Social Networks: Users in Germany and Worldwide

In this article I will provide

  • an overview over the number of users of the 10 most relevant social networks in Germany in 2014,
  • a comparison of these data with the corresponding worldwide figures and
  • a breakdown of the German data by sex and by age.

That sounds promising but before we come to the results I have to warn you:

  • I did not do primarly research on my own. Instead I chose desk-research, collected research findings and data from different sources and brought them all together in some few tables.
  • Some data I found did not match with others – so I had to tell good from better by judgement
  • Most of the data were originally “produced” at different moments in time, generated with different methods and techniques or based on different samples.
  • Even the definitions of so basic entities as “user” were not completely identical throughout my data-stack.

So from a puristic, methodological point of view I should stop here, thank you for your attention so far and close this article.

However I decided to go on. Here are my reasons:

  • I know that there is quite a number of people out there working on quite a similar tasks, putting up with exactly the same inconsistencies and methodological hurdles. So this might provide some encouragement and help to them.
  • And since I did my best when evaluating the sources, applying the forecasts and judging the mismatches – in the end I believe: My results are sufficiently close to the “truth” given by reality.
  • Of course more precision, actuality and consistency is possible. But to achieve a truely higher quality level, I believe one should rather perform primarly research himself.


The 10 most relevant Social Networks in Germany


So this says e.g. that the German population older than 13 years represents 1.3% of the corresponding world-population.

The best implemented network in Germany is WhatsApp, followed by Youtube. One could argue that WhatsApp isn’t a social network. This would reduce the list to 9. In other words: There is no next social network behind the curtain waiting anxiously to jump on the list. The so called “longtail” is quite thin.

In the corresponding table (just click the diagram) I have XING and Stayfriends listet too but they would have blown the grafical representation. Both are dominant in the German spoken region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and not very much anywhere else.

None of the “VZ-Netze” (, is listet here or later because I do not consider them sufficiently relevant. From my point of view they will be closed shortly.

On the other hand I’d consider, a cooking-network quite relevant but could not produce any plausible data about it yet. Chefkoch shall be a subject of an article later this year.

Social Networks in Germany by Gender and Age


Now this diagram says e.g. that 35 million Germans over 13 are male and 36 millions are female.

Since I did not find current infos on the German gendersplit for Youtube and WhatsApp they could not be shown here. The same applies for the agesplit in the next diagram.


And here we have now the split over the 3 agegroups (which derive from a Bitkom study. You’ll find it in the source-list).

It does seem even a little ignorant that the largest group “50+” is not split into smaller pieces. Obviously there are several quite distinct subgroups in the “golden-ager-range”, maybe more as between 20 and 50 years – if you simply go by mental abilities.

But for a first insight this might do. It shows for instance that the number of social network users in these 3 groups is more or less the same, something between 10 and 15 millions.


Most of the sources here are written in German (and this whole article is in German language available too, just click the German flag in the top). A few of the sources however are written in English language, they are marked with an “E” in front.


I plan to continue with this subject in a rather loose frequency, let’s say once or twice a year or so. Therefor I would highly appreciate any comment from your side which helps to straighten my calculations, align my assumptions and complete my data. Thanks in advance.

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