People dont even ask what the most popular social media platform is as most assume that its Facebook, hands down. However, recent stats have shown signs that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild may not be sitting on the throne forever.
Recent studies are showing that YouTube is gaining momentum in a big way, in many cases already beating Facebook in terms of reach and shares. Let’s explore the stats in more detail – is this a sign of things to come, or does Facebook still have a strong grip on the future of social?
The cold hard facts: Youngsters prefer YouTube
The first place to start any sort of analysis has to be with the numbers. What do the statistics tell us about platform popularity, reach, and future development? Even with our clear bias towards the power of videos, we were still very surprised to see just how quickly YouTube is encroaching on Facebook market share.
In fact, YouTube has taken over as the most popular site for youngsters between 14 and 24. Stats released by The Intelligence Group in November 2013 show that almost 75% of 14 to 18 year-olds in the US claim to visit YouTube ‘frequently’ – only 60% of the same group had the same to say about Facebook.
And it’s not just amongst youngsters either. Amongst those between 19 to 24 years of age the difference is marginal, but YouTube still wins – it’s by a paltry 1%, but a victory nonetheless.
Other companies that are into their stats have all come to similar results. The Futures Company, for example, had YouTube listed as the top site amongst kids in the US ages 12 to 19. The tide is definitely turning when it comes to usage numbers, that’s for sure – we project that the gulf between the two will only expand in the coming years.
It’s not all about visitors
But visits and preferences alone don’t tell the whole story. After all, sales and conversions are of vital importance. This is where Facebook still has an arguable edge. The aforementioned Intelligence Group found that teens prefer brands communicating with them through the social media giant compared to YouTube.
However, not all of the statistics point towards a Facebook victory. The UK voted YouTube as the top youth brand for those 16 to 24 years of age, leaving big names such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook languishing far behind in the popularity stakes.
The conclusion? In our view it’s not entirely conclusive. But the very fact that Facebook doesn’t trump everything else with clear margins is alone a sign that things are moving away from a single platform ruling all. The monopoly on social media just doesn’t exist.
Why YouTube works so well
YouTube isn’t just a home for video – at least not anymore. It functions as a legitimate music player, home for news from around the world, entertainment flows from both major corporations as well as talented individuals, and you also have the ability to share, comment, and debate.
YouTube is becoming a solid social media platform in its own right (if it can’t be considered it that already) and with the might of Google behind its development, we’re sure that it’s only going to keep on growing. Our advice? Don’t neglect either platform – investing in both is a great way to extend your reach and entrench your brand amongst your followers.