New "Digital 2024 United Kingdom" Report Shows Growth in Social Media, and More than 49 Hours a Month Spent on TikTok

New "Digital 2024 United Kingdom" Report Shows Growth in Social Media, and More than 49 Hours a Month Spent on TikTok

Feb. 21, 2024

People in the UK spend more time on TikTok than any other country in the world, with a massive 49 hours and 29 minutes spent on the platform’s Android app each month. 

The data features in a new report, Digital 2024: The United Kingdom - from global socially-led agency We Are Social and leader in social and media intelligence, Meltwater. The report also shows that TikTok tops the charts when it comes to mobile apps ranked by consumer spend, followed by Tinder and Disney+ in second and third place respectively.  

There are 56.2 million social media users in the United Kingdom, who spend an average of 1 hour and 49 minutes across 6.4 platforms. Keeping in touch with friends and family is the primary driver for social media use (55.4% of internet users age 16-64), followed by filling spare time (40%) and reading news stories (27.5%). 

Multiple platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and Snapchat grew their advertising reach year-on-year, with star performer Pinterest adding 5.9 million people to its potential ad audience, growth of 77.9% on the previous year.  

Despite strong results across social platforms, not all the report’s metrics are positive for the advertising industry. There is disappointing news for representation and inclusivity, with only 8% of internet users age 16-64 saying they feel represented in advertising, a significant fall of 14% year-on-year. 

Other key data points from Digital 2024: The United Kingdom include: 

  • Digital accounted for 79.7% of total UK ad spend in 2023, with £34.7bn spent.
  • Annual spend on influencer marketing in the UK was £820mn, up 15.7% year-on-year. Social ad spend last year was £7.7bn, up 7.8%. 
  • British internet users spend an hour each day using a games console. 59.5% play games on their smartphone - an increase of 21.4% year-on-year.
  • 68.9% of UK internet users express concerns about what is real or fake on the internet.
  • The UK’s ‘favourite’ social media platforms are WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. 
  • Threads was the third most downloaded app in the UK last year, after Temu and Tesco Groceries.

Digital 2024: The United Kingdom is a 136 page report, compiled using data from a wide range of sources, including public and private companies, market research firms, and government agencies. Its contributors include GWI, Statista and Data.ai. 

Jim Coleman, UK chief executive, We Are Social, said:

"It’s no surprise to see TikTok as the most used app in the UK but it’s also evolving - the time spent on this platform reflects a growing trend of social media as entertainment. For marketers, it’s important to be on top of these continuous shifts in the way that people are spending time online and adapt their approach to the type of content they create - the significant growth in smartphone gamers, for example, represents an opportunity to connect with people in different ways. We also need to ensure we’re not complacent when it comes to representation in our work. Advertising should not only reflect the demographic of the people it’s looking to reach - the work should be culturally appropriate too."

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