Half the world's internet users are now mobile - but 3.2 billion remain offline

David Prior's picture

Around 3.2 billion people remain offline, a new report on social media and digital trends has found.

Digital 2020, a report from We Are Social and Hootsuite, also found that out of the 4.54bn globally who are online, half of them use ad blockers.

The average internet user will spend 6 hours and 43 minutes per day online in 2020, with people in the Philippines topping the daily usage charts with an average of 9 hours and 45 minutes per day online, compared to 5 hours 28 minutes in the UK and just 4 hours and 22 minutes in Japan.

Google and YouTube are once again the most visited websites, but Yahoo! still remains popular, with its website continuing to receive more traffic than Amazon.com and the world’s top ‘adult’ websites.

The report finds that 49% of the world’s total population (3.8 billion people) now uses social media, an increase of 321 million or 9% from 2019. However, the available data indicate that women only account for 45% of the world’s social media users.

The average internet user now spends almost seven hours a day online

The world’s most-used social platforms are Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp. TikTok, in 7th place, now has 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million of these users in China. Instagram’s ad audience has risen by nearly 6% over the past quarter, while Pinterest's advertising audience numbers jumped 12% after it added a number of new countries to its advertising targeting options.

For the first time, more than half (50.1%) 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, with web browsing only responsible for 9% of our mobile time.

The internet is now firmly embedded within our TV habits, with two-thirds of the world’s internet users aged 16 to 64 now watching TV content streamed over the internet. Other sources of popular internet-enabled entertainment include streamed music services (70%) and podcasts (41%).

Jim Coleman, UK Chief Executive, We Are Social, said: “The world continues to embrace the internet and social media, with another year of strong growth across all significant aspects of the digital world. 5G’s impact is beginning to show, TV and the internet are morphing into one and in the UK we have embraced the Jetson’s fantasy to have the world’s smartest homes."

Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing, Hootsuite added: “This data confirms what many of us had suspected - that more people will continually be connected with more tools, on more devices and platforms, and through more channels, fundamentally changing how, as a society, we engage with one another."