At first glance social media may not seem too relevant within eDiscovery, but when looked at objectively it’s hard to deny the ever growing amount of users who flock to these social platforms. Ranked by Monthly Annual Users (MAUs), from Facebook to TikTok, here are the top social media sites by the numbers.
Top 10 Social Media Sites Ranked by Monthly Annual Users (MAUs)
- Facebook – 2.8 Billion
- YouTube – 2 Billion
- WhatsApp – 2 Billion
- Messenger – 1.3 Billion
- WeChat – 1.17 Billion
- Instagram – 1 Billion
- Tik Tok – 689 Million
- Twitter – 335 Million
- Reddit – 430 Million
- LinkedIn – 294 Million
Facebook – 2.8 Billion
Facebook reports in a press release to investors that “Facebook’s monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 2.70 billion as of June 30, 2020, an increase of 12% year-over-year” (Facebook Reports Second Quarter 2020 Results, 2020).
Followed with 2.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 according to Statista. Making Facebook the largest social media platform in terms of active user profiles.
YouTube – 2 Billion
Next up is YouTube with over 2 billion “logged in” monthly users, which begs the question how large YouTube’s online community may actually be when including non-account users.
In a press release, they shine a light on copyright concerns stating “YouTube’s partners have claimed over 800 million videos since Content ID was implemented.” (YouTube for Press, 2020). Making YouTube a potential deep well for social eDiscovery.
WhatsApp – 2 Billion
As of 2021, WhatsApp has reported just over 2 billion MAUs making it the most used social messaging app with nearly as big a user base as YouTube (Statista, 2021).
Messenger – 1.3 Billion
Facebook’s Messenger, simply known as Messenger, is the companion app to Facebook which is the primary social platform. Although usage of Messenger is correlated to Facebook’s growth, monthly active users are lower at 1.3 million per the priorly listed Statista report (Statista, 2021).
WeChat – 1.17 Billion
WeChat may be less known but they boast a global community of 1.17 billion at the start of 2020 (Business of Apps, 20201), which has only since gone up during the pandemic.
Other notable sites with heavily active monthly users include Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and a handful of others that are growing at unprecedented paces. Given these sheer numbers, social media is not an area to be overlooked during discovery.
Effective eDiscovery within modern litigation requires data mapping and information governance plans to ensure no data is left behind. TERIS specializes in the full spectrum of legal discovery from data collection and processing to document hosting for review and production.
Sources by Social Media Platform
Facebook Reports Second Quarter 2020 Results, Facebook (2020) https://investor.fb.com/investor-news/press-release-details/2020/Facebook-Reports-Second-Quarter-2020-Results/default.aspx
YouTube for Press, YouTube (2021)
Messenger | Twitter | WeChat | WhatsApp | Instagram | TikTok
H. Tankovska, Most popular messaging apps, Statista (2021), https://www.statista.com/statistics/258749/most-popular-global-mobile-messenger-apps/#:~:text=As%20of%20January%202021%2C%20two,popular%20mobile%20social%20apps%20worldwide
Sahil Patel, Reddit Claims 52 Million Daily Users, Revealing a Key Figure for Social-Media Platforms, WSJ (2020)