Summary of our market study

The French digital advertising market is estimated to be worth over 8 billion euros by 2022

Since 2020, the social media market continues to be a dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape, particularly with the rise of new platforms and the continued growth of established networks.

Facebook has retained its position as the industry giant, with sales of $113.6 billion in 2022. However, the emergence of TikTok as a major player, with estimated sales of $9.4 billion in 2022, illustrates the shift in user preferences towards short, engaging video content.

The sector has been driven by a combination of network effects and innovative advertising models that harness user data for targeted marketing, with ad revenues capturing a significant share of the market, as evidenced by platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.

This growth is occurring against a backdrop of heightened regulatory scrutiny, particularly with GDPR in Europe and similar laws focusing on the protection of user data and privacy.

Youth participation continues to shape market trends, with platforms like Instagram and Snapchat leading the way among users aged 16 to 25.

Trends in social network use and demand

With the global explosion in user numbers, the influence of social networks is spreading across all demographics, reaching between 3.8 and 4.8 billion individuals by 2023.

This growth, a near-tripling over an 11-year period, is staggering, and d nearly 60% of the population uses social media

Video streaming leaders and giants such as YouTube take center stage. Facebook boasts nearly 3 billion active users. Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger follow suit, ensuring Meta's colossal presence in people's daily digital habits.

Meta's sales target is $134 billion by 2023, mainly driven by online advertising.

The French context reflects this prosperity, with a digital advertising market valued at over 8 billion euros in 2022, including over 2 billion euros for social networks, showing an average annual growth rate of around 15% between 2019 and 2022.

The profile of the user base in France shows a diversified audience, with 52% women and 48.4% men.

The average user manages nearly 6 accounts and spends over an hour and a half of his or her daily schedule interacting with social networks.

Mobile access dominates the user experience, particularly for the younger generation. Among young people (16-25), preferences are changing and trends are evolving rapidly. Instagram now captures 90% of this energetic segment, while Facebook's hold is diminishing from 93% to less than 50%.

Professional networks like LinkedIn are gaining younger followers, further diversifying the user base. The user experience is also shaped by changing habits, with non-text modes of communication in vogue.

Vertical viewing formats, instant messaging and audio content are gaining in popularity, as demonstrated by the rise of TikTok

As far as monetization is concerned, although the main offers remain free, networks are exploiting user data for marketing purposes.

In the vast and constantly evolving world of social media, several behemoths dominate the landscape

  • Meta Platforms Inc (formerly Facebook) has expanded its empire to include Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
  • Microsoft - On the professional front, Microsoft's LinkedIn is a bastion of career-focused networking.
  • Twitter - Acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk
  • Snap Inc. - Famous for pioneering ephemeral content with Snapchat
  • Pinterest - Tapping into the human penchant for visual inspiration
  • Amazon - With Twitch , Amazon has secured a central position in the video game sector.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Social networks are websites where users can build up a network of friends and acquaintances, using tools and interfaces to communicate and interact. Social networks - or social media - encompass quite different realities: "classic" social networks such as Facebook, instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp, video streaming applications such as YouTube and Twitch , and certain blogs are all considered social media.

Most of the companies in this sector are based in the United States, particularly in California, but their activities are expanding worldwide across the web. Facebook, for example, has bought up a number of emerging players (notably Instagram and WhatsApp) in order to limit competition in a business characterized by fashion effects that can lead to rapid changes in consumption. As a result, companies in the sector continue to invest a significant proportion of their revenues in R&D and feature development, with the aim of maintaining interest among their customers and users.

The sector has enjoyed uninterrupted growth since 2008, and continues to expand with the arrival of new players and new functionalities. The sales of the leader(Facebook) reached over US$117 billion in 2022, with a CAGR of 28.16% since 2014, thanks to online advertising (this study also contains an estimate of the sector's market size in France in 2022).

The sector is characterized by GAFAM takeovers of the vast majority of social networking platforms. These social networks play a central role in global connectivity between individuals and in spreading the soft power of these brands ( Instragam and WattsApp for Facebook, Linkedin for Microsoft, Youtube for Google and Twitch for Amazon)

Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter in 2022 for $44 billion highlights the crucial role played by social media in today's economy. It also underscores the imperative for certain companies to rethink their business model in order to remain viable, by implementing a paid subscription model, for example.

