eMarketer Is High on Pinterest, Instagram for 2017; Tumblr? Not So Much

Facebook and Twitter are stable, Pinterest and Instagram are rising and Tumblr is tumbling

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Facebook and Twitter are stable, Pinterest and Instagram are rising and Tumblr is tumbling.

eMarketer released its latest projections for social network users in the U.S., and its findings for each social network follow:


eMarketer’s forecast for U.S. users in 2017 remains unchanged: It predicts 171.4 million, up 2.7 percent from 2016.

150.2 million U.S. users will access Facebook via smartphones in 2017, the researcher said, while 79.2 million will do so via desktops or laptops.


Like Facebook, projections for Twitter remain unchanged: 53.3 million U.S. people, up 1.9 percent from last year.

eMarketer lowered its estimates for mobile Twitter users to 47.4 million people in the U.S., or 88.9 percent of Twitter users, after previously projecting the latter at 91.9 percent.


eMarketer bumped up its usage-growth projection for Instagram in the U.S. to 12.5 percent, but it cautioned that 2017 will be the last year of double-digit growth for the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network.

The researcher pegged Instagram for 77 million U.S. users in 2017, dropping its estimates for those between the ages of 12 and 17. Principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson wrote:

While teens and young adults continue to make up the majority of Instagram’s user base, people their parents’ age are starting to become more of a presence. And this age group has a lot more disposable income, so they’re likely to be very attractive to advertisers.


eMarketer sees Pinterest users in the U.S. rising 9.2 percent in 2017 and reaching 69 million, up from the 58.1 million users it projected last August. The company added that it upped its projections in every age group.

Adults 35 through 44 represent Pinterest’s highest usage group in the U.S., and eMarketer said that while the social network is still female-dominated, more men are beginning to use it, as well. Williamson wrote:

The sweet spot for Pinterest usage remains within the 25-through-44 age group, but the number of teens on the service is expected to rise this year, as well. Pinterest has done a good job improving the way it surfaces relevant pins for users, and that will help drive ongoing usage.

Men are pinning about fashion and style (a category also popular among female users), but they also gravitate to Pinterest for interests such as cooking and travel.


eMarketer slashed its growth outlook for Tumblr by more than one-half, projecting 2017 U.S. user growth of 4.1 percent to 22 million users, down from last August’s prediction of 25.2 million.

The company sees Tumblr added just 1.9 million U.S. users by 2021, far behind the other social networks. Forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco wrote:

Although Tumblr has been focused on becoming more adaptable for mobile devices–announcing Snapchat-like features like filters and overlay stickers–it will need to create a substantially more differentiated product if it wishes to compete with the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. Moreover, the platform dealt with its own hacking scandal in which over 65 million emails and passwords were breached. The service has also struggled to find enough advertisers, which appear to be unimpressed by its ad products.

Readers: What are your thoughts on eMarketer’s revised U.S. social media usage projections for 2017?

Image courtesy of rvlsoft/iStock.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: February 1, 2017 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/emarketer-revised-2017-us-social-network-usage-projections/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT