[UPDATE: we've revised the data in the SlideShare above to include new data on LINE's Monthly Active User (MAU) numbers]

We've been publishing snapshots of key digital data for some time now, but we thought it might make sense to bring these numbers together in a regular series of PDF reports, which we're calling 'Digital Statshots'.

These Statshot reports are designed to supplement our more in-depth Social, Digital and Mobile reports, which contain individual data points for more than 100 countries around the world. You'll find all those in-depth reports by clicking here.

Read on for some of the highlights from Statshot 001...

Internet

Global internet users are quickly approaching 3 billion, and we expect numbers to pass this milestone before the end of 2014.

Social Media

Social media usage continues to rise, although much of this growth relates to the increased use of chat apps.

Despite this growth, social networks still dominate the social landscape in most countries, and Facebook continued to register modest global growth in the first 6 months of 2014.

However, active usage of QZone (China's largest active social network by user numbers) and VKontakte (which still dominates the social ecosystem in Russia and some of its neighbours) appears to have fallen slightly in recent months, albeit only by a matter of 1 or 2 percentage points.

Mobile

We're pleased to include data from Ericsson's Mobility Report in this Statshot, which offers a new dimension to our mobile reporting.

It's worth noting that there are significant differences between the data reported by Ericsson and GSMA Intelligence though, especially when it comes to unique user numbers.

Ericsson reports 4.6 billion unique users, which would suggest global penetration of 63%; however, GSMA Intelligence reports 3.6 billion global users, indicating a global penetration rate of 50%.

Both are obviously very impressive numbers, but it's important to note the sizeable difference of 1 billion users between the two sources.

It's also worth highlighting that GSMA Intelligence have revised their unique mobile user figures down slightly since our previous Statshot. However, we believe this revision is likely due to more accurate reporting from individual mobile operators, and is unlikely to reflect a real drop in unique user numbers.

Meanwhile, the number of active mobile connections (sometimes called contracts or subscriptions) is quickly approaching the same figure as the total world population. However, the average global mobile user still maintains roughly 2 active mobile connections, and half the world's population is still 'unconnected'.

Mobile Social

Social media usage on mobile is growing rapidly, with the figures reported by key networks suggesting growth of almost 30 million users since our most recent report just 6 weeks ago.

Averaged out, that suggests roughly 725,000 new mobile social users ever day - or more than 8 new users every second.

Recommendations

Given the rapid growth of mobile users and skyrocketing chat app and mobile social adoption, it's clear that - from a user perspective at least - mobile social is going to be the dominant story in 2015.

So, wherever you are in the world: if you're putting together your marketing plans for next year, make sure you include sufficient budget for mobile social activities.

If you'd like guidance on the who, what, where and how of mobile social, just drop us an email, or call us on +65 6423 1051.

And if you'd like to download this Statshot, simply click here (note that you'll need a free SlideShare account for this).

Some points to note on this report:

  • We've gathered all data from third-party sources, all of which we've detailed in the footnotes of the relevant slides. You'll find more information on those sources' sample sizes, collection methodologies, and relevant time periods on their respective websites. We strive to ensure that all the data we include is as recent and accurate as possible, but please check with the relevant data source(s) if you have questions about individual data points.
  • Where different sources report significantly different numbers for the same data point, we've included the different sets of data for convenient reference.
  • You're welcome to copy-paste these slides into your own presentations, reports, blogs and social media posts; all we ask is that you use the whole image, including the credits and logos for We Are Social and the original data sources. 
  • If you believe you have more accurate numbers for any of the relevant data points, we'd love to hear from you - just drop us an email.