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Essential 2021 Social Media Statistics

Estimated Reading Time: 15 minutes

Here is a comprehensive list of the most important social media stats for 2021. We’ve collated the most recent data to bring you the most up-to-date picture of the social media landscape. As we move into 2021, you can use these stats to inform your social media strategies for the year ahead.

Big Social Stories in 2020

Social Commerce

Shopping on social is a growing area with many platforms developing their features to enable merchants to advertise and take part in social commerce more and more.

TikTok integrated with Canadian ecommerce platform, Shopify. This integration gives Shopify merchants the ability to manage campaigns from their Shopify CMS. With social commerce growing, it’s expected that the global social commerce market will increase by 34%.

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How COVID-19 Shaped Social Media

COVID-19 affected our lives in many ways, and social media is also one of the areas that has been affected. With many unable to see loved ones, social media is being used more frequently to stay in touch and keep up to date with others.

46% of women and 41% of men aged 16-24 say they have used social media due to COVID-19. 42% of men and women say that they spent more time using messenger services staying in touch with loved ones.

Facebook saw a 50% increase in messaging usage such as Messenger and WhatsApp in countries that had the strictest lockdown measures. Facebook experienced a 70% uplift of time spent on its apps in Italy since the start of the pandemic. 

Accuracy of information was also a focus during the pandemic. YouTube banned videos incorrectly linking 5G to COVID-19. Facebook had to up its ante with fact checking during the pandemic, and 7 million posts were removed for sharing false information. Famously, Twitter took on President Trump by labelling some of his tweets as “potentially misleading” as part of their harmful and misleading content update.

The Ongoing Rise of TikTok

Like much of 2020, TikTok has had a rollercoaster of a year with many people in the UK turning to TikTok during the pandemic. This led to its share of social network users increasing to 21.1% from 12.4% in 2019.

However, across the pond, TikTok was facing a very different story, with the social media platform seeing uncertainty over its future in the USA as President Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok if it did not sell its US operations within 45 days. However, this ban on TikTok has since been halted.

Alongside this, the latest data available for TikTok statistics show that, as of January 2021, the platform has 689m monthly active users worldwide (DataReportal, 2021). That makes TikTok the seventh-largest platform in terms of users, ahead of others that have been around much longer such as Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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Social Engagement Statistics

  • Social media usage increased by 72% – Source
  • 71.64% of the UK population are active on social media each month – Source
  • There are 53 million active social media users in the UK – Source
  • 70% of adults aged 16+ use the internet for social networking – Source
  • There are 3.96 billion global active social media users – Source
  • An average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day is spent on social networks – Source

Social Media Behaviours

  • Staying up-to-date with news and current events is the most commonly cited reasons for using social media – Source
  • The majority of Gen Z use social media to fill spare time – Source
  • 75% of millennials have created a social media account – Source
  • 56% of social media users suffer from FOMO – Source
  • 29% of global users use social to research or find products to buy – Source
  • Gen Z now depends on the Internet primarily to access their friends (62%) and for entertainment (59%) – Source
  • By 2021, the global social commerce market will increase by approximately 34% – Source
  • 24% of internet users use social media when looking for more information about brands –Source

Social Media Advertising

  • £3.04bn spent on social media advertising in the UK – Source
  • 27% of US & UK say they discovered new brands via adverts seen on social media – Source

Instagram Social Media Stats

  • Instagram has 1.2 billion active users as of Jan 2021 – Source
  • It has 30.36 million UK users as of Jan 2021 – Source
  • The 25-34 age group is the most common demographic for Instagram users in the UK, at 30.7% – Source
  • The USA has the biggest Instagram audience of 140 Million, tied  with India for top spot – Source
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Facebook Social Media Stats

  • 43.04m Facebook users are in the UK – Source
  • 63.39% of the UK are on Facebook – Source
  • Worldwide, there are 2.89 billion monthly active Facebook users – Source
  • India has the biggest Facebook audience, with 320 million – Source
  • 98.3% of active Facebook users access the platform via a mobile device – Source
  • 54% of Facebook users share personal news and updates – Source
  • 74% of high-income earners use Facebook – Source:

Twitter Social Media Stats

  • 192 million monetizable daily active users as of Q4 2020 – Source
  • 63% of Twitter users are aged 35- 65 – Source
  • 43% of adults use Twitter more than once a day – Source
  • 68% of Twitter users are male – Source
  • Average Twitter session lasts 3.39 minutes – Source
  • 6000 tweets are sent every second – Source
  • Journalists make up 24.6% of verified accounts – Source
  • 83% of the world’s leaders are on Twitter – Source
  • 77% of people feel more positive about a brand when their tweet has been replied to – Source
  • Harry Styles is the celebrity account with the most followers in UK – Source

YouTube Social Media Stats

  • 79% of internet users say they have a YouTube account – Source
  • The average mobile viewing session is 40 minutes – Source
  • 37% of users aged 18 – 34 are binge-watching YouTube daily – Source
  • There are 2 billion monthly active users – Source
  • YouTube has over 30 million visitors per day – Source
  • YouTube is the 2nd most visited site in the world – Source
  • 500 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute – Source
  • 1 billion videos are consumed on YouTube every day – Source
  • 70% of YouTube audiences believe that YouTube stars are trendsetters – Source
  • Searches for ‘How To’ videos have grown by 70% YoY – Source

TikTok Social Media Stats

  • 75.2% YoY growth of TikTok users in the UK Source
  • There are 8.5million TikTok users in the UK – Source
  • TikTok increased their social network user % share to 21.1% – Source
  • TikTok UK users expected to surpass 10 million in 2021 – Source
  • 800 million active users worldwide – Source
  • The TikTok app has received more than 2 billion downloads from the App store and Google Play – Source
  • 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 to 24 – Source
  • 52 minutes per day is the average time spent on the TikTok app – Source
  • 90% of users access TikTok multiple times in a day – Source
  • 82% of TikTok users were looking for funny content in 2020 – Source

LinkedIn Social Media Stats

  • 702 million people can be reached with adverts on LinkedIn (according to LinkedIn)
  • 43% of LinkedIn’s advertising audience is female – Source

Check out some of our other blog posts for more details on the biggest changes in the social sphere for digital marketing.

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