Social media usage in the United Kingdom (UK) - Statistics & Facts

The use of social media websites is a common part of life in the United Kingdom. At the beginning of 2017, the total number of social media users in the UK had reached over 39 million users, with estimates going up to 42 million users. This translates to a penetration rate of over 58 percent and 62 percent respectively. With 67 percent of online adults reached by Facebook in November 2016, the website took the number one spot of recently visited social networks in Great Britain, closely followed by YouTube.


The frequency of visits to social networks has steadily grown and in 2015 a quarter of social media users visited them more than 10 times a day. User age profiles show that younger age groups had the highest rate of penetration. However, while the penetration rate in the younger age groups has grown, the share of people in the age groups over 34 years old with a social media profile is still growing. Women in the UK were more likely to have a social media profile than men. In 2015, the share of women with a profile exceeded the share of men with a profile by 11 percent.

The gender distribution of Twitter users shows that the average user in Great Britain was more likely to be male, while the average Facebook user was more likely to be female. The user age reflected the overall prominence of the younger generation when it comes to social media usage. However, the user base of Twitter is younger than that of Facebook. Despite the prominence of big social networks like Facebook and Twitter, 19 to 90 percent of social shares in the UK, depending on the topic, happened via other channels like emails, chat and forum posts.

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