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Social Media Statistics 2024

Social Media Statistics 2023

Last updated: 06.09.2023 Reading time: 11 Min.

Since its humble beginnings in 1996, social media has experienced a meteoric rise, capturing the attention of more than half of the world's 8.1 billion people. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

From 970 million users in 2010, the number shot up to a whopping 4.59 billion by 2022.

Simply put, 6 out of 10 people you meet use social media.

So how big and important has social media become today? 🤔

Let's dive into Social Media Statistics 2023 to find out!

Social media statistics UK 2023

Most important points at a glance

  • Currently, 4.59 billion individuals around the globe are active on social media, marking a significant increase from the 2.07 billion users in 2015.
  • A typical social media enthusiast interacts with about 6.6 different platforms.
  • In the UK, 57.10 million people actively use social media, representing 85.2% of its total population.
  • Since 2015, there's been an average annual growth of 12.5% in social media usage. However, this momentum seems to be slowing down, with a growth rate of 9.2% observed between 2019 and 2020.
  • Looking at regional growth from 2019 to 2020, Asia led the way with a 16.98% increase, followed by Africa at 13.92%, South America at 8.00%, North America at 6.96%, Europe at 4.32%, and Australasia at 4.9%.
  • Digital users now dedicate an impressive 151 minutes of their day to social media activities.
  • In the UK, an average social media user dedicates roughly 120 minutes daily to their favourite social media channels.
  • TikTok has witnessed a meteoric rise, doubling its user base between 2020 and 2022.
  • While 93.33% of all internet users are on social platforms, an overwhelming 85% of mobile users engage with these networks.
  • Of the 4.48 billion global social media users, a whopping 99% use mobile devices to access their preferred platforms, with a mere 1.32% relying solely on desktops.
  • In the UK, mobile phones are the preferred device for nearly 98% of social media users.
  • Facebook dominates the social arena with 2.9 billion monthly visitors.
  • WhatsApp takes the crown as the UK's top social platform.
  • Within the UK's social media demographic, females account for 48.4%, whereas males constitute 51.6%.This is closely aligned with the global breakdown of 46% females and 54% males.

History of Social Media

The roots of social media can be traced back to the 1970s when the first internet chat rooms emerged. 💬

By the 1990s, the first recognisable social media sites began popping up.

In 1996, the whole social media journey began with the first website called Bolt.

Soon after came Six Degrees, where people created profiles and added friends, just like we do today.

In 1999, LiveJournal popped up, allowing people to start their blogs.

The beginning of the 21st century saw the emergence of household names like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, changing our communication landscape forever.

How many people use social media?

Have you ever wondered how many people are on social media? 👥

In 2022, 4.59 billion people worldwide are actively engaging with each other on various social media platforms.¹

And the average person doesn't stick to just one platform. They switch between 6.6 different social media sites every month.²

But if you look at the number of people using social media, you'll see that it has increased significantly.

Total number of social media users worldwide
More than 4.5 million people are active on social media platforms. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here's a detailed look at the user growth count from 2017 to 2022.

Year

Number of users
(in billions)

2017

2.73

2018

3.1

2019

3.51

2020

3.9

2021

4.26

2022

4.59

In the UK, around 57.10 million people used social media in January 2023.³

Simply put, almost 9 in 10 internet users in the UK use some form of social media.

Looking back, in most countries, especially in the UK, more people join social media every year. 🇬🇧

Percentage of people using social media

Presently, 56.6% of the world's population uses various social media platforms.¹

Percentage of people using social media
Image: © Smart Home Fox

In the UK, the picture is even more pronounced.

In January 2023, around 84.3% of Brits were actively engaging on social media.³

Social media usage by gender and age

Wondering who uses social media networks all over the world?

Let's look at the age and gender distribution of these users. 👀

Gender of global social media users

Looking at social media users worldwide, the distribution between men and women is almost even.

Men are slightly ahead, with 54% of global users.⁴ 🧔🏼‍♂️

Women, however, aren't far behind and have a 46% share of the worldwide social media presence.⁴

Gender of social media users worldwide
Image: © Smart Home Fox

The data clearly shows that both the genders are closely connected to the digital world.

Age of global social media users

Have you ever wondered about the ages of people who scroll, like, and post globally?

It turns out that social media isn't just for young people! 👧🏼

Different platforms attract different age groups, each with its own trends and styles.

