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Global Social Media Usage Statistics: How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?

Milos Djordjevic

Letter.ly


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There is a burning question in this day and age: how much time do people spend on social media? However, it is more important to find a way to put this into a proper scale. The general social media usage statistics reveal much, but what about some specific questions?

How many Instagram daily active users are there? What happens when you start asking questions about Facebook usage statistics? Is there a noticeable difference among age groups concerning social media usage? Do some regions use social media more than others, or are users distributed evenly worldwide?

One thing is sure — social media platforms are quickly growing into a force to be reckoned with. Let’s see precisely how this force is shaping our everyday lives!

How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media in 2021? (Editor’s Choice)

  • An average person spends 145 minutes every day on social media.
  • 4.2 billion people worldwide used social media as of early 2021.
  • Americans spend 33 minutes a day on Facebook.
  • As of 2021, TikTok ranks second in terms of average daily time spent on the platform.
  • The average amount of time spent on social media is highest in the Philippines — 4 hours and 15 minutes a day.
  • People aged 16–24 spend 3 hours every day on social media.

Relevant Social Media Statistics for 2021

  1. An average person spends 145 minutes every day on social media.

(Statista)

According to the latest statistics, the average time spent on social media is 145 minutes, or 2 hours and 25 minutes every day. One of the most surprising things is that the figure has gone up by almost a full hour since 2012. This is an increase of 61% and something to be taken into serious consideration. Moreover, 145 minutes is just over 10% of the day. This number is already a significant chunk of your waking hours — and it seems to be going up.

  1. People spend an average of six years and eight months of their life on social media.

(BroadbandSearch)

It is estimated that the average amount of time spent on social media per lifetime currently stands at six years and eight months. This number results from an equation in which the average life expectancy is compared to the percentage of the day social media consumes. Comparatively, we would spend only a year and 11 months socializing, three years and seven months eating and drinking, and one year and eight months doing housework.

  1. 4.2 billion people worldwide used social media as of early 2021.

(DataReportal)

Regarding recent social media usage numbers and statistics, 4.2 billion people worldwide currently use social media. This is an impressive 13% increase compared to early 2020 and equates to almost 53% of the world’s population. The growth of mobile users follows this rise. This isn’t surprising since mobile devices are the primary social media browsing tool. The number of mobile users globally is 5.22 billion (1.8% growth over the past year).

  1. 4.66 billion people across the globe use the internet.

(DataReportal)

Previously, we’ve talked about the fact that 5.22 billion people worldwide use mobile devices. Another relevant statistic is the total number of internet users in the world — about 4.66 billion. After some basic math, it turns out that about 90.1% of all internet users also use social media. The number of social media users, however, seems to be growing at a faster pace.

Daily Time Spent on Social Media per Platform

  1. Americans spend 33 minutes a day on Facebook.

(Statista, Hootsuite)

When it comes to the average time spent on social media daily, Facebook is at the top of the list, with an average of 33 minutes. The network is dominant in other statistics as well, with 2.74 billion monthly users. As for other Facebook usage statistics, Messenger has 1.3 billion users, whereas 500 million people worldwide use Facebook Stories daily. Facebook Groups, one of the platform’s oldest features, currently has more than 1.8 billion active users.

  1. An average visitor spends 41.9 minutes on YouTube.

(Hootsuite)

One of the things that set YouTube apart from other social networks is the highest average visit length of 41.9 minutes. The platform currently has 2 billion monthly active users, which puts it behind Facebook as far as the user base’s size. But YouTube is a video-oriented platform, and its users watch a billion hours of content every day. What’s more, YouTube ranks as the second most-visited site globally, immediately following its owner Google.

  1. Instagram has 500 million daily active users.

(Omnicore, Statista)

One of the first things that come to mind when talking about Instagram is its addictiveness. Out of more than a billion monthly active users, there are 500 million Instagram daily active users. The numbers related to the user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram are quite staggering as well. About 96 million photos and hundreds of millions of stories get uploaded on this platform every single day. The average daily time spent on Instagram is 29 minutes, only four minutes shorter than the average time spent on Facebook, its parent site, per day.

  1. 22% of Americans have a Twitter account.

(Omnicore)

In 2021, Twitter is considered more of a news outlet than a social media platform. Still, with 340 million users total and 186 million daily active users, it’s definitely at the very top of any social media list. As for the UGC, there are 500 million tweets published daily. This means that users post about 6,000 tweets every single second or close to 200 billion per year.

  1. TikTok ranks second in terms of time spent on social media, statistics show.

(Statista, Oberlo)

TikTok exploded globally in 2020 as more and more people looked for uplifting, short-form content to distract them from the news on the global pandemic. As of early 2021, the platform has close to 1.29 billion monthly active users — 600 million in China (where it’s known under a different name) and 689 million elsewhere in the world. Surprisingly for a relative newcomer, it already ranks second in terms of time its users spend on the platform with 32 minutes per day.

