the reply of reply. Of all tweets that generated a reply, 85% have only one reply. Another 10.7% attracted a reply to the original reply - the conversation was two levels deep.
  • In the UK, 36% of users are female and 64% are male
  • Contrast this with the US who shows 62% of users are female, and 38% are male
  • In the UK, the largest age group is 25-34, with 36%. In the US, it’s 35-44 with 26%.
  • The second largest age groups follow closely, 35-44 with 27% in the UK and 25-34 with 24% in the US
  • Age 45-54 is the third largest group of users in both countries
  • In the UK, only 3% of users are under 18. In the US, 6%.
  • Age 55-64 represents only 6% of users in the UK (7% in the US)
  • 65+ represents the smallest age group with 2% in the UK (3% in the US)

As with Facebook, we can see some differences between the countries regarding male and female users. Females are the majority in the States – but the reverse is true here in the UK. Twitter has been criticised as not being very social and they've made some changes this year to hopefully improve its ‘socialness’ (see your ReTweets tab for example), but these don’t seem to have had a huge impact as of yet. However, the stats above are the oldest of all the stats we’ve provided in this blog so there may be an impact we haven’t yet been made aware of. Aside from the demographics, which are current, the bulk of these stats came from the information released by Twitter on their 5th anniversary back in March.

Some key points to note from the list above, 50% of Tweets come from 0.5% of Twitter users. 42% of Twitter users have not Tweeted since they created an account. 24% of accounts have no followers at all. And approximately 24% of Tweets come from bots.


Facebook and Twitter demographics explain marketers’ social media demand

Twitter statistics on its 5th anniversary

Twitter statistics – updated stats for 2011

50% of Tweets come from 0.5% of Twitter users

Twitter reaches nearly 200 million Tweets a day, but how many come from bots?

Twitter zombies: 24% of Tweets created by bots

Nearly half of all Twitter users don’t read a word you say

Replies and ReTweets on Twitter

Google Ad Planner Demographics - UK

Google Ad Planner Demographics - US



  • The current ratio of male to female users of Google+ is 86.2% male, 12.6% female and 1.2% other
  • As of 24 July 2011, there are approximately 25 million users
  • The user base is growing at about 1 million people per day
  • Most visits (38%) come from the 25-34 age group

Google+ has still not opened its doors fully to the public, which will most likely dramatically change things, but we can look at the current stats purely from an interestingness perspective. The articles below provide some food for thought:

(Edit: Google+ officially opened to the public on 20 September.)

Study: Google+ winning over suburban parents, losing college kids and café dwellers

Update about ‘active’ versus ‘inactive’ users

Google+ Visitors’ Time Spent on Service Stalls, Hitwise Says


Google+ Statistics

Google+ hits 25 million visitors, gets more sticky

Google+: The numbers driving its growth



  • LinkedIn has over 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories
  • 56 million members are located outside the US
  • 6 Million members are located in the UK
  • Of the total membership, there are more than 6.5 million students and 9 million recent college graduates
  • More than 80% of LinkedIn members influence business decisions at their company
  • Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members. 75 Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s corporate hiring solutions.
  • More than 2 million companies have Company Pages
  • 46 is the average age of a LinkedIn member, of which 51.2% are female
  • The average household income of LinkedIn members is 88K (USD)
  • LinkedIn represents a valuable demographic for marketers with an affluent, influential membership

That last stat sums it up best – LinkedIn is still the home of some very high earners. And more than 80% of members influence business decisions at their company. With more than 2 million companies having Pages on the website, the opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field, to make connections and win business is high. And like we said last year, if your market addresses professionals across all sectors you would need a good reason not to be engaged.  


LinkedIn Press Centre

LinkedIn audience profile

LinkedIn Marketing (PDF 740KB)



  • As of 1 September, 2011 there are 169,626,516 blogs worldwide, and in the last 24 hours 101,815 new blogs were created
  • 2/3 of bloggers are male, and 65% are 18-44
  • They are more affluent than the average population – 79% have college degrees, and 43% have graduate degrees
  • 1/3 have a household income higher than 75K (USD)
  • 65% of bloggers are hobbyists – they blog just for fun, and measure success by personal enjoyment
  • 13% are part-time professional bloggers, and 21% are full-time
  • 33% have worked within traditional media, and 27% are still employed by traditional media
  • 81% of bloggers use Facebook to promote their blog
  • 73% of hobbyists and 88% of professional bloggers use Twitter
  • More than half of all bloggers link to Twitter in their blog
  • 42% of bloggers say they blog about brands they love (or hate)
  • Top bloggers receive 500-1000 pitches a day
  • 64% say brand representatives treat them less professionally than they’d like – only 20% characterise their interactions with brand representatives as positive
  • 34% say they never talk about products or brands on their blogs
  • 46% of bloggers trust traditional media less than they did 5 years ago, and 19% believe blogs are better written

Blogs remain the ‘thinking persons publishing tool’, with a highly educated demographic. Reaching out to bloggers has become commonplace not only for brands, but for community managers who are looking to connect with influential bloggers in order to connect with more people in their area of interest. Unsurprisingly, the top bloggers receive 500-1000 pitches in a day. It’s unfortunate that only 20% of those would characterise their interactions with brands as ‘positive’. The last point is one to watch – blogging and micro-blogging make information and events accessible in real-time, without having to wait for traditional media to report the story. We’ve all seen the impact this can have on awareness of the facts, and scepticism of traditional media, particularly with regard to the various worldwide political uprisings over the last year.


Slideshare: Blogging stats preview from Technorati

Podcast: Blogging stats preview from Technorati

Blog Pulse


Until next year...

We hope you’ve enjoyed this annual review of social media statistics, and we’d love it if you are able to fill in any missing pieces, or shed more light on the information presented. In particular, if you have any helpful statistics resources to share that would be great.



Image credit: br1dotcom on Flickr


Add new comment