Almost half of the world is now on social, with 321 million new users reported in 2019, according to new research which has revealed that Australians are increasingly turning to social media to earn a living.
The annual Digital 2020 Report, produced jointly by social media management platform Hootsuite and creative agency We Are Social, has found that the use of social media increased markedly last year.
The report found that 49 per cent of the world’s total population (3.8 billion people) now uses social media, an increase of 321 million or 9 per cent from 2019.
While social media users in the Philippines are the most active, in Australia networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram no longer just serve for socialising but a way to earn a living, with nearly a third (30 per cent) of internet users aged 16–64 using social media platforms for work.
“This year’s report highlights what a sociable nation Australia is. We make 10 monthly comments per user on Facebook, second only to the Philippines. Time spent on social in Australia is going up both in our personal and professional lives. We’re also a nation that’s clearly comfortable with flexing our online spending power,” Suzie Shaw, managing director at We Are Social, Sydney, said.
She pointed out that this is just one side of the story, with Aussies also concerned about data misuse. According to the report, the use of ad blockers in the region has jumped from 36 per cent to 46 per cent.
“With more people in Australia spending time on social media, online shopping, gaming and using smart devices, privacy concerns are only going to increase. The next significant change may be people demanding more control over the data they are willing to give away,” Ms Shaw said.
And according to the new report, Australia is one of the top five global spenders in consumer goods online at $US1,157 average revenue per e-commerce user, with mobile now the top device for making online purchases.
Facebook maintains lead
The world’s most-used social platforms are Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp. TikTok, in seventh place, now has 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million of these users in China.
There has also been an active growth in advertising audience numbers across many major social platforms. Facebook’s data showed 1 per cent growth over the past quarter, while Instagram’s ad audience has risen by nearly 6 per cent in the same time period.
The standout performer, however, is Pinterest, whose advertising audience numbers jumped by 12 per cent after it added a number of new countries to its advertising targeting options.
Other insights include more than half of all internet time is spent on mobile devices, with mobile apps now accounting for 10 out of every 11 minutes we spend using mobile devices.
Another finding was that the number of homes around the world with at least one smart home device increased by a third over the past year to 134.1 million, with the UK and US leading the way with the smartest homes.
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business.
Maja has an extensive career as a journalist across finance, business and market intelligence. Prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja spent several years unravelling social, political and economic intricacies in Eastern Europe.