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

In this day and age, there is a burning question — how much time do people spend on social media in 2020? 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? Does one region dominate the social media browsing trend, or the platform itself makes the most significant difference?

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!

Top 7 Social Media Usage Facts (Editor’s Pick)

  • An average person is likely to spend around six years and eight months of their life on social media.
  • 3.80 billion people used social media in January 2020.
  • 90.4% of all millennials use social media.
  • An average person spends 144 minutes every day on social media.
  • 54% of social browsers use social media to research future purchases.
  • The Philippines are the world leaders in social media usage with an average of 3 hours and 53 minutes a day.
  • People in the 16–24 age group spend 3 hours and 1 minute every day on social media.

Relevant Social Media Statistics for 2020

1. An average person spends 144 minutes every day on social media.

(Statista)

According to 2020 statistics, the average time spent on social media is 144 minutes, or 2 hours and 24 minutes every day. One of the most surprising things is that the figure has gone up by a full hour since 2012. This is an increase of 62.5% and something to be taken into serious consideration. Moreover, 144 minutes equals 10% of the day. This number is already a significant chunk of your waking hours, and the number seems to be going up.

2. An average person spends six years and eight months of their life on social media.

(BroadbandSearch)

It is estimated that an average person spends six years and eight months of their life on social media. This number results from an equation in which an average life expectancy is compared to the percentage of the day social media consumes. Comparatively, we would spend only one year and 11 months socializing, three years and seven months eating and drinking, and one year and eight months doing housework.

3. 3.8 billion people used social media in January 2020.

(We Are Social)

Regarding recent social media usage numbers and statistics, about 3.8 billion people used social media in January 2020. This is a clear increase compared to January 2019 (a 9% increase, to be more precise). The growth of mobile users follows this rise. This is hardly surprising since smartphones and mobile devices, in general, are a primary social media browsing tool. The number of mobile users globally is about 5.19 billion people (2.4% growth over the past year).

4. 4.54 billion people across the globe use the internet.

(We Are Social)

Previously, we’ve talked about the fact that 5.19 billion people worldwide use mobile devices. Another relevant statistic is the total number of internet users in the world — about 4.54 billion. After some basic math, it turns out that about 83.7% of all internet users also use social media. The number of social media users, however, seems to be growing at a higher pace.

Daily Time Spent on Social Media per Platform

5. People spend 58 minutes a day on Facebook alone.

(BroadbandSearch)

When it comes to the average time spent on social media daily, Facebook is at the very top of the list, with an average of 58 minutes. The network is dominant in all other statistics as well, with 2.2 billion monthly users and 8 billion daily video views. As for other Facebook usage statistics, this platform’s users upload 300 million photos every day and watch about 100 million hours of video content. In other words, they’re in the lead when it comes to both content creation and consumption.

6. An average visitor spends 40 minutes on YouTube.

(BroadbandSearch)

One of the things that set YouTube apart from other social networks is the highest average visit length of 40 minutes. Seeing that the average daily time spent on YouTube is also 40 minutes, it’s clear that this is probably a single session of enjoying YouTube videos. Out of 1.5 billion monthly active users, at least 30 million use YouTube every single day. While Facebook users are more numerous, YouTube is a video-oriented platform, which is why its users watch 5 billion videos every day.

7. Instagram has 500 million daily active users.

(BroadbandSearch)

One of the first things that come to mind when talking about Instagram is its addictiveness. Out of 800 million 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 95 million photos and over 250 million stories get uploaded on this platform every single day. The average daily time spent on Instagram is 53 minutes, which means that the platform in question is closely following its older counterpart Facebook.

8. Twitter has 460,000 new accounts every day.

(BroadbandSearch)

In 2020, Twitter is considered more of a news outlet than a social media platform. Still, with 330 million monthly active users and 100 million daily active users, it’s definitely at the very top of any social media list. As for the UGC, there are 140 million Tweets published daily. Since the number of accounts on the network grows by 460,000 every single day, it is expected that this figure will significantly go up in the nearest future.

9. 3 billion snaps are created every day.

(BroadbandSearch)

Started in 2011, Snapchat is the newcomer on the list. Still, with 301 million monthly and 178 million daily users, it’s already a force to be reckoned with in the world of social media. There are 3 billion snaps (Snapchat content format) created daily and 10 billion video views on a daily basis. The number of views is higher than on YouTube, but it’s worth knowing that the average video content on Snapchat is considerably shorter.

10. Daily time spent on LinkedIn is less than a minute.

(BroadbandSearch)

LinkedIn has 546 million registered users, with 200 million monthly active users. This makes it clear that its audience is quite dedicated. However, the majority of its users spend less than a minute a day using this network. Most likely, the majority of them are there to check new contacts, messages, and notifications quickly. With 5.26 million new accounts monthly, it’s clear that this platform is still expanding, even if time spent on social media statistics doesn’t favor it.

Demographic Differences on Social Media in 2020

11. 16–24-year-old users spend approximately 3 hours a day on social media.

(ABC4)

One of the first important differences in social media use can be seen among various age groups. 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, which brings the average down to 2 hours and 24 minutes per day.