Age of global social media users
The majority of global social media users fall within the 20 to 39 age range. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here is a breakdown of the age distribution of social media users globally:

Age

Percentage of users worldwide

13 to 19

12.7%

20 to 29

31.8%

30 to 39

21.9%

40 to 49

15%

50 to 59

10%

60 and above

8.6%

So, most social media users around the world are aged between 20 and 39.⁵

Gender of social media users in the UK

People of all genders like to use social media.

In the UK, a slightly higher number of men use social platforms compared to women, but the difference is minimal.

51.6% of social media users are men, and 48.4% are women.⁶ 👩🏻‍🦰

Gender of social media users in the UK
Image: © Smart Home Fox

Globally, this near-equal gender distribution is quite common.

Age of social media users in the UK

A look at the age groups of social media users in the UK reveals interesting patterns.

The younger generations have grown up in the digital age and are, therefore, more likely to use social media frequently.

But it's not just the young people who log on.

The appeal of social media has reached all age groups. 🧓🏻

From teenagers sharing their daily lives to seniors catching up with old friends, the platforms offer something for everyone.

Age of social media users in the UK
In the UK, the age group most active on social media is 25 to 34. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's take a look at these numbers in a little more detail:

Age

Percentage of users

18 to 29

22%

30 to 39

28%

40 to 49

19%

50 and above

31%

People between 25 and 34 use social media the most.⁷

Those aged 45 to 54 use it the least.

Everyone older than 55 was grouped, making the data a bit complicated. 😕

Nevertheless, it's clear that younger adults use social media often, and usage decreases with age.

How many social media profiles does the average person have?

As we delve into the digital world, it's clear that we're juggling more online profiles than ever before.

In 2018, the Global Web Index found that if you're a Millennial or Generation Z, you probably have 9.8 accounts.⁸

That's a big jump from 2014 when most people had about 4.8 accounts. So we've almost doubled in four years.

So why the surge? 🤨

Well, there are more types of social media sites now, so people are joining more of them.

While there’s no recent study on this growth, data from 2013 to 2018 gives us a snapshot of this ever-evolving trend.⁹

Average number of accounts per person
The average individual maintains between 8 to 9 social media accounts. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's look at these numbers a little more closely.

Year

Average number of accounts per person

2013

4.3

2014

4.8

2015

6.3

2016

7.6

2017

8

2018

8.5

However, this average varies from country to country.

Let's look at the top 5 countries and their average number of social media accounts.⁴

Country

Average number of accounts per person

India

11.4

USA

7.1

UK

6.9

Canada

6.8

Japan

3.8

These social media statistics show that over 85% of people in the UK use social media but have fewer accounts than the global average. 🌏

The data suggests that Brits prefer using well-known social media platforms over experimenting with newer ones.

How many people use social networks for business?

Nowadays, many people use platforms like LinkedIn for business contacts or Instagram to show off products.

From small local shops reaching out to their community to individuals showing their professional skills, many use social media for business. 🛍️

Globally, 40% of all internet users use social media for work-related activities.¹⁰

In the UK, however, things are a little different. Only 27% of Brits use social media platforms for their work.¹⁰

This is less than in Indonesia, where 65% use social media for their work.¹⁰

On the other hand, Israel is at the bottom of the scale, with only 13%.¹⁰

Percentage of people using social media for business
Around 40% of all internet users use social media platforms for business. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's take a closer look at these figures:

Country

Percentage of people using social media for business

Indonesia

65%

India

47%

Canada

31%

Australia

30%

U.S.

27%

U.K.

27%

Israel

13%

Growth of social media users over the years

Social media has grown considerably over time. 📈

Whereas years ago, only a few people used them, today, billions do so every day.

In 2018, only 42% of people around the world used social media.¹¹

But in just 4 years, this number has increased by 18%.

Growth of social media users worldwide.
Year-on-year growth for social media users has exceeded 7%. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here you can find a detailed insight into these numbers:

Year

Share of population (worldwide)

2018

42%

2019

47%

2020

52%

2021

56%

2022

60%

Growth of social media users by country

Different countries use social media differently.

While the number of users in some countries snowballed, it took a little longer in others.

Many factors can influence this, such as how easy it's to access the internet or what is popular in the culture.

Between 2019 and 2020, India experienced the largest increase in social media users, adding 130 million new accounts.¹⁰

This is almost 10% of all Indians. 🇮🇳

Let's look at how many new users were added in different countries between 2019 and 2020.

