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  • 68 Social Media Usage Statistics for 2022: Time Spent & Impact on Health

68 Social Media Usage Statistics for 2022: Time Spent & Impact on Health

Social media has become so ingrained in people’s lives that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. More than half (50.64%) of the global population now uses social media and, out of 4.57 billion internet users, 83.36% are active users. With the staggering number of social media users, one might ask, just how much of our time goes to social media? How are we spending our most valuable life currency on social sites and applications and how does our usage impact our lives?

Moreover, businesses consider social media and marketing software as important tools in their digital marketing strategy. That’s why in this compilation of social media usage statistics, we’ll highlight, among others, some of the most popular platforms today and the average time spent on social media by users. We’ll also discover how the COVID-19 pandemic affected social media use and how the extended exposure to social apps might actually impact health and well-being.

social media usage statistics - infographic

How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?

Global internet users now spend 145 minutes or 2 hours and 41 minutes per day on a variety of social media platforms. Of course, time spent on social media by country varies. People in some continents and places spend more of their waking hours glued to their digital devices checking social pages.

For example, social media penetration is highest in Northern and Western Europe, both at 79%. However, it is in the continent of South America where people spend the longest hours on social media. Also, it is in Asia, particularly in the Philippines, where people spend the most time on social networks by country. Overall, social media usage statistics estimate that an individual will spend 6 years and 8 months of their lifetime on social media.

  • In 2019 and 2020, internet users worldwide spent on average 145 minutes (2 hours 41 minutes) per day on social media, up from 142 minutes in 2018 (Statista, 2021).
  • By continent, South America spends the longest time on social media at 3 hours 24 minutes. Africa is second at 3 hours 10 minutes, Asia/Oceania at 2 hours 16 minutes, North America at 2 hours 6 minutes, and Europe at 1 hour 15 minutes (Broadband Search, 2020).
  • As of April 2021, internet users in the Philippines spend the most time on social media with a daily average of 4 hours and 5 minutes. They are followed by Nigeria (3:46), Brazil (3:41), Colombia (3:40), and Kenya (3:33) (eMarketer, 2021).
  • In the US, the average time social media users spend on the platforms they frequent is 2:08 per day (eMarketer, 2021).
  • Among people who use mobile apps, 89% reported that they use social networking apps (We Are Social, 2020).
  • Gen Zs are spending almost 4.5 hours a day on social media, while Millennials spend an average of 3.8 hours (YPulse, 2021).
  • It’s estimated that an individual will spend 6 years and 8 months of their lifetime on social media (Broadband Search, 2020).

time spent on social media

Social Media Usage Statistics per Network

There can be many ways to measure the amount of time one spends on social networks. We’ve included duration per session, daily, weekly and monthly usage for some of the most popular social media apps today. It’s clear that Facebook and YouTube are still global leaders both in the number of monthly active users and the amount of time people spend on these apps.

One app, however, is rapidly increasing in popularity—Tiktok—and some marketers have already integrated it into their social media management software for easier content planning. Based on one data point we collected, the short-form, video-sharing app is now second to Facebook when it comes to daily average time spent by US social media users. Time spent on Tiktok by US users grew 375% year-over-year in 2020 and among children under 15, daily usage increased to 82 minutes from 38 minutes between May 2019 and February 2020.

Facebook and Facebook Messenger

  • Social media users in the US spend the most time on Facebook on average (33 minutes), Tiktok (32 minutes), Twitter (31 minutes), Instagram (29 minutes), and Snapchat (28 minutes) (eMarketer, 2021).
  • 74% of US adults who use Facebook say they visit the site at least once a day, while 51% say they visit multiple times a day (eMarketer, 2019).
  • Among US adults who say they use Facebook, 70% say they access the platform daily, 17% access it weekly, and 12% access it less frequently (Pew Research, 2021).
  • The average session duration on Facebook is 4.82 minutes (Verto Analytics, 2019).
  • Meanwhile, Facebook Messenger has a monthly usage session of 77. 86 minutes per user (Verto Analytics, 2019).
  • The average session duration on Facebook Messenger is 1 minute 48 seconds (Verto Analytics, 2019).
  • Messenger users send about 8 billion messages a day (Mobile Monkey, 2021).
  • Businesses and users exchange more than 20 billion messages every month on Facebook Messenger (Messenger News, 2019).

