Facebook has released new figures for the first quarter of 2017. Its monthly active users (MAU) have grown by around 17 percent year-over-year to 1.94 billion worldwide. This makes Facebook the top dog in social media, also because its closest competitors aren’t really challengers to the throne. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger enjoy round about 1.2 billion users worldwide but belong to Facebook Inc.
However, there is a competitor that the average Joe in America and other Western countries might still not have heard of. As the Statista infographic shows, Facebook's closest real competitor when it comes to monthly active users is called Tencent. It's one of China's biggest publicly traded companies and its subsidiaries QQ, WeChat and Qzone count around 2.4 billion monthly active users.
Tencent's user count is all the more impressive as, unlike Facebook, it caters to domestic Chinese users only. However, there is a darker side to Tencent's success story: Like other Chinese tech and internet companies it owes part of its success to Chinese protectionism and censorship. Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat, alongside Google, are just a few of the providers blocked in the People's Republic.
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