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1.3 million new users joined social media every day in 2020


We Are Social, the social-led creative agency, and Hootsuite, the world’s leading provider of social media management, have released Digital 2021, their latest annual report on social media and digital trends.

With much of the world locked down for a significant portion of 2020, Digital 2021 shows that social media users have grown the fastest in three years. There are now 4.20 billion social media users worldwide, which corresponds to a growth of more than 13 percent compared to the previous year (490 million new users).

The number of social media users now corresponds to more than 53 percent of the world population.

Perhaps surprisingly, people say they spend the same amount of time on social media every day as they did last year, with 2 hours and 25 minutes.

In Australia, the typical social media user spends 1 hour 46 minutes a day on social media. Facebook remains the world’s most widely used social platform, followed by YouTube and WhatsApp. Facebook’s own platforms make up 4 of the 5 most used social platforms worldwide.

The 300-page report also outlines the expanded use of social media: 45 percent of users between the ages of 16 and 64 search for brand information on social networks and 40 percent use social media for professional purposes.

An important consideration for marketers is the growing popularity of messaging platforms: 91 percent of Internet users aged 16 to 64 now use chat apps every month; Messaging outperformed social media platform usage in second place with 88 percent.

Meanwhile, the total time spent online has increased, with the average internet user now spending nearly 7 hours a day on all devices on the internet (6 hours 13 minutes in Australia, an increase of 32 minutes from last year). This means the average user spends more than 2 full days out of a 7-day week online – up 16 minutes, or 4 percent, year-over-year.

Digital 2021 shows that 4.66 billion people worldwide were using the Internet in January 2021, an increase of 316 million (7.3 percent) since that time last year.

Nathan McDonald, Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive of We Are Social, commented:

“It’s no surprise that in a year where many people around the world have been locked down for weeks and months, we’ve seen massive growth in social media and internet users. Much of our life today takes place through digital channels, whether it be connecting on social media, shopping on mobile, using voice, installing smart devices or playing online games.

The pandemic has accelerated a change that has already begun, and 2021 is set to continue in this vein. Understanding how to connect with online audiences in culturally relevant ways is becoming more important than ever for marketers. “

“Consumers are increasingly connecting with brands through social and messaging apps in the same way they connect with friends and family,” said Tom Keizer, CEO of Hootsuite.

“The pandemic has only accelerated this shift as even resentful brands are now moving to online interactions. Providing the global perspective on demographics and usage patterns on these platforms helps our clients focus their digital strategies and engage with their audiences in the most relevant and authentic way possible. “

Other headlines in Digital 2021 that deal with social media, internet, mobile and e-commerce worldwide are:

  • The phenomenal growth of mobile into our first screen to take up more time for people than live TV.
  • Ecommerce growth: 77 percent of internet users ages 16 to 64 now say they buy something online every month, with groceries and personal care being the fastest growing ecommerce category for consumers.
  • Silver Surfer: Older age groups are the fastest growing segments among the target groups of some of the major social platforms; Users over 50 are growing faster than any other age group on Facebook and Snapchat.
  • Gaming popularity across generations: More than 90 percent of Generation Z internet users say they play games, 67 percent among 55 to 64 year olds.

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