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Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts

After a marked increase of roughly 7 million users between 2016 and 2017, social media uptake in the United Kingdom has slowed down. Despite this, the number of users continues to grow each year and is forecast to reach nearly 51 million by 2025 with a market penetration rate of approximately 73.5 percent nationwide. YouTube and Facebook have had a significantly larger reach than any other social media platform, each with a 62 and 59 percent respondent share in 2019. Comparatively, only 29 percent of those surveyed claimed to use Instagram.

The demographics of social networks

According to a 2018 survey, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram had a significantly larger female user base. This was most prominently seen with Pinterest, where female users outnumbered males by 18 percent. Men on the other hand leaned towards Twitter, LinkedIn and Skype. By the age of 12, most children in the UK are on social media. In 2019 Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram were the top three apps among teens as well as young adults up to 24 years of age. Of the three, Snapchat is the only social media platform uniquely dominant among those aged below 25.

Social media habits in the UK

In 2019 the average adult in the UK spent 102 minutes daily on social media. Not only that, the majority of 25 to 54-year-olds admitted to browsing social networks often while watching television. Social media’s omnipresence has earned itself a place at the forefront of digital marketing, as seen in the rise of influencer and social media advertising.

Marketing and influencer trust

In fact, when PR experts were asked which areas they felt they needed to gain more insight into, social networks topped the list – namely the fields of social influencer outreach and social network strategy. Positives aside, social media isn’t just an easy one-solution-fits-all advertising tool. Consumer engagement on the platform is highly trust-dependent and when it came to influencer marketing, an overwhelming majority at 88 percent of all UK respondents surveyed in 2018 believed they should be informed when being presented sponsored products.

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Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK)

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