The most popular social media network in Georgia is Facebook, with a number of users estimated at 2 million, according to Internetworldstats.com. The 2017 IRI poll showed that Facebook was by far the most preferred social network (87 percent of users), followed by Odnoklasniki (16 percent), Twitter (3 percent), V Kontakte (1 percent) and LinkedIn (1 percent).
While Facebook use is increasing, the use of other social networking sites, especially Russian-language social media, is diminishing. Up to 62 percent of respondents, up from 26 percent in 2011, said in the CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer 2017 study that Facebook use was their most frequent activity on the Internet while only 25 percent of respondents said they used other social networking sites, down from 40 percent in 2011.
Facebook is the platform of choice for public affairs discourse. It is where a substantive segment of Georgians (18 percent) obtain news, according to the IRI 2017 poll. The influence of Facebook-based discussions on the public opinion is high. According to the Freedom House, the Internet penetration is driven partly with interest in Facebook and other social networking networks (2013).
With nearly two third of the voting population on Facebook, especially politically active youth, the social networking site is increasingly targeted by politicians. Key politicians have well-managed pages and profiles, and increased their use of the Internet. President Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Kvirikashvili, Mayor Kaladze, lead opposition figures all have Facebook accounts, with hundreds of thousand of registered fans and connected YouTube, Twitter, and Flikr accounts.
News media are very active in social media, relying on the networks for traffic and user engagement. News outlets with over half a million fans on Facebook are Newposts Georgia, Starfm, Goga TV, Rustavi 2.