We all know that the US and China are jockeying for the world number one spot in terms of economics and the military – but also in the arena of the top internet domain and the top social media (SM) network in terms of traffic. Who knows, perhaps what we see with the latter two foreshadow what we will soon see with the former two.
Social media traffic
In 2021, China’s TikTok finally did it, unseating the American juggernaut, Facebook, to become the top SM network in 2021 in terms of traffic. TikTok first started to show signs of what was to come at the end of the 2020 period and then in March 2021, when it was number 1 for the month. For the next six months TikTok and Facebook jostled for the lead position, with one leading one month and the other leading the next. But by September it was all over, with TikTok clearly in the lead.
The top 10 ladders for 2020 and for 2021 show the changes in the top 10 positions. YouTube held steady at number 3, but Twitter pushed Instagram off the number 4 spot (2020) down to number 5 in 2021, with Twitter taking the number 4 spot in 2021. There was no change in the number 6 to 10 spots, with the same SM networks appearing in 2020 and 2021, i.e.: 6 – Snapchat; 7 – Reddit; 8 – Pinterest; 9 – LinkedIn; 10 – Quora. [All data was taken from the Cloudflare annual internet data reporting, which you can find here.]
Please note that these are position ladders only, therefore the amount of traffic is not reflected in the size of the ladder elements. Nor do they reflect time spent on the app, or any other aspects of use. So, if you’re looking for monthly users, these are not the statistics to look at. But they are telling us something about what’s going on in the social media space – and in the internet space, as TikTok also unseated Google in terms of domain traffic in 2021. It even leap-frogged Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix and Amazon, as it raced up the ladder from seventh position in 2020 to number 1 in 2021.
The social media data to end 2020 provided some indication that TikTok was rising rapidly, and we expected it to unseat Facebook in the social media arena, but the explosion of traffic in 2021 that lifted it into first spot in the domain traffic stakes was a little unexpected.
*Reference: all data was taken from the Cloudflare annual internet data report.
Juliet Gillies is a highly skilled writer, editor and English specialist. She is a skilled, experienced writer, having started in the marketing/communication field, but now focuses on educational materials. She has been writing and editing at a professional level for more than 30+ years.
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