Updated · Jun 09, 2023
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Fa... | See full bio
Updated · Feb 28, 2023
Social media is an inseparable part of our everyday lives. It is always there, from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep with our phone in hand.
But how much time do people spend on social media?
And which apps get the most attention?
Let's find out!
The answer to the latter is probably apparent to anyone with an online presence. Apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Messenger have become almost synonymous with the term “social media.”
To put things in perspective, let's take a look at some of the most impressive stats:
Impressive, right? Especially when we consider that there are 4.7 billion people actively using social networks.
What’s more, they are spending the majority of their social media time on the six most popular platforms.
China and India, of course, have the highest number of social network users, with 1.02 billion and 722 million, respectively. The United States comes third with 302 million users.
According to Statista, Nigerians lead the way with 4 hours and 7 minutes daily on social media channels. The second place goes to the Philippines, which spend 3.43 hours, just a minute less than Nigerians. The bronze medal goes to India with just three minutes more compared to the global average—2 hours and 36 minutes.
Hungry for more?
74% of Northern America’s population are social media users. 84% of both Northern and Western Europe and 72% of Eastern Asia follow suit. The least amount of social network fans are in Middle Africa (7%).
Such a vast topic is perfect for a TechJury piece, so we dug out even more details to tie each social media site or app with accurate daily numbers.
But first, an overview of the most captivating statistics about time spent on social media in 2023.
We have put together some of the most astonishing and up-to-date time spent on social media stats. No time to waste. Read on to find out:
As of January 2023, approximately 64.4% of the world's population, equivalent to 5.16 billion people, were utilizing the internet. Out of this total, 59.4%, or 4.76 billion individuals, were actively using social media up from 4.62 billion in 2022
Number of users in billions
Population in Percentage
(Source: Data Reportal)
Compared to the daily average, the internet user now spends over 2 and a half hours daily on social platforms, indicating a 2% increase (+3 minutes) in 2022. Statistics show that screen use increased by 17% over the last two years, which is higher than the increase seen in the previous four years.
(Source: The Healthy Journal)
The average daily screen usage among children increased by 1.5 times during the pandemic, rising from a pre-pandemic baseline of 162 minutes per day to 246 minutes per day. Furthermore, teenagers and preteens saw a 17% increase in their overall screen usage between 2019 and 2021, which is a faster rate of growth than in the preceding four years.
Tweens aged 8 to 12 had an average daily screen time of 5 hours and 33 minutes, up from 4 hours and 44 minutes, while teens aged 13 to 18 spent an average of 8 hours and 39 minutes on screens, up from 7 hours and 22 minutes in 2022.
(Source: Broadband Search)
People are spending less and less time on Facebook. Statistics on the average time spent on social media in 2023 reveal that the younger generation has turned their focus to other social media. Apps like TikTok and Instagram are already GenZ’s and Millennials’ favourites. The cherry on top is that Facebook has lost 15 million users since 2017 (that we know of).
(Source: Earth Web)
The world's population is 7.96 billion. 5.34 billion of them are mobile phone users.
In 2022, the global active internet users were 5.03 billion, with 4.32 billion being unique mobile internet users. All in all, mobile has become a crucial part of how we live our lives. According to the latest data, we are averaging about 5.5 hours daily on our phones.
YouTube boasts over 2.5 billion monthly active users that watch about a billion hours of videos every single day. It’s the second (losing to Google) search engine and most visited website worldwide.
The majority of YouTube visits come from mobile (70%). What about its users? As of April 2022, YouTube’s largest market is India (467 million people), followed by the US (247 million) and Indonesia (139 million).
What’s interesting is that TikTok is now the total dominator in the younger users demographics. By the beginning of 2022, kids and teens were watching 91 minutes on average daily on TikTok compared to just 56 minutes watching YouTube.
Keep reading to learn more fascinating stats about our social media time. Let’s continue with the most recent app that revolutionized multiple industries and habits:
(Source: Data Reportal)
TikTok has been one of the most outstanding breakthrough inventions in recent years. It's primary demographic is Gen Zers, but its user base has spread across all age groups. So, just how many users does TikTok have?
Over a billion! Keep in mind that these stats are from the beginning of 2022 and feature only users 18 and above (as that’s the only data the company is disclosing). Considering how the younger generation spends most of their online time on TikTok, its actual audience is likely much higher.
Which country has the most TikTokers, though? The US leads the way with 140.6 million active users aged 18 or above. Considering just how much time Americans spend on social media, that’s hardly a surprise. Next comes Indonesia (106.9 million), followed by Brazil (74 million).
Such data indicate that TikTok ads have the potential to reach 18.3% of the world population over 18 years old. Considering that the platform is banned in two enormous markets—China and India—the platform’s supposed advertising reach rate goes up to 29.5%.
