ISLAMABAD: Internet statistics and market research company eMarketer has released a report entitled “Worldwide Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates”, which estimates that in 2013, almost a quarter of the World’s population will use social media.
The number of social network users worldwide will increase from 1.47 billion last year to 1.73 billion this year. By 2017, eMarketer estimates that 2.55 billion people will use social media, CBC news reported.
The majority of user growth will be in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, according to the report’s findings, while Asia-Pacific has the largest social media user base, with 777 million of Asia-Pacific’s inhabitants expected to use a social media platform by the end of the year.
In fact, Asia-Pacific has 44.8% of the world’s social media users, more than three times Latin America’s user base, who sit in second.
The report predicts that by 2014, Latin America and Africa will have surpassed Latin America in second place, while North America will be surpassed by Central and Eastern Europe and, a year later, by Western Europe as well.
Penetration rates, however, flip user base figures on their head: North America and Europe boast the most impressive social network user penetration rates, while Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East prop up the table at the bottom. In 2013, North America will more than double the Middle East & Africa’s penetration rates.
Between 2013 and 2016, the percentage of internet users worldwide who are active on social media will increase from 67.7% to 76.6%, reaching 78.7% a year later. eMarketer reasons that North America, Asia-Pacific”specifically, Japan, South Korea and Australia” and Western Europe have lower penetration figures than the worldwide figures overall because the “advanced countries in these regions tend to have more diverse internet user populations, as users often access the web for a variety of reasons such as shopping or searching”.
Meanwhile, internet users in Africa, the Middle East, Central Europe and Eastern Europe are generally younger and more internet savvy, so are more likely to use social media.