Social media statistics

Research into how the UK and the world is using social media

Thanks to smartphones and faster Internet, social media has become an integral part of many of our lives. Whether you think this is a good thing or bad thing, we can all agree that it has had a huge impact on the way we lead our lives today. With this in mind we did some research into the biggest social networks and found some pretty impressive stats.

Quick facts

  • There are 4.65 billion were social media users worldwide.
  • Since 2012, there has been a global increase of 51% in the average amount of time spent on social media.
  • As of April 2022, five billion people (63 percent of the global population) were internet users.
  • As of 2022, the average time spent on social media worldwide came to 147 minutes per day.
  • People aged between 25-34 are the highest users of social media of all ages

Unsurprisingly, Facebook has the most monthly active users at 2.9 billion. This is 400 million more than YouTube, whose 2.5 billion monthly active users means it ranks in second spot. WhatsApp, the messaging app, comes in third with 2 billion monthly active users worldwide. Instagram came in fourth with 1.478 users followed by WeChat (1.263) and TikTok (1,000).

Name amount of monthly users in millons
Facebook 2,910,000
Youtube 2,562,000
WhatsApp 2,000,000
Facebook Messenger 998,000
WeChat 1,262,000
Instagram 1,478,000
QQ 574,000
Quora 300,000
TikTok 1,000,000
Siano Weibo 573,000
Reddit 430,000
Twitter 463,000
Snapchat 557,000
Pintrest 444,000
reddit 430,000
Telegram 550,000

Amount of time spent on social media normally

We would probably all admit to spending a little too much time on our phones, but despite many of us being aware of this bad habit, the average amount of time spent on our phones per day is increasing. Since 2012, there has been a global increase of 51% in the average amount of time spent on social media. The biggest yearly increase was seen between 2014 and 2015 with the amount of time spent scrolling increasing by 15.6% in just 1 year. In 2022, the average time spent on our phones has reached 147 minutes.

Year Time spent on social media
2012 90 minutes
2013 95 minutes
2014 104 minutes
2015 111 minutes
2016 128 minutes
2017 134 minutes
2018 142 minutes
2019 145 minutes
2020 145 minutes
2021 145 minutes
2022 147 minutes

Amount of messages sent

We conducted a survey to see how many messages Brits thought they sent using traditional texting methods (including iMessage) and social media. Brits estimated that on average they sent 29 messages every week by text or iMessage, while they predicted the average amount of messages sent through social media was 57. This means that, on average, Brits send almost twice as many messages on social media than texting. The most popular form of social media messaging was via WhatsApp – Brits said that on average they sent 26 messages on WhatsApp every week.

Platform Average number of messages sent per week
Traditional Texts & iMessagging 29
Total social media messages 57
-WhatsApp 26
-Facebook messages 16
-Instagram messages 5
-Snapchat messages 7
-Other (e.g. viber) 4

Age breakdowns

Across all the social media platforms that we analysed, the highest proportion of their users were 25–34 years old. Snapchat was the only exception to this, with the most popular age group being 18–24, with 112.2 million users worldwide falling within this age bracket.


Facebook has more active users than any other platform. It was created in 2004 and gained popularity in 2009 among teens and young adults, explaining why the platform is most popular with those who are now 25-34 years old. Compared to other platforms Facebook sees far more users across all age groups.

Age share of users
13-17 4%
18-24 18.20%
25-34 25.40%
35-44 19.90%
45-54 14.20%
55-64 10.50%
65+ 8.60%


Despite being one of the more recent social media platforms to be invented, Instagram has quickly become one of the most popular. Instagram now has over 1 billion active users around the world, where the the majority of Instagram’s users are aged 18-34.

Age Percentage
13-17 8.90%
18-24 30.20%
25-34 31.70%
35-44 15.80%
45-54 7.80%
55-64 3.70%
65+ 2.10%


When Twitter came onto the scene in 2006 the majority of users shared memes and funny anecdotes. The platform still attracts such activity but now sees numerous individuals using it for work purposes. Similarly with most social media platforms the majority of users are aged 25-34 years old.

Age Percentage
13-17 6.60%
18-24 17.10%
25-34 38.50%
35-49 20.70%
50+ 17.10%


Created in 2011, Snapchat has the lowest average age for their users compared to the other platforms, with the majority of it’s users falling within the 18-24 age group. As of the beginning of 2022, snapchat had 332 million daily active users worldwide.

Age Female Male
13-17 11.80% 9.30%
18-24 19.50% 19.50%
25-34 11.60% 10.40%
34-49 8.50% 4.90%
50+ 2.50% 1.20%


LinkedIn is a business and employment platform and is home to one the largest professional networks. Like many of the social media platforms the majority of their users fall within the 25-34 age group. The United States has the largest LinkedIn audience size, as of 2022, LinkedIn had 58.5 million users in the US.

age percentage
18-24 20.40%
25-34 59.10%
35-54 17.70%
55+ 2.90%

Amount of time spent on social media during the coronavirus lockdown

During the March 2020 lockdown, we spent more time on our phones and the internet. In the UK, 50% of Brits reported they watched more news coverage than ever before, and 32% say they spent more time on social media.

On the contrary, music streaming services were used less. Spotify reportedly lost 11.4% of listeners on their Top 200 chart between March 6 and March 13 2020

Media Worldwide United Kingdom
Watching more news coverage 67% 50%
Watching more shows/films on streaming services 51% 32%
Spending more time on messaging services 45% 24%
Spending more time on social media 44% 21%
Reading more books/listening to more audiobooks 35% 19%
Listening to more music via steaming services 35% 14%
Creating/uploading videos 14% 6%
Listening to more podcasts 12% 11%


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