The popularity of social media shows no signs of slowing. In fact every major social network on the web from LinkedIn to Google+ has seen its active user numbers swell since the start of 2014.
However, none of them have seen the sort of growth that Tumblr is currently experiencing. According to the latest instalment of the Global Web Index, the microblogging and multimedia sharing platform has seen its active user numbers soar by 120 percent over the past six months.
Tumblr is not the only social site to experience a serious growth spurt; Pinterest is also booming -- 55% more members and a 111% rise in active user numbers over the same period, putting it in second place ahead of Instagram.
All three will have some way to go before they come close to challenging Facebook -- 1.35 billion users and counting -- but the Global Web Index figures, based on interviews with 170,000 users in 32 countries, suggest that Facebook is losing its appeal, particularly among younger users. Three quarters of the world's online adults visit Facebook each month but those visitors are less engaged. Half of UK and US users (64% of teens) say they're visiting less often, with boredom and loss of cool being among the top reasons for cutting back.
At the same time social networks are developing that offer just one of Facebook's many features and do it in a better or more engaging way, e.g., sharing pictures via Instagram, or status via Twitter.
In the mobile space, Facebook is still the world's most popular social app -- 43% of internet users have it installed, but the fastest-growing apps are again those aimed at younger users. Snapchat has seen a 56% hike in user growth.
Facebook Messenger is the second-fastest-growing social app according to the report, ahead of Instagram in third, Line in fourth and Pinterest in fifth place. But much of that growth has been caused by Facebook removing the ability to message friends from the main Facebook app.
The move from the desktop to the smartphone or tablet is also being driven by younger users -- six in 10 users overall access social media via a computer while four in 10 reach for a mobile device. However, when it comes to 16-to-34-year-olds, 50% of users choose mobile.
Most importantly, the data highlights that "multi-networking" is now a trend. Consumers don't desert one social platform for another, they are happy to join a host of different networks and use them for different reasons.