The research compared data usage of four of the most popular social media networks – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – from the first quarter (January – March) of 2015 with the same period in 2016. In particular, the study analysed the data of Android users in nine countries, including the UK, the US, Spain, Germany and Australia.
The results of the study suggested that Android users in all nine of these countries are spending less time on all four of the analysed social media apps this year, in comparison to 2015, with the exception of Facebook in Spain, which saw an increase in time spent on the network.
Last year, on average, Android users based in the US spent more time on Facebook (48.75 minutes per day) and Snapchat (23.17 minutes per day) compared to the other nations, while Spain led the way in terms of Instagram usage (31.42 minutes per day) and Twitter was used the most by French users (19.80 minutes per day).
The same nations led the way for the same applications again in 2016, with the exception of Twitter, which saw France being overtaken by Brazil but users spend less time on each application. Overall, usage of Instagram fell by 23.7%, the largest dip. This was followed by Twitter, which saw a decline of 23.4%. Snapchat and Facebook saw decreases of 15.7% and 8% respectively.
In the UK, Facebook remained the most popular platform amongst Android users, with Brits spending an average of 40.32 minutes per day on the site in 2015, compared to 36.37 minutes per day in 2016. Instagram was the second most popular tool with Brits, Snapchat ranked third, with Twitter coming in fourth place. All four have seen declines in usage, but their positions remained the same.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for the social media giants, as the number of installations onto Android devices paints a different story. Although a combined analysis shows that the number of installations across the four platforms has had a 9% dip compared to last year, the breakdown for individual networks sheds a ray of hope as these figures show that some platforms continue to rise in some countries.
For example, the number of installations of Snapchat to devices in Brazil rose by 22%. This is further backed up with increases in Germany, India and Spain. Instagram also saw an increase in the installations figure in three countries – France, Germany and the US – with Twitter seeing increases in the same three nations.
Despite social networks seemingly being on a downward curve, the study found that the number of installations of messaging services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger on Android devices had actually increased compared to Q1 of 2015 in all nine nations.