The Reality Of Social Media
In light of the controversy surrounding Facebook it seems as though people are counting down the days until the presumed demise of social media all together. It is clear that people have become short sighted. In the following paragraphs I am going to put the power of the two most popular social media platforms into perspective.
We will start with Facebook. In 2017 Facebook had 2.01 billion active monthly users. 79% of Americans use Facebook with more than half of those same people claiming to “use it several times per day.” These figures make it the post popular of all the social media platforms by far. Another example to show the power of this platform is in 2015, 770 thousand people donated a total of $17 million in 1 week to help the people of Nepal after a devastating earthquake. These impressive figures continue year after year. Not only is it possible for millions of people to amass a tremendous amount of money for a common cause it also has a larger viewership potential than the mot popular tv broadcasts in history. The most popular television broadcast on a single channel was SuperBowl 49 between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. 114.4 million people watched this game. The most popular video on Facebook was a prank video that received 331 million views.
The second most popular social media platform is Instagram. 32% of all internet users are on Instagram and 59% of internet users aged 18-29. The most popular Instagram user is Selena Gomez who boasts a follower count of 113 million users. This is powerful because this is not one video or one broadcast with 100 million views. This is a profile that could potentially post every single day in front of a 100 million users. Also, those 100 million followers don’t just follow her, their decisions are heavily influenced by her. There are other social media influencers with far less followings ( a few million) who are charging businesses $100,000 per post to promote their products.
While yes, Facebook and other social media platforms have a few hurdles to jump in the future regarding free speech, data collection, and countries using the platform as a type of cyber warfare, it is way too early to be counting on the demise of social media as we know it. So relax, and go post a picture of your dinner or watch some cat videos.