  1. Daily time spent on LinkedIn is just under 33 seconds.

(Kinsta)

LinkedIn has 740 million registered users, with 288 million monthly active users. This makes it clear that its audience is quite dedicated. However, most users spend less than a minute a day using this network. The majority of them are there to check new contacts, messages, and notifications quickly. With millions of new accounts each month, the platform is clearly still expanding — even if, as far as the time spent on social media, statistics don’t favor it.

Demographic Differences on Social Media in 2021

  1. 16–24-year-olds spend approximately 3 hours a day on social media.

(ABC4)

One of the most significant differences in social media use can be seen when we look at the time spent on social media by age. For instance, 16–24-year-olds spend approximately 3 hours and 1 minute every day on social media. Their older counterparts spend significantly less time, bringing the average down to 2 hours and 24 minutes per day.

  1. 90.4% of millennials are on social media.

(Oberlo)

Looking further at the statistics on time spent on social media by age, millennials take the cake. About 90.4% of all millennial internet users are on social media, compared to only 48.2% of baby boomers who are active there. Furthermore, 77.5% of Gen-Xers are social media users. This percentage shows that, as age groups get younger, their use of social media increases.

  1. As of March 2021, 25% of all TikTok users in the US are aged 10–19.

(Statista)

TikTok has attracted millions of new users in less than a year. The platform’s biggest advantage over its competitors is that it skews very young. At the end of 2021’s first quarter, 25% of its US users were aged 10–19. Furthermore, 22.4% fell into the 20–29 bracket and another 21.7% into the 30–39 age group. Meanwhile, only 11% of all users were aged 50 or over.

  1. With 4 hours and 15 minutes daily, the Philippines is the world leader in the average amount of time spent on social media.

(DataReportal)

Users’ social media habits differ by region. For instance, the social media use in the Philippines of 4hours and 15 minutes a day is much higher than the global average of 2 hours and 25 minutes. Generally speaking, continents like South America, Africa, and Asia have higher-than-average daily use of social media.

As of early 2021, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, and Nigeria are also in the top five. The US ranks in the middle with 2 hours and 7 minutes. Meanwhile, Japan has the world’s lowest average daily use of social media — only 51 minutes per day.

  1. An average South American uses social media for 3 hours and 24 minutes every day.

(BroadbandSearch)

Previously, we’ve mentioned that the use of social media varies by region. The fact that certain continents have significantly higher averages further supports this claim. For instance, South America seems to be the continent where the average time spent on social media is the highest, with 3 hours and 24 minutes daily.

Africa follows with an average time of 3 hours and 10 minutes a day. Asia and North America are relatively close with 2 hours and 16 minutes and 2 hours and 6 minutes, respectively.

  1. 42% of users research products and brands they’re interested in on social media.

(GlobalWebIndex)

In the age of ecommerce, the majority of consumers have the privilege of quickly and effortlessly comparing product prices across various retailers. This is why 42% of users worldwide look up brands and products on social media. Apart from having access to various retailers, they also have the privilege of interacting with the specific social media community of that brand (or product). This gives them higher quality assurance and reliability, to begin with.

  1. 90% of consumers reach out to brand retailers on social media.

Social media also has a huge role in customer service. As many as 90% of all consumers try to reach out to various brand retailers. The importance of response here is huge, as 36% of all consumers would publicly shame a brand that fails to respond to their complaints or questions.

On average, it takes 10 hours for the majority of brands to answer; yet, this response time can be cut down drastically with the use of chatbots. This is important since the majority of people won’t wait more than four hours for a response before sharing their negative experiences.

  1. About 73% of people have a negative experience when interacting with brands on social media.

With all that commercial potential behind them, one would think most brands would dedicate sizable resources to improving their social media customer interactions. Sadly, this is not the case. According to social media usage statistics, about 73% of people have had negative interactions with brands on social media.

Furthermore, 36% of these people have publicly shamed the brand. Ultimately, 30% of dissatisfied customers say they’d go to the competitor if they didn’t get a response.

  1. 65% of people are more loyal to a brand when social media interaction is positive.

(V12)

When properly used, social media can improve a retail business’s performance. About 65% of all users became more loyal to a brand even after a single interaction. Moreover, 70% are more likely to use the brand’s products or services, and 25% are less likely to turn to competitors. Also warranting a mention is the fact that as many as 75% of satisfied users are likely to share a story of this positive interaction on their own profile.

Reasons Why People Plan to Quit Social Media

  1. 41% of Gen-Z users say they’re wasting too much time on social media.

(Marketing Dive)

Not everyone is thrilled with how much of their time is spent on social media, statistics reveal.

According to a recent survey, 41% of all Gen-Z users who consider quitting social media believe they’re spending too much time on these platforms. When all the averages and social media usage statistics are taken into account, one can hardly find a flaw in this kind of reasoning.

  1. 22% of users want more privacy.

(Marketing Dive)

While most platforms have tools and settings to increase privacy, this is always an issue for social media users. For instance, users can control who sees their image on the social media platform, but they can’t control who takes screenshots or photos of the content they’ve uploaded. For this reason, 22% of them consider quitting social media altogether because they want more privacy.