Nowadays, you can find WhatsApp on almost all smartphones worldwide—over 40% of the global internet users are using the platform. So if you’ve wondered just how many minutes in a day we all collectively spend on WhatsApp, just listen to this:
Currently, 65 billion messages are sent, and 2 billion minutes of calls are made daily on the app. A significant increase from the 43 billion daily messages recorded in 2017.
(Source: Social Shepherd)
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app. As of Q2 2022, the platform boasts a user base of almost 350 million daily active users. Snapchat is among the younger generation’s favourites, marking impressive milestones along the way. Its most significant markets are India, with an audience of 144 million users, and the US with 107 million.
(Source: Data Reportal)
The app’s most extensive audience is in India—229.55 million active users. The second place is reserved for the US—over 143.35 million users, while the third comes Brazil, with 113.5 million. Curiously, 31% of its user base (446.4 million people) are aged 18 to 24. On a global scale, Instagram has surpassed the 1.4 billion milestones!
Let’s dive deeper with more social media watching and dissecting:
Perfectly logical as Instagram is primarily a mobile platform.
Meta’s platform boasts the fastest and most impressive growth of any social media. However, it still hasn’t managed to get into the prestigious top three. Those places are currently reserved for Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp.
The average American has at least heard of Twitter, even if they don’t personally use it.
In comparison, 95% said they are aware of Facebook, and 91% know of Instagram.
The total time spent on social media varies by age and can be influenced by many factors such as access to technology, interests, and social norms. Here are some general trends in terms of time spent on social media by age group and gender in 2023:
It is important to note that these are general trends and that individual users can vary widely. Additionally, the time spent on social media can have negative effects on mental health and well-being, and it is recommended to be mindful of one's social media usage.
Average Time Spent on Social Media per Day (2022)
5 hours and 49 minutes
5 hours and 31 minutes
4 hours and 49 minutes
3 hours and 57 minutes
3 hours and 3 minutes
It indicates that, on average, males spend 10 hours and 58 minutes on social media, while females spend 12 hours and 11 minutes on social media. This suggests that females spend more time on social media than males.
However, it's important to note that this is just an average and individual habit may vary greatly.
Want to learn more about each of the platforms? We’ve got it all—the latest stats about the time spent on social media, data concerning all major networks’ user bases and projections for growth, and so much more. Are you ready to dive deeper? Let’s begin with the king of all social media:
4.7 billion people are using social media in 2022. 2.91 billion are active Facebook users.
Facebook is the biggest social media platform, used primarily for networking. However, media watching has always been a part of social networking sites—be it uploading a photo or streaming a video, we still spend a lot of time on the site.
According to Statista’s latest data, American adults spend an average of 33 minutes per day on Facebook. This usually consists of one longer visit and lots of shorter ones.
In comparison, the 2017 figure was 39 minutes. So Facebook is indeed declining in popularity…
Still, Facebook continues to thrive, being the world's most popular and preferred social network. Actually, it’s a big part of why the daily average time spent on a phone increases yearly. After all, 98.5% of all Facebook visitors access it through mobile devices. Scrolling through your newsfeed has become possible virtually anywhere. There are even 10 million active accounts on feature phones.
In comparison, only 1.5% of users visit Facebook exclusively from a laptop or a PC.
Hot tip: You can personally check how much time you spend on the platform. Just visit your Setting menu and then search for the “Your Time on Facebook” feature under the Privacy tab. Important conclusions can later be drawn—you can see if you spend more time than your peers on social media and be reminded that there’s a life beyond Facebook, after all.
YouTube maintains a solid second place in the “most used social media” category.
79% of all internet users own a YouTube account (Facebook’s sitting at 85%). However, the video and streaming platform has the most active users—86% of all people on the Web.
So what is the main reason they visit the website so often? The majority points out entertainment.
In other news, we recently came across a fascinating survey by Futuresource Consulting that illustrated some gripping points regarding UK users aged 3–16. They claim that over 10% watch more than three hours of YouTube videos daily.
Interesting, right? What about the average internet user? According to the latest data, people spend an average of 19 minutes on YouTube daily. That’s a significant fall from the 38 minutes a day in 2017.
Additionally, statistics also show users prefer to watch YouTube videos on their smartphones or tablet—those account for 70% of all YouTube views. So users spend almost 24 hours each month on the YouTube mobile app. It’s another great data point to inspire mobile optimization for your content.
As of a couple of years, YouTube allowed all users to personally check how much time they spend on the platform. Just go to your account and tap on the “Time watched” feature.
82% of US adults single out Messenger as their preferred and most used messaging app. With just shy of a billion MAUs (monthly active users), Messenger is currently the seventh most popular social media app (trailing behind WhatsApp, TikTok, WeChat, and the Holy Trinity—Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube).
But why is Messenger so popular?