Growth of social media users by country.
In 2020, India led the surge in new social media users, adding approximately 130 million accounts in a single year. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here’s a detailed look into these numbers:

Country

Number of new users added in 2019-2020 (in millions)

India

130

China

15

Indonesia

12

Brazil

11

Iran

9.4

USA

6.9

Growth of social media users in the UK

Social media use in the UK is growing fast.

Brits are increasingly using it to chat, share, and get news.

From 2021 to 2022, social media use in the UK has increased significantly in just one year. 🗓️

From 88.5% in 2021, it climbed to a whopping 90% by 2022.¹²

Growth of social media users in the UK.
In the UK, nearly 90% of internet users are also active on social media platforms. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Now let's dive deeper and examine the year-on-year growth of social media in the UK.

Year

Share of users in the UK

2018

80.71%

2019

83.95%

2020

86.51%

2021

88.5%

2022

90.02%

Social media penetration over the years

Social media penetration shows how many people use social media compared to the total population.

On average, 49% of all people worldwide use social media.¹⁰

But if we only look at people aged 13 and over, the share rises to 63%.¹⁰

UAE leads the list when it comes to social media penetration. 🇦🇪

In 2020, nearly 99% of the total population in the UAE were active on social media.¹⁰

Let's look at how other countries compare.

Percentage of social media penetration divided by country
The UAE leads globally with a 99% social media usage rate across its population. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's take a closer look at this data:

Country

Percentage of social media penetration as of 2020
(regardless of age)

UAE

99%

Australia

71%

USA

70%

Canada

67%

UK

66%

India

29%

Which country has the most active social media users in the world?

Identifying the country with the most active social media users can reveal insights into global digital behaviour.

With its vast population, China tops the list and has the most social media users.

In 2022, around 1,021.96 million users were active on social media in China.¹³ 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

India is close behind with around 755.47 million users.¹³

The United Kingdom ranks 12th, with around 61.67 million users.¹³

Active social media users worldwide divided by country
Globally, China has the highest number of active social media users. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's take a closer look at these figures:

Country

Active social media users as of 2022
(in millions)

China

1,021.96

India

755.47

USA

302.25

Indonesia

217.3

Brazil

165.45

Russia

115.05

Japan

101.98

Mexico

98.21

Philippines

84.07

Vietnam

72.29

Turkey

67.11

UK

61.67

Germany

60.88

Thailand

56.27

France

48.71

South Korea

46.09

Italy

43.18

Nigeria

38.47

Canada

34.47

Bangladesh

24.49

Average time spent on social media

All over the world, people aren't just checking their social media for a moment.

Instead, they spend much of their day scrolling, posting, and engaging. ⏰

In 2020, people aged 16-64 spent an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes daily on social media, regardless of their device.¹⁴

In 2023, this daily average has increased by about 6 minutes.

The World Health Organisation estimates the average life expectancy worldwide is 73 years.¹⁵

If someone maintains this use rate, they'll spend about 5.7 years on these platforms. 📆

Today, people worldwide spend about 38% of their time on the internet using social media.

Here you can see how the average time a person spends on social media has increased over the years.

Average time spent per day worldwide
From 2012 to 2023, the average time a user spends on social media has risen by nearly 68%. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's take a closer look at these figures:

Year

Average time spent per day
(in minutes)

2012

90

2013

95

2014

104

2015

111

2016

128

2017

134

2018

142

2019

145

2020

145

2021

145

2022

147

2023

151

Data shows that our daily hours on social media are increasing every year.

Since 2012, the average time users devote to social media has increased by 67.78%.

Average time spent on social media in the UK

People in the UK use social media a lot, but not as much as the global average.

On average, individuals in the UK spend about 2 hours a day on social media.¹⁶

This is 31 minutes less than the global average. ⏳

Which country's residents spend the most time on social media?

Have you ever wondered which nation spends the most hours scrolling, posting and engaging on social media?

While you might assume technologically advanced countries would lead, Nigeria surprisingly holds the top position. 🇳🇬

On average, Nigerians spend 4 hours and 36 minutes on social media daily.¹⁷

Brazil is behind Nigeria, spending one hour less on these platforms.

Let's see in which country people are most active on social media.