Source: Pew Research, 2021

YouTube 

  • Nearly 43% of all global internet users visit YouTube every single month (Backlinko, 2021).
  • YouTube users now watch over 1 billion hours of online video per day (Oberlo, 2021).
  • 46.7% of all active mobile internet users log on to YouTube monthly (Backlinko, 2021).
  • The average daily time spent on Youtube across all devices (mobile, desktop, laptop, connected TV) is 41.9 minutes (eMarketer, 2020).
  • That sums up to about 4.9 hours per week or almost 255 hours per year (eMarketer, 2020).
  • The average session duration on YouTube is 15 minutes 11 seconds with 8.3 pages viewed on average (BusinessofApps, 2021).
  • Among US YouTube users, 62% access the site daily, 92% visit weekly, and 98% access the site monthly (AudienceProject, 2020).
  • 50% of the total US population used YouTube for music consumption every week (Rain News, 2019).

Tiktok

  • The average daily time spent on Tiktok is 32 minutes (eMarketer, 2021).
  • The average session duration on Tiktok is 3 minutes 32 seconds with 8 pages viewed per visit (Similarweb-Tiktok, 2021).
  • Android users spend an average of 13.3 hours using Tiktok every month (Hootsuite, 2021).
  • Time spent on Tiktok by US users grew 375% year-over-year in 2020 (AdAge, 2020).
  • Tiktok says that its US users open the app at least 8 times a day (Digiday, 2019).
  • Usage of the app among children under 15 was most pronounced in the US. Daily usage increased to 82 minutes from 38 minutes between May 2019 and February 2020 (TechCrunch, 2020).

WhatsApp 

  • As of January 2021, WhatsApp is the most popular mobile messaging app with 2 billion users accessing the app on a monthly basis (Statista, 2021).
  • The average WhatsApp user on the Android platform spends 19.4 hours per month (38 minutes per day) on the app (Hootsuite, 2021).
  • The daily average time spent on WhatsApp by US users is 28 minutes 40 seconds (SimilarWeb, 2021).
  • More than 100 billion messages are sent each day on WhatsApp (Backlinko, 2021).
  • Among US WhatsApp users, 50% say they access the instant messaging app daily, 78% say they use it weekly, and 91% say they use it monthly (AudienceProject, 2020).
  • 54% of millennials, 51% of Gen Zs, 48% of Gen X, and 36% of Baby Boomers access WhatsApp daily (GWI, 2021).

Source: Similarweb/eMarketer

Instagram

  • The average time spent per day on Instagram is 29 minutes (eMarketer, 2021).
  • 63% of Instagram users access the app at least once per day, and 42% check it multiple times within the same day (Pew Research, 2021).
  • The average Instagram user posts once a day (Datareportal, 2020).
  • 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily (Instagram, n.d.)
  • The average Instagram visit lasts 7 minutes 37 seconds with about 11 pages visited per session (Similarweb-Instagram, 2021).
  • 59% of US Instagram users access the app daily, 21% open it weekly, and 20% use it less frequently (Pew Research, 2021).

Twitter

  • The average daily time spent on Twitter is 31 minutes (eMarketer, 2021).
  • The average Twitter visit lasts 10 minutes 42 seconds with about 11 pages visited per session (Similarweb-Twitter, 2021).
  • The top 10% of US tweeters create 92% of all tweets from US users (Pew Research, 2020).
  • 81% of the top 10% of US Twitter users say they use the app at least once a day compared to 47% of the bottom 90% of users who said the same (BusinessofApps, 2021).
  • 46% of US Twitter users access the app daily, 27% check it weekly, and 27% access it less frequently (Pew Research, 2021).

Snapchat

  • The average daily time spent on Snapchat is 28 minutes (eMarketer, 2021).
  • However, another study reports that daily time spent on Snapchat per day is 49 minutes (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2021).
  • According to Snapchat, its users spend over 30 minutes on the app every day (Snapchat, n.d.).
  • The average session duration is 2 minutes 28 seconds with around 3 pages visited per session (Similarweb-Snapchat, 2021).
  • Among US Snapchat users, 59% say they access the app daily, 21% use it weekly, and 19% use it less frequently (Pew Research, 2021).
  • On average, Snapchatters opened the app 30 times a day in Q4 2020 (Snapchat, 2020).

