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Social Media Trends Across US, UK, Germany and Japan

Insight by , , and


Our new surveys in UK, Germany & Japan plus our US survey data were constructive as Social platforms attempt to gain share of an estimated $158BN in Non-Digital advertising in those markets. Core Facebook is the leading Social platform in the US, UK & Germany, while Twitter leads in Japan; Instagram was #2 in all markets and is the emerging Social Commerce platform; Snapchat has potential user upside from Android users.

New Recurring Surveys in UK, Germany & Japan

In ’19, non-US operations accounted for ~52% of FB’s total revenue, 44% of TWTR’s (Japan accounted for ~16% of total rev.), ~38% of SNAP’s, & 12% of PINS’. Since Jan. ’16, Cowen’s monthly proprietary consumer Internet survey has provided insights into US Social media trends. We are now augmenting this data with parallel surveys in the UK, Germany, & Japan. In total, our surveys now represent ~45% of global GDP ex-China, and we believe these surveys will be one of the few tools available for investors to track the progress of Social platforms outside of the U.S.

Social Platforms’ Survey Results

Core Facebook is the leading Social platform in terms of users in the US, UK and Germany and a leader in time spent; Instagram is the #2 Social platform in terms of users in all 4 countries surveyed, the leader in time spent in UK and Germany and the leading Social Commerce platform for direct purchases and users following brands; Twitter is the leading Social platform for users and time spent in Japan, with an out-sized 74% of the age 18-34 cohort indicating they are monthly active users; Snapchat iOS monthly active user penetration rates were 50% greater than Android in Dec ’19 across all 4 countries surveyed, despite the launch of its revamped Android Snapchat app in ‘19 and higher reported user growth over the past year.

Social Platforms Combined Opportunity in US, UK, Germany & Japan

$158BN in NonDigital Advertising in ’20: In total, the US, UK, Germany and Japan represent (i) ~$192BN of Digital Advertising spend combined in ’20, 54% of worldwide Digital ad spend and (ii) ~$58BN of Social advertising spend combined in ’20, nearly 60% of total worldwide Social ad spend. A key opportunity for Social platforms in these markets is to take share of the estimated $158BN in Non-Digital or traditional advertising (TV, print, etc).

Social Commerce Insights

Our data suggests that younger users are significantly more likely on average to follow a brand on their respective platform than older cohorts. For instance, at least 55% of Instagram users aged 18-34 follow a brand across all of the countries. Also, direct purchasing is highest on Instagram and Pinterest, with younger users more likely to directly purchase on the platforms. For instance, at least 10% of Instagram users aged 18-34 purchased a good directly across all of the countries surveyed.

See additional insights from the International Consumer Internet Survey Series:

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