Average time a user spent per day divided by different countries.
Nigerians lead in online time spent, averaging 4 hours and 36 minutes. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here's a closer look at the numbers:

Country

Average time spent per day

Nigeria

4 hours 36 minutes

Brazil

3 hours 46 minutes

South Africa

3 hours 44 minutes

Philippines

3 hours 43 minutes

Kenya

3 hours 34 minutes

Columbia

3 hours 32 minutes

Chile

3 hours 28 minutes

Ghana

3 hours 28 minutes

Mexico

3 hours 21 minutes

Indonesia

3 hours 18 minutes

Argentina

3 hours 15 minutes

Saudi Arabia

3 hours 1 minute

Turkey

2 hours 54 minutes

Morocco

2 hours 53 minutes

India

2 hours 50 minutes

Social media usage by device

Social media platforms are accessed in different ways, depending mainly on the choice of device.

An astonishing 99% of the world's users, or 4.43 billion people, access their social networks via mobile devices such as tablets or phones.¹⁰ 📱

Of these, 2.97 billion, or about 78%, use only their mobile phones.¹⁰

In contrast, only a small proportion, about 1.32% or 50 million users, rely exclusively on their desktops for social media.¹⁰ 💻

Social media usage by device.
Image: © Smart Home Fox

But there is also a group of 20% or 760 million users who alternate between desktop and mobile.¹⁰

Device

Percentage of social media users

Mobile

78%

Tablet

21%

Desktop

1.32%

Hybrid (Desktop and Mobile)

20%

Global trends in the UK are mirrored: around 98% of social media users access the platforms via mobile phones.

That is over 39 million people.

Most popular social media platforms

When immersed in social media platforms, it's hard to miss the giants dominating our screens and our time.

Facebook is at the top, the first to reach one billion users and now entertains over 2.9 billion people monthly.¹⁸

YouTube comes second with over 2.5 billion social media users.¹⁸

Looking for detailed YouTube statistics? Check out our dedicated article on YouTube data.

Currently, seven social media platforms have a user base of over one billion active members per month.

Of these, four are Meta-owned - WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram. 🏬

In addition, as of July 2023, there are 15 social media platforms with at least 400 million active subscribers each.

Most popular social media platforms worldwide
With 2.9 million active users, Facebook is the world's most popular social media platform. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let's take an in-depth look at these numbers:

Social media platforms

Number of active users as of 2023
(in millions)

Facebook

2,958

YouTube

2,514

Whatsapp

2,000

Instagram

2,000

WeChat

1,309

TikTok

1,051

Facebook Messenger

931

Douyin

715

Telegram

700

Snapchat

635

Kuaishou

626

Sina Weibo

584

QQ

574

Twitter

556

Pinterest

445

Social media is growing worldwide, and the number of users on each platform shows that. 📈

However, these numbers don't give us the full picture.

Many people use more than one social media platform each month.

So most users are counted on more than one platform.

Average daily time spent on leading social media platforms

Looking at the daily usage of the main social platforms, one might assume that Facebook, with its sheer number of users, would be the frontrunner.

But TikTok tops the list with an average of 95 minutes of daily use.¹⁹

Interested in TikTok's data? Then read our comprehensive article on TikTok statistics.

YouTube is not far behind, taking up about 74 minutes of a user's day.¹⁹

Let's take a look at which social media apps are used the most on a daily basis.

Time spent on leading social media platforms
Globally, TikTok captures the most user time, averaging 95 minutes per session. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here is a detailed breakdown of the numbers:

Social media platforms

Average time spent in-app daily as of 2022 (in minutes)

TikTok

95

YouTube

74

Instagram

51

Facebook

49

Twitter

29

Snapchat

21

Popular social media platforms in the UK

The UK's social media scene is slightly different from global trends.

Surprisingly, WhatsApp leads the way with 73.4% of internet users in the UK.²⁰ 💬

Facebook may be a global giant, but it follows closely behind in the UK, with 70.7% of users logging on regularly.²⁰

Let's explore the preferred social media platforms in the UK.

Popular social media platforms in the UK
In the UK, WhatsApp leads in popularity, engaging about 73.4% of all internet users. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here's a detailed look at those numbers:

Social media platforms

Percentage of internet users as of 2022

Whatsapp

73.4%

Facebook

70.7%

Instagram

56.4%

Facebook Messenger

55.3%

Twitter

42.8%

Tik Tok

38%

iMessage

33.5%

Snapchat

29.5%

LinkedIn

27.1%

Pinterest

26%

Reddit

18.2%

Skype

15.1%

Telegram

10.6%

Nextdoor

10.5%

Discord

10.2%

Average monthly time spent in the UK on leading social media platforms

People in the UK spend a bit less time online than people in other countries.