The arrival of TikTok brought about an evolution in users' consumption habits, prompting them to switch from predominantly horizontal content, averaging around ten minutes in length, to very short, entertaining content in vertical format. This trend was quickly adopted by all other social networks.

Faced with the emergence of Chinese giant TikTok and the need to develop more sustainable business models, social networks have had to adjust. Nevertheless, the sector continues to be driven by a steady growth in the number of new users with access to the Internet, and therefore to social networks.

1.2 The global social networking market

Over the years, the number of users has grown steadily, reaching *.*** billion in ****, with an average annual growth rate of *.*%. Over an **-year period, this cumulative growth amounts to ***%. By ****, almost **.*% of the population will be using social networks, compared with less than **% in ****.

Number of social network users World, ****-****, ...

1.3 The French social networking market: 3 billion euros in France by 2022

Estimated market through digital advertising on social networks :[***]

As the business model of social networks is based on online advertising (***), we can estimate their sales in France through the digital advertising market.

The digital advertising market is estimated at €*.* billion in ****, up **.*% on ****, based on Search, Social, Display and other levers ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Profile of social network users

The Digital Report **** - We Are Social France study reports on the use of social networks by the French.

Profile and behavior of Internet users aged ** to ** on social networks:

Active on a social network or messaging service last month: **.*% Average number of accounts per user: *.* Frequency of use: * h ** per ...

2.2 Analysis of users by type of social network

France's favorite networks:

We note that the social networks preferred by the French are the major American networks. Note the high use of Snapchat in France (***)

Ranking of social networks most used by the French France, ****, in % Source: ****

Analysis of user behavior by social network: [***]

We note that the networks are ...

2.3 Focus on social networking among young people

It's important to analyze the use of social networks by young people, as they are the main users and often the trendsetters.

The graph below shows several key facts about the use of social networks by young people:

We note the breakthrough of Instagram since ****, which is now the social network ...

2.4 How companies use social networks

The use of social networks by businesses has been growing over the last ten years: according to Insee, in ****, **% of companies were present on social networks, compared with **% in ****.

There are disparities by sector, with **% of companies in the information and communication sector using a social network, followed by accommodation and ...

2.5 France's favorite social networks

The graph below is based on OpinionWay's survey of French people's favorite brands in February ****. For each network, the percentage corresponds to the proportion of respondents who answered "yes".

YouTube is France's favorite social network, with **. *% of respondents saying they liked it. TikTok is the least popular social network, with only ...

3 Market structure

3.1 A business model based on digital advertising ...

By using user data, social networks can be powerful online marketing and advertising tools for brands (***).

Mobile devices (***) account for the vast majority of online advertising revenues on social networks, and by ****, they will account for **% of revenues, i.e. €*.* billion of the €*.* billion in social revenues.

Social network advertising revenues ...

3.2 ... and network effects to capture a maximum number of users

A network effect (***) is the effect described in economics and business when the addition of an extra user of a good or service has an impact on the value of that product to others. When a network effect is present, the value of a product or service increases according to the ...

3.3 The role of influencers in the social networking ecosystem

Influencers are individuals who, because of their strong influence on one or more social networks, are suitable media for advertising and marketing (***). Brands call on them to promote their products, either directly in **% of cases, or through specialized influencer marketing or communications agencies in the rest. [***]

Instagram is widely preferred by ...

3.4 Elon Musk's Twitter takeover and name change: A Western Wechat?

Elon Musk bought Twitter on April **, ****, for $** billion. His takeover was prompted by several motivations, notably around freedom of expression and the ultra-progressive ideology permeating Twitter... In his view, it is important for the future of civilization to have an online public space where a wide variety of opinions can be ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology of the main social networks

Below, we report on the main social networks used in France - classifying them by major type. A great many social networks have been created around the world since the advent of the Internet, some of which have died out. Fads and fashions can be very common in this market.

Classic" ...