Pinterest

  • The average daily time spent on Pinterest is 14 minutes 2 seconds (Omnicore, 2021).
  • The average session duration on Pinterest is 4 minutes 48 seconds with about four pages visited per session (Simiarweb-Pinterest, 2021).
  • Among US Pinterest users, 9% say they use the app at least once a day. Only 8% say they open it several times a day and 7% say they use it once a week (Influencer Marketing Hub-Pinterest, 2021).

Source: eMarketer/Omnicore

Social Media Use During COVID-19

Lockdowns and quarantines certainly pushed the world to rely on online communication and changed the way people used social media. The majority of US social media users (29.7%) increased their social media use to 1 to 2 hours and only a small percentage (1.6%) increased usage to less than 15 minutes per day.

While YouTube and Facebook dominated the lives of people during home confinement, it was again Tiktok that most people were inclined to try when it came to newer platforms. Among US social media users, 33% said they tried Tiktok during the outbreak.

  • In a March 2020 survey, the top three social media platforms that people said they will use more while confined in their homes during the pandemic were YouTube (63.7%), Facebook (62.3%), and Instagram (43.1%) (Statista, 2020).
  • Among social media users who tried a new platform during the pandemic, 33% tried Tiktok (Digitalcommerce360, 2020).
  • 29.7% of social media users in the US said their usage of platforms increased to 1 to 2 hours per day during the COVID-19 pandemic. 20.5% added 30 minutes to 1 hour on their usage and 20% added 2 to 3 hours. Only 1.6% of users added less than 15 minutes to their usage (eMarketer, 2020).
  • In another survey of social media users, 72% of respondents believed their consumption of social media increased. Meanwhile, 42% said their frequency of posting has increased during the pandemic (Digitalcommerce360, 2020).
  • Among respondents who said they avoided social media, most avoided Facebook (20%) and Twitter (12%)  (Digitalcommerce360, 2020).

social media use during the pandemic

Effects of Excessive Social Media Use

The idea of social media is to make it easier for people to stay in touch with family and friends and to bridge the gap between individuals who are staying in different parts of the globe. It’s also used to connect and grow one’s professional network. What’s more, some marketers and business owners use social media monitoring software to connect with clients and analyze customers’ preferences and feedback on social networks.

However, social media is not all rainbows and unicorns. Recent studies revealed that the excessive use of social media has been associated with increased feelings of loneliness and isolation as reported by an overwhelming 71% of heavy social media users. A study among teenagers also showed that using social media for more than 30 minutes a day can have a negative impact on mental health. Moreover, those who used it for 6 hours and more a day had the highest mental health risk.

  • 38% of American adults see social media usage as harmful to mental health. Only 5% see it as having a positive impact (APA, 2019).
  • Among adolescents, using social media for more than 30 minutes a day was linked to increased mental health risks (JAMA Network, 2019).
  • Teenagers who used social media for more than 3 hours each day had a 60% higher risk of mental health problems, particularly internalizing problems, compared to those who didn’t use social media. The risk went up to 78% for those who spent 6 or more hours on these platforms (JAMA Network, 2019).
  • Overall, 67% of US adults agreed that social media usage is related to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. When broken down by generation, 73% of millennials agreed with this correlation compared to 62% of baby boomers (APA, 2019).
  • In 2020, 71% of heavy social media users reported feelings of loneliness, up from 53% in the previous year (CNBC, 2020).
  • 64% of Americans say social media have a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the country today (Pew Research, 2020).
  • Among those who said social media have mostly negative effects, 28% worry about misinformation, 16% worry about hate/harassment, and 11% worry about people believing everything (Pew Research, 2020).
  • 49% of millennials reported that social media influenced them to overspend on experiences (Schwab, 2019).

Source: Cigna U.S. Loneliness Index 2020

The Good and the Bad of Social Media Usage

Based on current social media usage statistics, we spend more than a couple of hours a day on social media. We assume that, as global access to the internet increases and new platforms emerge in the future, more people will be interacting online and on social media. Businesses and digital marketers will certainly want to take advantage of popular networks/apps that can make it easier for them to reach and engage their target audience.

With all the good things that come with social media, we must also be aware of the negative impact excessive use can have on our emotional and mental health. Though our article will certainly not get into the discussion of how much is too much when it comes to social media use, we hope it can be a starting point for readers to research and learn more about the topic. In the meantime, if you are looking to take advantage of this communication channel for your business, you may want to learn more about social selling and keep tabs on the latest trends in social media.

 

References:

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Louie Andre

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

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