In 2022, people in the UK spent the most time on TikTok, about 27 hours a month for each person.²¹

YouTube was next, with people spending about 15 and a half hours on it every month.²¹ 📹

Time spent in app every month in the UK
People in the UK spend more than 27 hours each month using TikTok. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Here’s a detailed look at these numbers:

Social media platforms

Average time spent in-app monthly in the UK as of 2022

(in hours and minutes)

TikTok

27 hours and 18 minutes

YouTube

15 hours and 30 minutes

Facebook

14 hours and 42 minutes

WhatsApp

8 hours and 36 minutes

Instagram

7 hours and 42 minutes

Social media advertising statistics

Social media advertising often garners a mixed reputation among consumers.

However, from a corporate standpoint, these ads prove to be remarkably effective.

Companies must keep up-to-date with the latest trends and tailor their advertising strategies accordingly to maximise the efficacy of their social media campaigns. 🗓️

Back in 2017, the global market for social media advertising was valued at a significant 51.32 billion U.S. dollars.²²

Fast forward to 2023, and the industry has expanded by 426%, with the total expenditure skyrocketing to 269.68 billion U.S. dollars.²²

Let's explore global spending on social media advertising from 2017 to 2023.

Advertising revenue of social media platforms
Between 2017 and 2023, annual spending on advertisements surged by 426%. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Let’s look into these numbers in a little more detail:

Years

Ad spending revenue worldwide from 2017 to 2023
(in billion U.S. dollars)

2017

51.32

2018

73.83

2019

96.07

2020

130.41

2021

181.19

2022

229.56

2023

269.68

Social media platforms have also recently outpaced paid search as a preferred channel for advertising, with a 25% year-on-year growth.²³

But, which marketing method works the best? 🤔

According to 2021 data, retargeting as a marketing strategy works best for almost all product or service based industries.

Approximately 77% of both B2B and B2C marketers claim to incorporate retargeting into their advertising strategies on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.²⁴

Here's an overview of how retargeting compares in popularity to other marketing strategies.

Marketing strategies used worldwide by B2B and B2C companies
About 77% of marketers opt for retargeting methods when advertising on social media. Image: © Smart Home Fox

Final thoughts on social media statistics - Our Conclusion

The digital tapestry of social media is constantly changing how we communicate worldwide. 🌎

It's fascinating to see the different habits, such as the record-breaking daily usage in Nigeria or the strong affinity of the British to WhatsApp.

Facebook may have the most users, but newer providers like TikTok are catching up fast regarding daily usage, with users clocking up an impressive 95 minutes per day.

Amidst these impressive numbers, however, it's essential to recognise that usage overlaps – many of us are active on multiple platforms.

These platforms undeniably impact our society, whether we use them for work, relaxation, or staying in touch with loved ones.

List of Sources

*1 - Statista

*2 - Forbes

*3 - Statista

*4 - DemandSage

*5 - Oberlo

*6 - Statista

*7 - Statista

*8 - Global Web Index

*9 - Statista

*10 - Backlinko

*11 - Statista

*12 - Statista

*13 - Statista

*14 - Statista

*15 - World Health Organization

*16 - Statista

*17 - Yahoo Finance

*18 - Statista

*19 - Statista

*20 - Statista

*21 - Statista

*22 - Statista

*23 - Zenith

*24 - MarketingChart

Frequently asked questions

  • Is there a best time to post on social media?


    The best time to post on social media can vary depending on the platform and your target audience. 

    For Facebook, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tend to have higher engagement.

    On Instagram, posts generally receive more engagement on weekdays around lunchtime and in the evenings.
    LinkedIn is most active during working hours, with peak times between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

  • How do social media statistics help in advertising?


    Statistics give advertisers a comprehensive view of their target audience's behaviour, preferences, and the platforms they frequent. 
    This enables businesses to make informed decisions, optimise their reach, and improve ROI.

  • What makes social media ads effective for businesses?


    The power of social media advertising lies in its ability to reach a highly specific audience, thanks to advanced algorithms
    Companies can target potential customers based on various parameters such as age, location, and interests, making each ad more impactful.

Aeman

Aeman

After finishing my Masters in Journalism, I found a new interest in copywriting. That’s when I figured how smart home gadgets can make life easier. Now, I love to explore new tech for SmartHomeFox and share what I find with our readers. When I’m not working with gadgets, you’ll find me capturing fleeting moments in the mountains or experimenting with new recipes that may or may not be edible.

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