4.2 Behind free for consumers, a growing monetization trend

Access to social networks is free for almost all of them. The platform's primary aim is to attract users and develop the network effect that is its strength. It's only once the network has reached a phase of relative "maturity" that monetization begins. However, not all platforms use the same method ...

4.3 A market driven by innovation

Non-verbal communication is on the rise, and is helping to revitalize the market: The text format continues to be used by a large majority of users. Nevertheless, this classic communication increasingly coexists with a form of non-verbal such as stories, as well as audio communication, widely used on WhatsApp. Audio also ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Major regulatory changes

Changes prompted by the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal

On March **, ****, The New York Times and The Guardian revealed that, in ****, the Cambridge Analytica company had harvested data from tens of millions of Facebook users in the United States in order to offer them targeted advertising that could influence their vote in favor ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • LinkedIn
  • Meta (anciennement Facebook)
  • Instagram (Meta)
  • WhatsApp (Meta)
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • Youtube
  • Pinterest
  • Viadeo JDN
  • Discord
  • Networks Groupe
  • Quora
  • Reddit
  • Telegram
  • Telegram
  • Tik Tok
  • Twitch

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Ranking of the world's most popular social networks
  • Meta Group (Facebook/ WhatsApp/ Instagram) worldwide sales growth
  • Number of social network users
  • Digital advertising market trends in the "Social" segment
  • Breakdown of the digital advertising market by major levers
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Latest news

Meta launches its first augmented reality headset! - 28/09/2023
  • The new Quest 3 virtual reality headset will be available from October 10.
  • The Quest 3 offers "mixed" reality, i.e. augmented reality, while its predecessor Quest 2, released in 2020, offers basic virtual reality.
  • Apple's Vision Pro headset, which also offers augmented reality, will be seven times more expensive than the Quest 3.
  • The Quest 3 will cost $500 for 128 gigabytes of storage (550 euros in France), while the Quest 2 is priced at $300 for 128 GB.
  • Meta has already sold some twenty million headsets, despite losses running into tens of billions of dollars for its Reality Labs division
  • Microsoft's cloud gaming platform will be available on the Quest from December.
  • Purchases of games and apps on the Quest Store have exceeded $2 billion.
Discord reaches 500 million downloads - 21/09/2022
  • Discord has surpassed 500 million downloads worldwide.
  • The app was launched in 2015.
  • The main age group of users is Generation Z (16-24).
  • Discord surpassed 100 million downloads for the first time in April 2019.
  • Downloads grew 93% month-on-month in March 2020 and 101% month-on-month in September 2020.
  • The app has penetrated new spheres of entertainment outside gaming.
  • The global pandemic has accelerated the growth of communication apps, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Pinterest aims to develop e-commerce - 07/07/2022
  • By 2022, Pinterest will have more than 400 million monthly users worldwide
  • Pinterest has a new CEO, Bill Ready, whose ambition is to develop e-commerce and turn its platform into a sales vehicle
  • Sellers can display the products they offer on the site
  • Using a pin system, Pinterest facilitates the purchase of products discovered by consumers on the site
With a new boss, Pinterest focuses more on e-commerce - 29/06/2022
  • The online image catalog had taken advantage of the health crisis to attract new users
  • Pinterest passes the $50 billion mark on the stock market
  • Pinterest counts 430 million users
  • Pinterest attempts to develop the purchase of goods through its platform.
  • In 2020, the platform launched a partnership with Shopify enabling users to purchase products they had discovered on Pinterest.
From its creation to its success, TikTok in four figures" - 09/09/2021
  • Tik Tok to have 1.7 billion active users by 2022
  • Sales for the same year are estimated at $94 billion, compared with $4.6 billion in 2021.
  • The average time spent per user on the platform is 95 minutes per day in 2022.
Telegram raises $1 billion in debt - 24/03/2021
  • Raised $1 billion in bonds
  • 500 million monthly active users (as of mid-January 2021)
  • Increase of 25 million users in just a few days (mid-January 2021)
  • Launch of paid services planned for 2021
  • Telegram raised $1.7 billion in 2018 for its cryptocurrency project (project abandoned)

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Meta (anciennement Facebook)
Instagram (Meta)
WhatsApp (Meta)
Viadeo JDN
Networks Groupe

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