Categories: Mobile Apps

Most mobile users regularly use only a handful of apps. Chances are, at least one of these is a social media app. After all, US users spend a solid 51% of their five hours of app time on social media and messaging apps.

But social media app usage varies with geography, according to recent research from Internet Service Providers. The research used data from SimilarWeb and Google Trends to rank social media apps based on how frequently each state searched for them.

The results give insight into who’s using which apps – and what social networking trends lie ahead.

Wait, people actually use Google+?

Twitter didn't even rank on the top 5 social apps.

Twitter didn’t even rank on the top 5 social apps.

In what might come as a surprise, Google+ was among the country’s top-searched social media apps. It ranked number 1 in Washington, California, Texas, Florida and much of the east coast.

Not bad for an app that never really made much of a splash. Even now the app only has 111 million global users, compared with Facebook’s whopping 2 billion. But the uptick in searches for Google+ indicates that something is changing. Especially when you consider that it’s a winner in tech-forward states like Washington and California. Watch this space.

Snapchat taps into states with younger demos

Snapchat might be struggling after its recent update, but it’s still a big player in a number of states – primarily in the south. Most popular in Mississippi, it was also a big hitter in Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Massively popular with Gen Z audiences, Snapchat seems to be tapping into a younger audience that doesn’t see as much relevance in apps like Instagram or Facebook.

Pinterest targets scrapbook lovers and hobbyists

The changing network of social media apps.

The changing network of social media apps.

The third most popularly searched social network was photo-pinning app Pinterest. Pinterest lets users create and share themed virtual scrapbooks, making it ideal for DIY tips and design ideas.

Pinterest ranked highest in South Dakota, with Connecticut, Idaho, Oregon and Utah among its biggest fans.

Facebook and Instagram are…on their way out?

We’ve been hearing it for a while, but the influence of behemoth Facebook is on the wane. Gen Z’s attention is elsewhere, and FB has pretty much tapped out the rest of the market. That said, Facebook still remains popular in states including West Virginia, Alaska, Alabama, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

Coming in behind Facebook was Instagram, which led the way only in Hawaii, Nebraska and DC. IG’s lessening impact might be partly related to its acquisition by Facebook – which has duplicated some of its features.

Could niche social media apps be the next big thing?

It’s not just Gen Z that’s looking for a more tailored experience. Hobbyists and fans in sports, entertainment and more are building their own social networks. Think online forums or Facebook groups, only upgraded for today’s users. MLB has Infield Chatter. Tumblr’s video fans now have Cabana. And there’s likely more to come.

Niche social networking may not be good news for the major social networks, but it could be a goldmine for smaller businesses looking to connect with their users. Mapping interests by state and targeting apps accordingly could be the way to go.

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