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Instagram poised to leapfrog Facebook as Ireland’s number one social media network

But Mark Zuckerberg need not worry. His company owns them both


Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the newly minted Meta

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the newly minted Meta

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the newly minted Meta

Instagram is about to overtake Facebook as Ireland’s biggest social media network, while TikTok has soared past Twitter, new figures suggest.

The rise of Instagram and TikTok here may signal that Irish people are sick of bad-tempered exchanges and misinformation on more established social channels, and are looking for more upbeat social media channels.

According to Facebook Ads data, Instagram is now used by 2.6m Irish people, compared to 2.7m people here using Facebook. However, the Instagram figures are up 500,000 on six months ago, while Facebook’s user figures have not changed in that time.

Separately, TikTok is now used by 2.1m Irish people, a huge jump on previous years. This is far higher than the 1.5m Irish people Twitter says it has as an audience.

“By March, or maybe even sooner, we might see Instagram become bigger in Ireland than the social network that bought it,” said Mulley Communications founder Damien Mulley, who analysed the Facebook and TikTok data.

Instagram’s growth is mainly among Irish adults, according to the figures.

Meanwhile, Facebook has grown among those who are aged 65 and over, with 234,000 pensioners currently on the platform.

The figures suggest that among Irish people aged under 25, TikTok now has more users than Facebook and Instagram combined.

Meanwhile, just 8pc of Facebook and Instagram users are teenagers.

“Meta is still the king of social – but TikTok is scooping up the younger demographic,” Mr Mulley said. Meta is the new corporate name for Facebook’s overall company.

A spokesperson for Facebook declined to share exact numbers of Facebook or Instagram users in Ireland.

However, she said that the ad network figures may vary from the number of ‘active’ users on Facebook and Instagram.

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“Estimates are not designed to match census population or other sources, and may differ depending on factors such as how many accounts are used per person,” she said.

The age demographics may also be skewed by some users lying about their age.

Recent research conducted among 4,000 primary school children by CyberSafeKids revealed that a massive 84pc of children use at least one social media or messaging service, such as Snapchat or TikTok.

However, because the minimum age restrictions for users on all of the popular social media platforms is 13, many children say that they are given permission by their parents to lie about their age when joining.

According to the CyberSafeKids survey, almost a third of children in the survey said that they could “go online whenever I want”. And 13pc said that there are “no rules”.

Most of the kids polled said they openly talk to parents about their online activities.

A spokesman for Twitter said the company does not disclose “market-specific” information, adding that its global “daily active users” figure is up 13pc to 211m users on last year.

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