Facebook vs Twitter — Social media apps that use the most data

Just 30 minutes on Facebook can cost you 175MB of data, MyBroadband found in a recent comparison of the data usage of five popular social media applications including Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok.

Among the five top social media applications that MyBroadband tested, Facebook was the biggest data hog, while Twitter had the most efficient data usage — consuming 38MB during a half-hour session.

Our comparison was conducted in the iPhone apps of the social networks and consisted of scrolling through each application’s feed, reading posts, opening images, and watching short stints of videos. For LinkedIn we did various job searches.

Each app provides a data-saving mode, and the implementation of this differs from platform to platform, with some apps benefiting far more from this setting than others.

Twitter’s data saver was the most effective, reducing consumption by 55% through decreasing the resolution of images displayed in posts.

Facebook came second in the data saver rankings, using 53% less data than its standard mode by lowering video resolution, as well as disabling video auto-play.

LinkedIn and Instagram showed the least improvement in data-saving mode, showing 3% and 6% lower consumptions respectively.

LinkedIn had the most surprising data consumption. Though it did consume less data than Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, the 87MB it consumed in 30-minutes was substantially higher than expected, considering we did not watch any videos and spent the majority of the time searching for jobs.

Considering that TikTok is solely a video streaming platform, the 118MB and 101MB it used in standard and data-saving modes respectively were to be expected.

Below is a table showing the data consumption after 30-minutes for each social media application, in both standard and data-saving modes:

Social media app data usage after 30-minutes
Application Standard Data saving
Twitter 38MB 17MB
LinkedIn 87MB 82MB
TikTok 118MB 101MB
Instagram 123MB 119MB
Facebook 175MB 83MB

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Facebook vs Twitter — Social media apps that use the most data