Lifespan (Half-Life) of Social Media Posts: Update for 2021

social media lifespan halflife v2021B LR-squashed

🔥 Scott M. Graffius periodically refreshes his research. The newest (2024) edition is here.

2021 Update

Social media marketing (SMM) is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. It involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to advance business objectives such as marketing and branding goals. Well-executed, it provides several benefits: improved brand and marketplace awareness, engagement with a worldwide audience, increased traffic, enhanced search engine optimization (SEO) rankings, and more.

The lifespan of posts is of interest. Because content can live forever, a helpful metric is half-life. It’s the amount of time it takes for a post to receive half of its total engagements. As shown in the image above and described below, the half-life of posts varies by platform.

Earlier versions of this article and the associated visual covered six platforms: Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This update addresses those six platforms, and two additional ones: TikTok and Snapchat.









In cases where there are multiple references for a metric and they report different values, the average is applied.

Be mindful of the half-life values when posting content.


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