  1. About 35% of users believe that there’s too much negativity on social media.

(Marketing Dive, Pew Research Center)

Among the most compelling reasons to quit social media, user behavior is definitely a top contender. About 35% of all users believe there’s too much negativity on social networks. Physical distance gives social media users the courage and audacity to act far more recklessly towards others than they would ever dare to do in person. For this very reason, 17% of Gen-Z users claim that social media can sometimes make them feel bad about themselves.

And it’s not just young people who are worried about the harmful effects of social media. A recent study found that a staggering 64% of Americans believe social media negatively affects the country’s political and social wellbeing. They cite the spread of fake news, polarization, and the creation of the so-called “echo chambers” as the most prevalent examples of this impact.

  1. 26% of Gen-Z social media users aren’t interested in the content being shared.

(Marketing Dive)

A certain portion of Gen-Zers don’t use social media very often (31%), which is the main reason they’re planning to quit it. Around 26% of them show a lack of interest in the content shared on these platforms, while 18% believe that social media content has gotten too commercialized.

  1. Too much pressure to get attention is the reason 18% of Gen-Z users want to quit.

(Marketing Dive)

See Also

Lastly, most social media users are accused of seeking attention. If we consider the psychological reasons behind posting and sharing content, this doesn’t seem to be that far from the truth. However, seeking attention also has some negative sides, which is why 18% of Gen-Z users plan to quit social media.

In Conclusion

One thing is certain — social media is becoming a significant part of our lives.

After all, 2 hours and 25 minutes equals one-tenth of the day, which means that we spend 10% of our time browsing social media. Doing any other activity for so long, with such dedication and without rest days, would easily be classified as an obsession.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. First of all, 10% of the day becomes even more significant when you deduct the time one spends asleep. Now, add to this the fact that some demographics go far above this number and that the average is going up every year.

When all of this is put into perspective, it becomes clear that social media’s role in the modern world can’t be downplayed.

FAQ

How much time do people spend on social media a day?

According to 2021 statistics, the average person spends about 145 minutes on social media every day. Compared to the 2012 data, this is a tremendous 61% increase — almost an entire hour a day.

How much time do people spend on social media each week?

On average, people spend almost 17 hours (16.9 to be more precise) every single week on social media. Translated into minutes, this is a staggering number of 1,015 minutes. The fascinating thing is the fact that, with each year, this figure keeps growing.

How much time do young people spend on social media?

Previously, we’ve mentioned the figure of 145 minutes per day on social media on average. When it comes to 16 to 24-year-olds, they tend to spend a median of three hours on various platforms. This is a sizable step up but not an unexpected one.

How much time do people spend on Facebook?

When it comes to specific social media platforms, people spend most of their time on Facebook. The average time spent on Facebook per day is 33 minutes. TikTok ranks second with 32 minutes. An average YouTube session lasts 41.9 minutes a day; however, most statistics don’t consider YouTube a social media site but rather a video streaming platform. The biggest surprise here is LinkedIn, where users spend just under 33 seconds per day.

How much time does the average American spend on social media?

According to one survey, US adults use media for approximately 12 hours and 9 minutes per day. As far as social media is concerned, Americans use it for 2 hours and 7 minutes daily. If we compare it to other countries, the US ranks somewhere in the middle of the list. It’s far behind the Philippines (4 hours and 15 minutes) and Colombia (3 hours and 45 minutes) but ahead of Japan (51 minutes), South Korea (1 hour and 8 minutes), and Austria (1 hour and 22 minutes).

How much time a year do people spend on social media?

On average, people spend about 36.6 days on social media every single year. This is more than a month. Now, it’s essential to consider that the discrepancy between adults and teens can be quite staggering in favor of the latter. The exact figures for each demographic are somewhat harder to come by, but they are both impressive and terrifying.

How much time do people spend on social media in other countries?

When it comes to the average time spent on social media, the US is far from being at the top of the list. On top of the list are the Philippines, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, and Nigeria. The fact that Colombia and Brazil rank so high is hardly surprising since people in South America spend most of their time on social media on average. The leader, the Philippines, spearheads the list with approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes per day.

How much time do millennials spend on social media?

Millennials spend an average of 2 hours and 38 minutes on social media per day. This time is split among several different social networks, with their average time spent on Facebook per day being the most dominant. TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter closely follow, but instant messaging tools like Messenger and WhatsApp are also quite prevalent in this demographic.

How much time do students spend on social media?

Generally speaking, an average student spends approximately 1–2 hours on social media every day. They spend additional 1–2 hours streaming videos and about 0–2 hours on other online activities.

How much social media is too much?

One thing that the majority of people are concerned with is the harmfulness of social media. Is there such a thing as too much social media? Like with any other habit, this one can also be overused. According to experts, spending about 30 minutes per day on social media is the safe amount. Sadly, the majority of people consume far more social media than this.

How much time do teens spend on social media?

Looking at the time spent on social media by age, teenagers are the most dominant group. People aged 16–24 spend more than three hours a day on social media. Many see this as a reason for concern. Since researchers claim that teens spend as much as nine hours per day in front of various screens, this might be part of a more significant problem.

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