Social Media in Australia

Social media in Australia has grown unabated recently, fundamentally changing how we connect, consume information, and conduct business. Let's dive into the Aussie social media landscape, exploring the major players, their functionalities, and some social commentary on their ownership.

The Usual Social Media Suspect of Aussies


    • Launch Date: February 2005
    • Owner: Alphabet Inc. (Google)
    • Milestones: YouTube revolutionized online video sharing, offering a platform for creators to showcase their talent and content.
    • User Type: YouTube enjoys widespread popularity in Australia, serving as a destination for entertainment, education, and user-generated content.
    • Most Popular Demographic: YouTube appeals to users across age groups, with a significant presence among younger demographics and increasing adoption among older generations. Aussies use it for everything from news and entertainment to education and fitness (78.2% of users).
      Post Types: Content on YouTube spans a wide range, including vlogs, tutorials, music videos, and documentaries.
    • Latest Monthly Stats: Jan 2024: 18,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source


    • Launch Date: February 2004
    • Owner: Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.)
    • Milestones: Facebook's entry into the Australian market marked a turning point in social media usage, quickly becoming a dominant force in the digital sphere.
    • User Types: Despite scrutiny over privacy concerns and misinformation, usage shows signs of plateauing (77.7% users); Facebook remains a giant for connecting with friends and family.
    • Most Popular Demographic: Facebook boasts a diverse user base, but it particularly resonates with older demographics.
    • Post Types: Users engage in various content types, including status updates, photos, videos, and shared articles.
    • Latest Monthly Stats: Jan 2024: 19,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source


    • Launch Date: May 2003
    • Registered Users: 11.99 million users.
    • Owner: Microsoft Corporation
      Milestones: LinkedIn revolutionized professional networking, offering a platform for career development, recruitment, and industry insights.
      User Types: LinkedIn has a niche but influential user base in Australia, particularly among professionals, job seekers, and businesses.
      Most Popular Demographic: LinkedIn is primarily used by working professionals, job seekers, and businesses for networking and career-related activities.
      Post Types: LinkedIn content includes professional updates, industry news, job postings, and thought leadership articles.
    • Latest Monthly Stats: Jan 2024: 6,500,000 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source


    • Launch Date: October 2010
    • Owner: Meta Platforms, Inc.
    • Milestones: Instagram's emphasis on visual storytelling increased its popularity in Australia and globally, reshaping how users share moments and experiences.
    • User Type: With its visually appealing interface and diverse content creators, Instagram continues to captivate Australian users, particularly among younger demographics.
    • Most Popular Demographic: Instagram skews toward younger audiences, with a significant presence among millennials and Gen Z.
    • Post Types: Instagram revolves around photo and video sharing, with features like Stories, Reels, and IGTV driving engagement.
    • Latest Monthly Stats: Feb 2024: 13,940,800 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source


    • Launch Date: September 2016 (as Douyin in China); September 2017 (as TikTok internationally)
    • Owner: ByteDance
    • Milestones: TikTok revolutionized short-form video content, offering a platform for creativity, entertainment, and viral trends.
    • Usage Type: TikTok has experienced explosive growth in Australia, captivating users with its engaging and immersive video format.  TikTok's short-form video format has taken Australia by storm (41.5% of users). It's a platform for entertainment, challenges, and even educational content.
    • Most Popular Demographic: TikTok appeals to a broad range of demographics, with a particularly strong presence among Gen Z and younger millennials.
    • Post Types: TikTok content primarily consists of short videos set to music, featuring a wide range of content, including lip-syncing, dance challenges, comedy sketches, and educational content.
    • Latest Monthly Stats: Jan 2024: 8,500,000 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source

X (formerly Twitter):

    • Launch Date: July 2006
    • Owner: X Corp (Elon Musk).
    • Milestones: Twitter emerged as a platform for real-time news, conversations, and cultural discourse, shaping public opinion and discourse.
    • User Types: While not as dominant as other platforms, Twitter maintains a significant presence in Australia, particularly among journalists, politicians, and influencers.
    • Most Popular Demographic: Twitter attracts users across age groups, but it is especially popular among professionals, activists, and those interested in current events.
    • Post Types: Tweets range from text-based thoughts to links, images, and videos, fostering conversations and debates on various topics.
    • Changes: While the ownership structure recently changed, X remains a platform for short-form messaging, news updates, and connecting with communities of interest. It boasts 6 million monthly active Australian users.
    • Latest Monthly Stats: Jan 2024: 6,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source.


  • Launch Date: September 2011
  • Owner: Snap Inc.
    Milestones: Snapchat introduced ephemeral messaging and Stories, fostering a new casual, real-time communication era.
    User Types: While not as pervasive as some other platforms, Snapchat maintains a dedicated user base in Australia, particularly among younger demographics seeking quick, visual communication.
    Most Popular Demographic: Snapchat is popular among teenagers and young adults who value its spontaneity and privacy features.
    Post Types: Snapchat's primary features include Snaps (photos and videos) and Stories, offering a glimpse into users' daily lives.
  • Latest Monthly Stats: Jan 2024: 7,850,000 Monthly Active Australian Users Social Media News Australia: Source

What are Aussies Sharing?

Images and videos reign supreme, followed by text updates and links. Interestingly, there's a growing trend of using social media for work-related activities (30.7% users) and even as a news source (25.1% users).

Who's Using It?

Social media penetration in Australia is high, with roughly 81% of the population being active users. Interestingly, the gender gap is closing, with women making up a slight majority (54.2%).

A Critical Eye: Owning the Conversation

The dominance of Meta (Facebook and Instagram) raises concerns about data privacy and the potential for manipulation of information feeds. Similarly, foreign ownership of these platforms can lead to questions about aligning their interests with Australian values.

Commentary on Owners:

Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.): Meta has faced significant scrutiny over privacy issues, data handling practices, and its role in spreading misinformation. While Facebook remains popular, its reputation has been tarnished by controversies.

Snap Inc.: Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, has garnered praise for its innovation and focus on user privacy. However, it faces criticism for handling user data and competition with larger tech giants.

Alphabet Inc. (Google): As the owner of YouTube, Google is often praised for its vast resources and commitment to user experience. However, concerns over content moderation, copyright infringement, and algorithmic bias persist.

Twitter, Inc.: Twitter has been lauded for facilitating free speech, activism, and public discourse. Yet, the platform has struggled with issues such as harassment, misinformation, and content moderation.

Microsoft Corporation: Microsoft's ownership of LinkedIn lends credibility to its platform, emphasizing professionalism and trust. However, some users criticize LinkedIn for its cluttered interface and focus on corporate culture.

ByteDance: As the owner of TikTok, ByteDance has faced scrutiny over data privacy concerns and its ties to the Chinese government. While TikTok has been praised for its entertainment value and creativity, it also grapples with issues related to content moderation, including misinformation and inappropriate content.

The Takeaway: A Connected Continent

Social media is an undeniable force in Australian life. While user preferences evolve and ownership structures raise questions, one thing's for sure: Aussies will continue to leverage these platforms for connection, information, and, of course, a good laugh (think wholesome memes).

Social media in Australia reflects a dynamic and multifaceted landscape, with platforms catering to diverse interests, demographics, and communication styles. While each platform has strengths and weaknesses, their collective impact on society underscores the need for ongoing dialogue and scrutiny regarding privacy, misinformation, and digital ethics. As users navigate this ever-evolving digital terrain, understanding the nuances of each platform and its ownership can empower informed and responsible engagement in the online sphere.

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