In this blog, we look at the latest social media statistics and demographics for the UK in 2019.
As more social media reports are released throughout the year, we will keep this resource up to date with the latest figures and user insight.
There are now 3.484 billion active social media users around the world. This number represents 45% of the world’s population and an increase of 280 million since January 2018. This growth rate is likely to continue in 2019. In the last month 98% of internet users have visited or used a social network or messaging service.
During 2018 there was a 10% increase in the number of mobile social media users. Today, the number totals 3.256 billion people, which is 42% of the global population.
In the UK specifically, there are now 45 million social media users. This equates to 67% of the entire population. Of these, 39 million are mobile social media users. If you are not optimising your campaigns for mobile, then your content will not be having the desired effect. The UK is very much a mobile-first nation.
Amazingly, 96% of UK social media users visited a social network or messaging service in the past month. Of these 77% actively engaged or contributed to social media in this time.
Every day, the average UK based user spends 1 hour 50 minutes scrolling through social media sites. This may not seem that much if you work in social media,but consider this figure spans across all ages and locations across the country.
Interestingly, only 13% of UK internet users use social media for work purposes. In 2019, as more employee advocacy programmes launch, engaging staff members to utilise social media as brand we expect this figure will significantly increase.
Facebook remains the dominant social platform by membership in the UK. Despite numerous scandals in 2018 it seems users and advertisers alike weren’t put off from using the platform.
Examining the user base, it is easy to see why. Of all internet users in the UK, 78% of them use Facebook. More compelling is that a whopping 40 million people, or 71% of UK adults (+13 years old) can be reached with adverts on the platform.
According to Facebook Audience Insights, there are 35-40 million monthly active users on the platform. Of these, 52% identify as women and 48% men (based on users aged 18 and older).
There are now over 60 million active business Pages on Facebook globally, which is why many are turning to advertising on the platform to cut through the noise and reach your desired audiences. (Pst! We’ve got an Instagram and Facebook advertising masterclass coming up in London this April if you want to get started with the platform.)
In the UK, the average engagement rate on a Facebook post is 3.82% which is a small increase (0.13%) on this time last year. The average engagement rate for a photo post is 5.48% and for a video post is higher at 6.96%.
This data, via the Digital 2019 report backs up theories that video is the most engaging type of content you can share on Facebook.
According to Facebook Audience Insights, the average UK user makes 6 comments, likes 11 posts, shares 1 post and clicks on 13 ads in a 30-day period.
YouTube is ranked as the UK’s second most popular social media channel with almost as many users as Facebook.
Last year, it was reported by Flint that 37.1 million adults are using the platform in the UK. Although there are no up to date statistics, we can see that YouTube and Facebook regularly battle it out for the most visited social media platform every month.
Globally, the average viewing session is 40 minutes, up 50% from last year according to Omicore. Many brands are now using YouTube as it’s a great place to host longer form content. Unlike other social networks, where users scroll passively through newsfeeds, Youtube users are intentionally searching on the platform for videos to watch.
At the beginning of 2019 there are an estimated 24 million Instagram users in the UK. This is 42% of the UK’s population, which according to Instagram can all be reached with advertising. The gender split is slightly skewed towards females (54% vs 46% males).
Instagram is Facebook’s success story with a huge amount of businesses flocking to the platform. According to Instagram, 80% of users follow a business or a brand so are looking for inspiration.
According to parent company Microsoft, engagement on LinkedIn is at a record high levels, with more than 610 million professionals now interacting on the platform and looking for new ideas and opportunities.
There are 27 million profiles in the UK, with 60% male and 40% female. Accoring to Social Media Today, Microsoft claims there has been a 34% increase in login sessions amongst those members who are most likely to use the platform to regularly engage and share. They said:
“More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts: our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and reshares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY”
Revenue is also growing with 51% of UK adults (18+) now reachable by LinkedIn adverts, according to LinkedIn.
According to Twitter, 13.6 million people in the UK can be reached by advertising which gives us a clue as to the size of the platform. This number represents 24% of the UK population, aged 13+.
The gender breakdown is shared as 60% male and 40% female – however many Twitter accounts are companies not individuals so would be classed as neutral.
Advertising reach has declined by 0.7% in the last quarter. As we stated last year, Twitter has always been pretty cagey about its usage figures. They continue to remove hundreds of thousands of bots and fake accounts and this does affect their global statistics.
TikTok is a short-form mobile video app which launched in China in 2016. Originally called Douyin, it was rebranded as TikTok to appeal to international markets after parent company ByteDance acquired musical.ly. for $1bn in 2017.
The platform recently announced 500 million monthly active users globally, but has been the subject of safety concerns. If you haven’t explored Tik Tok yet, then it’s essentially humorous music videos and challenges. Take a look at this YouTube video for a flavour.
Usage surged ahead of Snapchat and Twitter last year and is already being used by thousands of British teenagers. After running it’s first major UK marketing campaign targeting Millenials over Christmas and New Year 2018, TikTok is set for big things in 2019.
Still using Pinterest? The mood-boarding platform now has 250 million monthly active users around the globe, which is an increase of 50 million since 2018. The channel is used by far more females than males (45% vs 27% of online UK adults, according to Flint in 2018).
86 percent of millennials say they use Pinterest to “plan life moments, big and small”, so if your product or service is relevant then its still important to have well optimised pins on the platform. One of the most valuable things about Pinterest is the long shelf life of Pins. The average pin is repinned 11 times. Eighty percent of all pins are repins and it takes a pin 3.5 months to get 50 percent of its engagement. That means a Pin can, on average, live for seven months (compared to Twitter’s seven minutes).
Watch out as Google + is finally being shut down. Make sure you remove those buttons from your homepage, otherwise you risk looking a bit 2012!
Any Google+ pages you created, as well as photos and videos stored in your Google+ album archive.
The deletion does not affect other Google services. Photos and videos stored in Google Photos, for instance, will not be affected. Your Google account, which is linked to services such as Gmail, YouTube and Maps, will continue to work, but your Google+ account, which was only used for the social network, will be deleted. You should have received an email about this.
Well that’s it for now – but do keep checking back as we add to this article throughout the year.
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Alison Battisby is a digital marketing instructor and social media expert who has worked both agency-side and freelance in the social media industry since 2008. Alison has consulted a wide range of growing enterprises and big brands including Estee Lauder, Tesco and Pringles.