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Instagram is the most popular social platform app in Brazil

Instagram is the most popular social platform app in Brazil. That’s what the new Panorama Mobile Time/Opinion Box survey on app usage reveals, which for the first time surveyed the percentage of apps installed on six social platforms in the national smartphone base: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Kwai.

Source: Panorama Mobile Time/Opinion Box using apps in Brazil – December 2022

The term “social network” was coined more than ten years ago to refer to platforms like Orkut and Facebook, where people create profiles to interact with each other online. Since then, several other digital services have emerged that can be classified as “social networks”, although they have different goals, interaction mechanics or target audiences. Some, by the way, prefer not to be labeled as social networks. Twitter, for example, calls itself a microblogging network. LinkedIn is a social network, but with a special focus on the labor market. And newcomers TikTok and Kwai prefer to be seen as apps for creating and sharing short videos.

Perhaps the term “social network” does not really apply to all these examples, so in this research we chose to call them “social platforms”. Although they do not compete for the same audience, or the same time of day, they are applications that have among their main features: 1) tools for the production and distribution of content (text, image or video) open to the public; 2) audience building tools (friends, followers, etc.); 3) tools for public and/or private communication between users (comments, messages, feedback, etc.).

For the first time, this research compares the penetration of apps from social platforms in the Brazilian smartphone user base. In this first approach, we list for monitoring: Facebook, Instagram, Kwai, LinkedIn, TikTok and Twitter.

From this list, Instagram is by far the most popular in the country, installed on 92% of national smartphones. Its use is balanced when analyzed by social class. But there is a difference by gender and age, which was already discovered earlier in this research. Instagram is installed on 95% of women’s smartphones and 88% of men’s smartphones. In the analysis by age groups, there is a greater penetration of the devices of young people aged 16 to 29 years (95%), compared to the groups of 30 to 49 years (92%) and over 50 years (86%).

Facebook is the second most popular mobile social platform in Brazil, installed on 85% of national smartphones. Its distribution is balanced according to gender and social class. However, it is the only one of the six apps analyzed that shows an increasing proportion by age. Among people aged 16 to 29, 82% have Facebook installed on their smartphone. The percentage rises to 85% in the 30 to 49 age group and reaches 86% in those aged 50 and over.

TikTok, although younger, already occupies the third position in popularity on Brazilian smartphones, but still far behind Instagram and Facebook, installed on 41% of devices. Its main feature is the youth of the users. Among the apps surveyed, it is the one with the biggest difference by age group: it is installed on 48% of the smartphones of Brazilians aged 16 to 29; compared to 40%, in the range of 30 to 49 years; and 33%, in the 50 and over age group. There is also a difference by social class: TikTok is on 42% of smartphones in classes C, D and E and 34% in classes A and B.

Its direct rival Kwai is 9 percentage points behind, installed on 32% of Brazilian smartphones. Interestingly, Kwai does not present such a pronounced difference by age group as TikTok, but by social class, it does: it is on 33% of smartphones in classes C, D and E and on 25% in classes A and B.

Installed on 37% of national smartphones, the Twitter app draws attention for having a much larger audience of men than women: 45% of men have Twitter installed, compared to 30% of women.

Finally, LinkedIn, among the social platforms monitored in this research, is the one with the biggest difference in penetration in favor of classes A and B, installed on 42% of their smartphones, against 33% of classes C, D and E. On average, LinkedIn is present on 35% of national smartphones.

The survey interviewed, between November 9 and 21, 2022, 2,039 Brazilians aged 16 and over who own a smartphone. The margin of error is 2.2 percentage points and the confidence level is 95%. The report can be downloaded for free here.

Cover of the Panorama Mobile Time/Opinion Box survey report on app usage in Brazil – December 2022

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