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EghtesadOnline: The number of Iranians using social media platforms reached 47 million in 2018 indicating an 18% year-on-year increase.

Canadian social media management platform Hootsuite and UK-based marketing and advertising agency We Are Social has released their Global Digital 2019 report, according to which the number of Iranians using social media services has observed a noticeable hike.

Published on, the report says that there are some 47 million active social media users in Iran or 57% of the population. 

Over 7 million Iranians joined a social media network for the first time in 2018. In other words, an estimated 19,178 people started using social media for the first time every day in the past year in Iran — that is more than 13 new users every minute, according to Financial Tribune.

The growth rate had declined compared to 2017 when the number of Iranian social media users observed a 135% YoY jump.

More than 3.4 billion people around the world now use social media platforms, indicating a 288 million (9%) increase compared to January of last year, more than 9 new users every second. The global growth rate has also declined compared to 2017 when social media platforms got more than 11 new users every second.



Different Platforms

Despite being banned in Iran, the messaging app Telegram, which through its channels and groups can be employed as a social media network, is the most popular platform in Iran with over 40 million users. Almost half of the population uses the service.

The second most popular social media platform in Iran is the photo-sharing service Instagram. There are 24 million Instagram users in the country or 29% of the population. Close to 45% of Instagram users in Iran are women and 55% men.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook is less popular in Iran partly because it is blocked by the authorities for almost eight years. However, there still are 5.7 million Facebook users (via VPN) of which 35% are women and 65% men. 

Moreover, 91% of Facebook users in Iran access the platform via their smart handsets. There are 2.17 billion active Facebook users in the world.

Various local social media platforms have been established with the state’s support over the past year. However, failing to earn Internet users’ trust the platforms have not been able to gain traction. Some of the services are Soroush, Rubika, and iGap.



Communication Overview

Iran’s total population is estimated at 82.4 million with almost 75% living in urban areas. The country reportedly has 72.94 million Internet users and Internet penetration is said to be 89%. 

The number of Iranian Internet users shot up by 29% in 2018. In other words, 16 million people got connected to the web for the first time during the year.

An estimated 123.7 million SIM cards have been sold in the country. The number of active mobile SIMs has registered a 3 million (2.4%) YoY increase.

The average mobile Internet speed was 30.58 Mbps in 2018, 75% higher than a year earlier while average fixed Internet speed was 12.82 Mbps indicating a 36% YoY increase.

Close to 74% of the mobile subscribers use pre-paid services and 26% post-paid. Over 59% of the mobile SIMs support broadband Internet (3G and/or 4G). 


Iran social media Usership platforms