There is an obvious explanation for that. Humans are social creatures, and as such, we need connection. With the rise of the smartphone (and the tablet), reaching out to another human being is 1-2 taps away. Messaging apps’ business model is based on an innate human desire, which is why it works so well.
Therefore, we can reasonably expect the average time spent on social media to rise further.
New information that supports this claim continues to surface. Do you know what the average monthly time spent on Messenger is? Three hours! When you consider the amount spent on other social media, too, that number quickly takes staggering heights.
So what do people do on Messenger besides keeping in touch with close ones? They share media (21 billion photos are exchanged monthly just on this platform), connect with businesses (40 million companies use the app), exchanging over a billion messages every month.
Over 40% of the global internet population are WhatsApp users. That translates to more than 2 billion people!
The latest data suggests that the top three most used social platforms are Facebook (2.9 billion users), YouTube (2.5 billion), and WhatsApp (2 billion). Considering all three are different types of software, this means that WhatsApp is the current most used instant messenger worldwide.
How used is that?
It’s estimated that 2 billion minutes of calls are conducted daily on WhatsApp. No surprise there, considering it is the top messaging app in 180 countries.
In 2022, users spend an average of 18.6 hours monthly on the app, which translates to about 36 minutes per day.
What’s interesting to know is that the US is only third in terms of WhatsApp user base. The number of Americans using the app is 75 million. So who claims the first and second place? That would be India and Brazil, with 390 million and 108 million users, respectively.
So if you’ve ever asked yourself, “how much time do we spend on social media,” now you know, and well, the figures are astounding. They don’t show any sign of slowing down either—social media usage (and WhatsApp’s in particular) will only grow in the future.
Granted—Messenger, Kik, WeChat, and Kakao boast better engagement in terms of minutes in the US, yet WhatsApp already seems like the inevitable leader among the messaging services.
Current user engagement is not the best metric that can predict how the service will grow in the future. It’s relatively easier to optimize user experience compared to attracting said users in the first place. Arguably then, the number of people using an app is a better litmus test. With WhatsApp being the undisputed champion in this category, chances are it will continue to grow with impressive steps.
So Instagram has claimed Facebook’s second spot as “Americans’ favorite social media.” The difference might be tiny—the former brings 14.8%, while the latter gathers only 14.5%—Instagram still manages to climb up the prestigious ladder.
But wait… we’re just getting started with the Instagram stats that shed light on the app’s astonishing progress.
As you probably know, the platform hit the 1 billion users milestone in 2018. Today, that number sits just shy of 1.5 billion. That means Meta’s platform ranks fourth worldwide, seeing some of the fastest growth by any social media. For reference, it has added over a quarter of a billion new users in 2021, 85 million of which in the last 90 days of the year!
If we consider the average time spent on social media in 2022, Instagram once again ranks fourth, with 11.2 hours monthly.
When it comes to time spent on the internet, statistics paint a vivid picture, don’t they?
Actually, the time we are allocating for Instagram has increased by 10% year-on-year. This equals almost an additional hour of use monthly. Keep in mind this was an average for all users, not just the active ones.
Instagram is mainly used for entertainment, but it already has solid messaging and ecommerce features. That doesn’t necessarily mean it will try to go after WhatsApp’s or Facebook’s market. Still, these are more reasons for users to spend more time on the platform. Indeed, that’s what Instagram’s team plans as well.
Are you ready for the cherry on top? Instagram’s feed ads reach almost all (96.6%) of its active users, while the Stories ads allow us to get to over a billion Instagrammers each month. Tempting, right?
3% of US teens name Twitter their most-used social network. As of February 2022, there are 217 million monetizable daily active users on the platform. This impressive figure consists of 70.4% male and 29.6% female users.
What do the statistics about time spent on social media by age tell us? They single out the adults between 24 and 35 years old as the most significant Twitter demographic.
A recent survey shares that Twitter users only set aside 3:39 minutes per session. Most visits are done via mobile (80%), while solely desktop usage is about 20%.
In addition, three-quarters of Twitter visitors claim to use the platform to check the news. In a sense, we can say this social media focuses on adult users as a primary demographic.
Social media platforms offer an ever-wider variety of things to do.
Be it to check on your friends, fill up free time, stalk your ex, become famous, or find the right outfit for a return to the real world.
Social networks have a powerful influence on our daily activities as well. It can affect what we buy, what we like and dislike, and which places we choose to visit. This simple networking concept is arguably just a front for a robust marketing machine running in the background.
Questions like, “How much time do people spend on social media?” then become important in terms of revenue as well.
Brands are aware that social media can make or break their business, and they are using it in any way they can.
With so much money to make, these apps will keep growing—that much is certain. It only remains to be seen how we’ll choose to use them. Misuse the power, and you’ll wreak havoc in a world that already has way too much of it. Use them right, and you’ll find yourself with a powerful tool to uplift and inspire.
Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.
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