Welcome back to your favourite monthly breakdown of all things social media! As the leaves have officially turned and we have embraced the cosy vibes of October, it’s time to unwrap the most key updates, trends, and platform changes that have been released in the past few weeks. This is the October 2023 edition of The Lighthouse Social’s Social Media Updates, and as always, we have a treasure trove of insights for you!

Hosted by Luan Wise solo this month, we covered a lot in this session. To view the full video, click below:

Ready? Let’s get started!

Data Insights

Overview of Social Media Use

Here are some of the key points from “Data Reportal’s Digital 2023 October Global Statshot Report

  1. Global Social Media User Identities: As of October 2023, the number of social media user identities globally stands at approximately 4.95 billion.
  2. Growth Trends:
    1. Quarter-on-Quarter Growth: There has been a growth of 1.6%, or 76 million new social media user identities, from the previous quarter.
    2. Year-on-Year Growth: Social media user identities have seen a rise of 4.5% compared to the same month in the previous year, which translates to an addition of 215 million identities.
  3. User Penetration:
    1. Social media user identities account for 61.4% of the total global population.
    2. 80.8% of individuals aged 18 and above have a presence on social media.
    3. 93.5% of individuals using the internet also use social media.
  4. Average Time Spent on Social Media: Users, on average, spend 2 hours and 24 minutes on social media daily. This is a decrease of 2.5% or 4 minutes compared to the previous year.
  5. Diversity of Platform Use: On average, users are active on 6.7 social media platforms each month. This is a decline of 6.9%, which means users are exploring half a platform less compared to the previous year.
  6. Gender Distribution:
    1. Female users make up 46.4% of the total social media user identities.
    2. Male users constitute 53.6% of the total social media user identities.

Social Media Use Over Time (QOQ)

Again from Data Reportal, it was found that starting in October 2021, the number of social media user identities was approximately 4.546 billion. Fast forward two years to October 2023, this number has risen to about 4.951 billion.

Since July 2023, there has been a 1.6% increase in social media usage, which is the largest QOQ increase since October 2021 – January 2022. This surge suggests that more people are either joining social media or existing users are increasing their engagement. 

The World’s Most Used Social Platforms

Currently, the world’s most used social platform is Facebook, with 3.03 billion active users. YouTube is second with 2.49 billion users, closely followed by WhatsApp with 2 billion users. On the other end of the scale, Snapchat has 750 million users and Pinterest has 465 million users.

Yaccarino Shares X Insights

During the Code 2023 Conference, X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared a range of key data insights on X user behaviour.

  • Users are spending 14% more time on X, showcasing the platform’s growing popularity and user engagement.
  • There has been a substantial 20% increase in video content consumption on X
  • Gen-Z stands out as both the largest and fastest-growing demographic on X, with approximately 200 million monthly active Gen Z users, making up about 40% of the platform’s total user base.
  • X’s users facilitate over 500 million posts every single day.
  • The platform is experiencing steady growth in its user base, with 1.5 million new sign-ups every day.
  • Yaccarino’s data indicates a 4% year-over-year increase in new user sign-ups.
  • X is observing a noteworthy growth in content creators.

More detailed statistics and insights can be found at Social Media Today.

…But, it is not all positive 

According to a report by Big Technology, there has been a noticeable decline in the user base of the company acquired by Elon Musk in October 2022. 

The company witnessed a drop of approximately 13% in its daily active users since the acquisition. 

Furthermore, the decision to rebrand from Twitter to X seems to have exacerbated this downward trend. The graph from Big Technology shows a sharp decline around the time of Musk’s purchase and the subsequent rebranding to X.

More information can be found at Social Media Today

Snapchat’s Unique Audience Reach

Social Media Today broke down a recent report released by Snapchat.

A big find was that:

“In the U.S., the research found that 43% of daily Snapchatters aged 16+ do not use TikTok every day, 39% do not use Facebook every day, 53% do not use YouTube every day and 69% do not use Twitter/X every day.”

For social media marketers, this means Snapchat reaches a distinct segment of the population that may not be as active on other major platforms. This provides marketers an opportunity to target an audience that might otherwise be overlooked on platforms like TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter/X.

Understanding that a significant chunk of Snapchatters aren’t daily users of other platforms implies a difference in content consumption habits. Marketers may need to craft Snapchat-specific content that caters to the platform’s unique audience and consumption patterns if Snapchat is relevant to your brand.

You can read Snapchat’s full report here.

New Features


  • Broadcast Channels: Meta integrates Telegram-like broadcast channels into Facebook and Messenger.
  • Generative AI for Advertisers: The platform introduces generative AI features targeting advertisers.
  • Ad Options for Facebook Reels: New ad options have been revealed for Facebook Reels. ‘Collection Ads’ are now available, where people can swipe through products.
  • Ad-Free Subscription: Meta is considering an ad-free subscription offer at $14 per month.


  • Polls in Comment Streams: Users can now add polls in comment streams on feed posts and Reels.
  • Multiple Group Stories Sharing: Instagram introduces an option to share Stories with multiple group lists simultaneously.
  • Channel Stickers: Create customer stickers using your own images.


