Digital 2020: UK and Global

“UK now has 45 million active social media users, with 1.3 million added in the last year.”

More than 4.5 billion people now use the internet, while social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark. Nearly 60% of the world’s population is already online, and the latest trends suggest that more than half of the world’s total population will use social media by the middle of this year.

Some important challenges remain, however, and there’s still work to do to ensure that everyone around the world has fair and equal access to life-changing digital connectivity.

Digital in 2020: The essential headline numbers

Digital’s role in our lives has reached new heights, with more people spending more time doing more things online than ever before:

  • The number of people around the world using the internet has grown to 4.54 billion, an increase of 7% (298 million new users) compared to January 2019.
  • Worldwide, there are 3.80 billion social media users in January 2020, with this number increasing by more than 9% (321 million new users) since this time last year.
  • Globally, more than 5.19 billion people now use mobile phones, with user numbers up by 124 million (2.4%) over the past year.

You’ll probably spend more than 100 days online this year

The average internet user now spends 6 hours and 43 minutes online each day. That’s 3 minutes less than this time last year, but still equates to more than 100 days of connected time per internet user, per year. If we allow roughly 8 hours a day for sleep, that means we currently spend more than 40% of our waking lives using the internet.

What’s more, the world’s internet users will spend a cumulative 1.25 billion years online in 2020, with more than one-third of that time spent using social media. However, the amount of time that people spend online varies from country to country, with internet users in the Philippines spending an average of 9 hours and 45 minutes per day online, compared to just 4 hours and 22 minutes per day in Japan.

Getting to full access: connecting the unconnected

Getting to full access: connecting the unconnected More than 2 billion people have come online since the first mention of “The Next Billion”, but just over 40% of the world’s total population – roughly 3.2 billion people – remains unconnected to the internet.

More than 1 billion of these “unconnected” people live in Southern Asia (31% of the total). Countries in Africa account for 27% of the total, with 870 million people yet to come online across the continent as a whole.

What about the United Kingdom?

The UK now has 45 million active social media users, with 1.3 million added in the last year. Social media advertising spend is up 20% year-on-year in the UK; £2.6 billion was spent on social ads last year.

Digital in 2020 (UK): the essential headline numbers:

  • The number of people in the UK using the internet has grown to 65 million (penetration: 96%).
  • In the UK, there are 45 million social media users in January 2020 (penetration: 66%).
  • More than 72.41 million people in the UK now use mobile phones (vs population: %107 ).

Daily time spent with media in the UK:

The average daily time that internet users in the UK aged 16 to 64 spend with different kinds of media and devices.

  • Using the internet: 5h 28m
  • Using social media: 1h 42m
  • Watching television: 3h 42m
  • Listening to music streaming services: 1h 08m
  • Using a game console: 0h 57m.

Most-used social media platforms in the UK:

Percentage of internet users aged 16 to 64 who report using each platform in the past month.

  • YouTube (78%)
  • Facebook (73%)
  • WhatsApp (63%)
  • FB Messenger (58%)
  • Instagram (49%)
  • Twitter (45%)
  • LinkedIn (28%)
  • Pinterest (25%)
  • Snapchat (25%)
  • Skype (25%)