12. 90.4% of millennials are on social media.

(Oberlo)

If we want to know which demographic uses social media the most (proportionally to their population), millennials take the cake. About 90.4% of all millennials are on social media, while only 48.2% of baby boomers are active on them. Furthermore, 77.5% of Gen X are social media users. This percentage shows that every generation has a higher average number of users than the previous one.

13. As of March 2019, 90% of all 13–24 year-olds use Snapchat.

(Zephoria)

The title “The platform of the next generation” should definitely go to Snapchat. Why? Well, mostly because it is reported that the vast majority (90%) of all 13-24 year-olds use Snapchat. The number of users belonging to this demographic in the US is somewhat lower at about 75%. These are the numbers from March 2019, and they seem to be growing daily. The platform itself has 178 million daily active users.

14. The Philippines is the world leader in social media usage, with an average of 3 hours and 53 minutes daily.

(Digital Marketing Institute)

The region also affects the social media browsing habits of users. For instance, the average social media use in the Philippines of 3 hours and 53 minutes a day is much higher than the global average. Generally speaking, continents like South America, Africa, and Asia have higher-than-average daily use of social media. 

For this very reason, countries like Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, and Thailand are also among the top five on this list. For instance, the USA can be found in the middle of the table, while Spain, Belgium, and France are in the lower part.

15. 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 is a regional thing. 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 closely 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.

How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media - Social Networks

Social Media and Retail in 2020

16. 54% of social browsers research products they are interested in on social media.

(Oberlo)

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 54% of social media browsers search for 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.

17. 90% of consumers reach out to brand retailers on social media.

(V12)

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, seeing that 36% of all consumers would publicly shame the brand that fails to respond to their complaints or questions. On average, it takes ten 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.

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

(V12)

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

Furthermore, 36% of these people have publicly shamed the brand (which we’ve already mentioned). In the end, 30% of dissatisfied customers would go to the competitor if they don’t get a response.

19. 65% of people are more loyal to a brand when social media interaction is positive.

(V12)

When properly used, social media potential can improve the performance of the retail business. About 65% of all users became more loyal to a brand even after a single interaction. Moreover, 70% of them are more likely to use the brand’s product/services, and 25% are less likely to turn to competitors. One more relevant 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 People Plan on Quitting Social Media

20. 41% of Gen Z users say they’re wasting too much time on social media.

(BroadbandSearch)

Not everyone is thrilled with the results of the time spent on social media statistics. In fact, 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.

21. 22% of users want more privacy.

(BroadbandSearch)

While the majority of 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 all social media users consider quitting social media altogether because they want more privacy.

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

(BroadbandSearch)

Among the most compelling reasons to quit social media, social media community behavior is definitely a top contender. About 35% of all users believe that 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 social media users claim that social media can sometimes make them feel bad about themselves.

23. 26% of Gen Z social media users are not interested in the content.

(BroadbandSearch)

It’s important to mention that there’s a certain portion of Gen Z users who are not using social media very often (31%), which is the main reason they’re planning on quitting social media. Somewhere around 26% of them show a lack of interest in the content, while about 18% believe that social media content got too commercialized.

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

(BroadbandSearch)

Lastly, the majority of 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 all Gen Z users plan on quitting social media.

Conclusion

One thing is certain; social media are becoming a significant part of our lives. After all, 144 minutes equals 10% 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 average, and the fact that the average is going up every year. When all of this is put into perspective, it becomes clear that social media importance in the modern world can’t be downplayed.

FAQ

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

According to the 2020 statistics, the average person spends about 144 minutes on social media every day. Compared to the 2012 data, this is a tremendous 62.5% increase — an entire hour a day.

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

On average, people spend almost 17 hours (16.8 to be more precise) every single week on social media. Translated into minutes, this is a staggering number of 1.008 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 144 minutes per day on social media as an 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 per day do people spend on different social media?

When it comes to specific social media, people spend most of their time on Facebook (58 minutes a day) and Instagram (53 minutes a day). Following this, there’s YouTube with 40 minutes spent there every single day by an average viewer. Snapchat is also quite time-consuming, with an average of 49.5 minutes. Big surprises here are Twitter and LinkedIn, each with approximately 1 minute spent per day.

How much time do people spend on social media in the US?

According to one survey, US adults use media for approximately 12 hours and 9 minutes per day. As far as social media is concerned, the citizens of North America use it for 2 hours and 6 minutes. If we compare it to other continents, it is behind South America (3 hours and 29 minutes), Africa (3 hours and 10 minutes), and slightly behind Asia (2 hours and 16 minutes).

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

On average, people spend about 36.5 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 impressing 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, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, and Argentina. The fact that Brazil and Argentina are on this list 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 3 hours and 57 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 Facebook and YouTube being the most dominant. Instagram and Twitter closely follow, but IM tools like FB messenger and WhatsApp are also quite prevalent with 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 the rest of their 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?

Out of all demographic groups, teenagers are the ones who spend the majority of time on social media. People aged between 16–24 years spend more than three hours a day on social media. A lot of people see this as a reason for concern. Since researchers claim that teens spend as much as nine hours per day in front of the screen, this might be a part of a more significant problem.

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