Eric Wendt

”Social media has grown at an explosive rate” may be in the running for understatement of the century. Is it any wonder today’s data scientists turn to social more for statistics than sharing selfies?

Beyond the obvious facts and figures, however, are some strange and surprising social media statistics concerning the human race’s love affair with likes, shares and emojis. From moms and dads trading memes to the seemingly infinite barrage of Snapchat stories released each day, some social media stats are worth a double take (or spit take, as the case may be).

Strange Social Media Facts

More common than oral hygiene

Much of social’s continuing growth can be attributed to the rise of smartphones. Mobile technology makes it easy for anyone and everyone to access popular social networking websites all the time. In fact, well over half of Facebook users accessed the site only on mobile phones as of 2015.

According to the Mobile Marketing Association of Asia, more human beings on this planet now have mobile phones than toothbrushes, breaking down to 4.8 billion to 4.2 billion. Entire investigations have been launched by amateur detectives to debunk this stat, yet it holds up.

Parents on Pinterest?

Social media is often associated with a younger audience. However, data shows the biggest demographic driving social growth in 2017 is people age 65 and up. This is in keeping with data from iStrategyLabs that found people over the age of 55 represented the fastest-growing age demographic among Facebook users as of 2014.

So yes, there’s a chance you may hear your parents or grandparents say “damn, Daniel” or “cash me outside” one of these days. Progress has a price.

TV is so two years ago

Businesses are beginning to realize the power and potential of live video on social media, but audiences are already very familiar with online video’s allure.

According to survey results from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, American adults are most likely to watch original digital content, which reached 140 on an index with a baseline of 100. That means online video beat out prime time broadcast television and cable (135), local and national TV news (98), live sports (90) and daytime programs (37). What’s more, original online video does not include subscription services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video.

While traditional programming isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s clear modern consumers are more interested in viral videos on social sites like YouTube than paying for the… well, The Tube.

Missed connections

With so many people using social media, you’d assume businesses would leverage social’s popularity to engage with customers and build relationships online. You’d be wrong.

According to Socialbakers, 70 percent of questions from Facebook fans go ignored. That’s a lot of sad face emoticons, not to mention a waste of social media marketing potential.

Moms are fans and followers

People from all walks of life interact with brands on social platforms, but survey data from Burst Media showed that, as of 2013, moms were most likely to follow businesses on social. While one-quarter of all survey respondents said they would probably follow a brand on social media if it’s promoted in an online ad, 31.7 percent of mothers said the same.

Maybe it’s time to give your social media marketing a more motherly touch?

Tweets in red and blue

Researchers have discovered that, much like votes, Tweets differ along party lines. As outlined in a study from two members of the Cognitive Science Research Group at Queen Mary University of London, Democrats tend to follow more accounts on Twitter when compared to Republicans, at a rate of 78 to 52. Meanwhile, Republicans typically have more followers (219) than Democrats (201). Finally, Republicans were more likely to use other people’s Twitter handles in their Tweets.

An eternity of Snaps

With 2.5 billion Snaps per day created on Snapchat at 10 seconds each, it would take an individual around 800 years to view a single day’s worth of Snaps. Would you die long before you were finished? Of course, but what a way to go!

While these are far from the only strange and surprising social stats out there, they certainly caught our eyes. Of course, with 2.95 billion people – or a third of the world’s population – predicted to have a social media profile by 2020, we’re unlikely to run out of jaw-droppers anytime soon.