Facebook Still Growing But Close To Saturation Point

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 27 Aug 2013 by Lynsey Sweales

How much longer can Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in the UK? With Facebook already the UK’s largest social networking site and said to have almost a billion users worldwide, who is going to start using it that hasn’t already got it? And is Twitter still attracting new users? The latest figures from eMarketer show some interesting stats which we feel are worth sharing with you.







Facebook & Twitter In Numbers

  • More than 60% of UK internet customers use Facebook, compared to only 20% who use Twitter
  • Both sites are still growing with adults between 25 and 34 and 45 and 54 years old as the main driving force according to eMarketer’s latest estimates.
  • It is expected that there will be a substantial uptake by UK residents aged 65 and over, particularly on Facebook.
  • Twitter currently has 9.9 million users in the UK but Facebook is still the largest social media site in the UK with a commanding 29.9 million.







Facebook Growth Outlook

  • Facebook isn’t expected to grow much over the forecast period as most people who plan to use the well-established social networking site already do so.
  • Facebook has more of a mixed user base than Twitter, but the majorities still fall in the 18-to-44 range, at 54.9%.
  • Growth among UK teens and adults aged between 18 to 24 has slowed along with the number of monthly active users on Facebook.
  • However, there is some good news as their youngest demographic -children under 12 years old – should rise steadily helping Facebook continue to see overall growth.







Twitter Growth Outlook

This year, the number of active monthly Twitter users is expected to rise by 15.3%. It’s estimated that come 2017, 13.8 million people in the UK will use Twitter. This is unlike Facebook’s more varied user base, Twitter is dominated by adults aged 18 to 44, and while that age group will drop in overall share by 2017, it will still account for the majority of users.

  • Usage by teens and children under 18 is expected to fall as a percent of the total user base.
  • This year, eMarketer expects 67% of UK Twitter users to be between the ages 18 and 44. This is down from 69.1% last year, and will fall further to 62.7% by 2017, as older users begin to take up a larger share of the Twitter audience.
  • Twitter penetration among UK internet users is highest in the 18 to 24 age group, at 36.8% this year, and lowest among the oldest users.
  • The fastest growth, this year will be among those under 12 years old and those over 44 years old, with the oldest users posting robust growth rates throughout the forecast period.







Despite Facebook having a more varied user base, it’s growth is gradually slowing and is now looking to the under 12s and over 65s to help broaden its audience in the UK. Twitter meanwhile is on the verge of breaking the older market of people aged 44 and over, which could see a large increase of users overall. This isn’t a surprise as Twitter has plenty of room to grow and is becoming more and more a part of day to day life and an integral part of news, media and self-promotion. Whether this will continue remains to be seen, who knows there might be another social networking site waiting in the wings wanting its own piece of the action.


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