  • Profile Verification: LinkedIn is extending its profile verification feature to a broader user base.
  • Collaborative Articles: The platform introduces updates for collaborative articles.
  • Profile CTA Expansion: LinkedIn is enlarging the display reach of its profile Call To Action (CTA) buttons.
  • Generative AI Elements: LinkedIn introduces generative AI elements to its Recruiter and Learning segments.
  • Text Accessibility Options: LinkedIn adds new text accessibility features for its publisher posts.


In the recent Q3 earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg shared an insight about the growth of Threads.

“I want to give a quick update on Threads. We’re three months in now, and I’m very happy with the trajectory. There are just under 100 million monthly actives at this point, and we’re now getting to the point where we’re going to be focusing on growing the community further. From what we can tell, people love it so far. I’ve thought for a long time that there should be a billion-person public conversations app that’s a bit more positive, and I think that if we keep at this for a few more years then I think we have a good chance of achieving our vision there.”

You can also view the full summary here.

Threads are clearly confident and it will be interesting to see what develops in the future.

  • No News, But is it Good News?: Adam Mosseri recently shared that Threads is “not going to amplify news on the platform. To do so would be too risky given the maturity of the platform“. With many people heading to social media for ‘search’ and ‘news’ purposes, this may alter how you intend to use Threads for business purposes.
  • InterConnectivity: Threads integrates Instagram profile tags, increasing app interconnectivity. This feature will also appear on Facebook.
  • Threads Features: Threads introduces post editing (within the first 5 minutes) and voice note options.
  • Separate Account Deletion: Meta confirms a separate account deletion feature for Threads set to launch by December.

Twitter (X)

  • Premium Tiers: Elon Musk reveals X’s plans to unveil two new premium account tiers.
  • Paris Hilton Partnership: X unveils a pink app icon as part of a collaboration with Paris Hilton.
  • Community Notes Reference: A new source reference prerequisite has been set for community notes.
  • Verified Accounts Control: X introduces a feature allowing only verified accounts to reply to a post.
  • Expanded Profile Bios: The web version of the X app will feature extended profile bios. This can help you be found by others.
  • Upcoming Features for Communities: X gives a sneak peek into new elements soon to be added to Communities, including Pinned Communities and Search.
  • Premium Subscribers Exclusive: X is reserving its audio and video call feature exclusively for Premium subscribers.
  • Source Reference Requirement: To support credibility, X is now requiring source references within Communities.


  • Profile Verification: LinkedIn is extending its profile verification feature to a broader user base.
  • Collaborative Articles: The platform introduces updates for collaborative articles. People who consistently contribute to articles will receive a ‘Top Voice’ badge. The badges are reviewed every 60 days. Therefore, LinkedIn encourages continuous contributions.
  • Profile CTA Expansion: LinkedIn is enlarging the display reach of its profile Call To Action (CTA) buttons, but this is a premium feature.
  • Generative AI Elements: LinkedIn introduces generative AI elements to its Recruiter and Learning segments.
  • Text Accessibility Options: LinkedIn adds new text accessibility features for its publisher posts:
    • Content Isolation: Enhance your reading experience by focusing solely on the content that matters to you and isolating the main text from distractions.
    • Picture Display for Common Words: Comprehend articles with picture cues for frequently used words.
    • Speech Highlights: Follow along by using dynamic speech highlights that help you read with clarity.
    • Syllable Splitting: Break down complex words into syllables, making it easier to grasp and pronounce new terms.
    • Real-Time Translations: Utilise active instant translations designed to help overcome language barriers.
    • Text to Speech: Consume information audibly as articles are read aloud.


  • Auto-Captions: All videos will now come with default auto-captions.
  • Disney Partnership: TikTok announces a new collaboration with Disney in honour of the 100-year anniversary.
  • Halloween Specials: New voice effects, augmented reality, and hashtags for Halloween.
  • Out of Phone Ad Option: TikTok introduces an ‘out of phone’ ad option to broadcast clips on diverse platforms.
    • Out of Phone: Billboard:
      • Transfers TikTok campaigns to physical billboards worldwide.
      • Brands initiate campaigns on TikTok and amplify them on billboards to reach broader audiences.
    • Out of Phone: Cinema:
      • Transports TikTok experience to cinema screens.
      • Audiences view top TikTok content during pre-shows.
      • Brands can advertise alongside this content.
    • Out of Phone: Other Screens:
      • Delivers TikTok content to various screens globally, including venues like bars, restaurants, airports, and gas stations.
      • Bespoke partnerships tailor the experience to different locations and spaces.
      • Regular content updates.
  • Direct Posting Partnerships: The platform now allows direct video posting from AI-powered Adobe apps, Capcut, Twitch, and more.
  • Ad-Free Subscription: TikTok is testing an ad-free subscription service.
  • Creative Assistant: The ‘creative assistant’ can assist in the ad creation process.


  • Amazon’s Social Shopping Features: TechCrunch reports on Amazon adding social shopping features, including an option to seek product feedback from friends.


  1. Generative AI features are growing
  2. Ad-free options on social media platforms seems to be in the works
  3. Accessibility features are becoming more advanced
  4. Many platforms, especially X, are still pay to play
  5. Get ready for the holiday season

Food for thoughtHow popular do you think Ad-free social media platforms would be? Will this impact paid social media marketing significantly?

Tinisha Osu is a Marketing Executive with two degrees in Psychology. She is the first-author of a published psychology paper and is beginning her career in marketing through blog-writing, creating social media content and running marketing campaigns.