Social Media Magazine

Is Social Media Mainstream?

Posted on the 13 November 2013 by Jureklepic @jkcallas

Lately it seems like everyone has a presence on social media. Personally, I can only think of one person in my social circle who doesn’t have any social media accounts, and frankly, I think it’s weird.  But is social media truly mainstream?

Here are a few of the most popular social media networks and whether they can be considered mainstream or not:

Facebook – I think out of all of the popular social networks, Facebook is absolutely the most mainstream. With just over 1 billion active users, it’s safe to say you can’t walk around without bumping into someone who is also a member of Facebook. While the network did start out as exclusive to college students, it has grown to include everyone and their mother (literally!). Facebook has also grown to include many other social networks, including photo giant Instagram.

Twitter – my inspiration for this post was actually an article that I read about Twitter not being considered mainstream. This article comes at the topic from a strictly business standpoint. Twitter has 218 million users, a paltry amount compared to Facebook. But I would argue that the network is definitely still mainstream. The data in the article discusses worldwide data vs. data only in the U.S. Perhaps Twitter is more mainstream in the United States than it is in the rest of the world. But to me, one of the indicators that it is most definitely mainstream is that not only do lots of individuals use the network, many businesses do as well.

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Instagram – I mentioned Instagram earlier, because the once-fledgling company was recently acquired by social media giant Facebook. While it is now under the Facebook brand’s umbrella, Instagram is still its own entity. I would have to argue that while it is immensely popular, Instagram isn’t quite mainstream yet. It did recently develop a dedicated website; previously, users could only access the service from a smartphone. The company has yet to develop an app for iPad or other tablets. While Instagram does have around 150 million users, they still don’t have as big of a following as the other major players in the social media market.

What social media networks do you think are mainstream? Does knowing if a social network is mainstream or not affect how you plan your social media strategy for your business? Are there any that you choose to avoid because you think you won’t fit in?

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