Last Updated: March 7, 2022
Social media statistics UK citizens currently have at their disposal show that social media usage is rapidly increasing, and its popularity is expected to continue to grow in the future. Our stats present the UK’s overall social media usage, the most popular platforms, and their rank among the British public.
Social Media Statistics UK: Intriguing Facts
- The UK has 53 million active social media users.
- Some 98.8% access social media on their mobile devices.
- Facebook is the leading social media platform, with 35 to 40 million monthly users.
- Thirty-one million use Instagram in the UK.
- Twitter has 13.7 million registered accounts in the UK.
- TikTok is the most popular app on Google Play Store in the UK.
- YouTube is the second most popular platform, with 35.6 million adult users.
- WhatsApp is the most popular messenger app, with 30.1 million users.
Social Media on a National Level
#1 There are 53 million social media users in the UK
Social media stats for the UK from January 2021 show 53 million active social media users in the UK. This number shows an 8 million increase in social media users from 45 million in January 2020—a penetration rate of 77.9%.
#2 The most significant number of social media users are aged 35 to 44
(Red Rag, Statista)
Most social media users are young, with 88% in the 16 to 24 age group. But 2020 social media age demographics for the UK reveal that the most significant number of active users (91%) is in the 35 to 44 age group compared to 75% in 2012 (a 16% increase).
#3 The average number of social media accounts is 6.9 per user
The average social media user (aged 16 to 24) has 6.9 social media accounts on various platforms, indicating their willingness to use multiple platforms while still using a preferred one.
#4 Women have a more prominent social media presence (84%) than men (80%)
UK social media statistics for 2020 show that women are slightly more active on social media than men, with 84% of women holding accounts and 80% of men with at least one profile.
#5 Almost all users (98.8%) access social media platforms on mobile devices
A staggering 98.8% of social media users access their accounts from mobile devices—meaning that only 1.2% access their accounts via their desktop or laptop.
#6 A UK user spends 1hr 49min on social media per day
The usage of social media in the UK increased in 2020, which is not surprising given the numerous lockdowns. Since the disruption of socialising in person, the average time spent on social media increased from 1hr 42min to 1hr 49min.
#7 Nearly all UK households (96%) have access to the internet
Internet access in the UK is widespread, with 96% of all households reporting a steady connection—making it easier to access social media. But internet access is lowest (8%) in families with those aged 65 and above—the least avid social media users.
#8 At least 28% use social media to research brands
(Avocado Social, Talkwalker)
Facts about social media reveal that 28% use social media platforms to research brands and shop online, while only 13% use them for work purposes.
Facebook is one of the longest-established, widely used social media platforms globally. So consider these stats on Facebook usage in the UK.
#9 Facebook is the leading social media platform in the UK
With 35 to 40 million active monthly users, Facebook is the UK’s most used social media platform. These numbers show that Facebook accounts for 56% of the use of all social media platforms in the UK.
#10 Facebook user engagement is the highest in the country
Facebook users are quite engaged while using this platform. The average user will ‘Like’ 14 posts, ‘Comment’ on seven, and click on 19 ads each month. The average engagement rate for a post is 3.82%, reaching 5.48% for photos and 6.96% for videos.
#11 Almost half (44%) of the UK population use Facebook daily
Some 66% of the UK population have Facebook accounts—44% of whom use it daily, while 22% use the platform regularly, but not every day.
#12 Most Facebook users are 25 to 34 years old
UK social media statistics show that 11.2 million 25 to 34 year-olds most widely use Facebook. Conversely, those aged 13 to 17 are least likely to use the platform, comprising only 4.5% of the Facebook user base, followed by users over 65 at 9%.
The use of Instagram was steadily rising before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the platform saw unprecedented usage during the lockdown, as seen in the following UK stats.
#13 In 2021, there are 31 million Instagram users in the UK
The latest 2021 data on social media users in the UK reveals 31 million Instagram users—an increase of seven million compared to 24 million in January 2020.
#14 Instagram is the most popular content-consuming app
Some 46% of those with Instagram accounts stated that they consumed the most considerable amount of content via this platform, which significantly increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
#15 Most on Instagram are between 24 and 34 years old
Social media usage statistics by age for the UK show that most people using Instagram (30.9%) are between 25 and 34 years old, while those over 65 were least likely to use the platform.
#16 Women are more likely to use Instagram than men
Females between 25 and 34 years old are the most significant portion of Instagram users in the UK—25% of women in this age group use the platform compared to 22% of men.
Twitter has been gaining more traction amid the numerous social and political events globally, and UK citizens are taking part in the conversation on this platform.
#17 Twitter has 13.7 million UK users
(Statista, Business Times)
Social media user statistics for 2021 show that Twitter has 13.7 million users in the UK —17% of these visit the platform daily.
#18 Around 80% access Twitter on a mobile device
Most people (89%) access Twitter via a mobile device—of whom 74% use it to read the news.
#19 Twitter is most popular among young people
Social media users statistics for 2021 show that 33% of those between 15 and 24 years old use Twitter, while more than 50% are aged 35 and older. Conversely, the fewest users (15%) are in the 45 to 54 age group.
#20 Men are more active on Twitter (60%) than women (40%)
From the total number of UK users on Twitter, 60% are men, while 40% are women—one of the few social media platforms where men represent a more significant part of the user body.
TikTok took the world by storm, quickly becoming one of the most popular apps for cyber communication and being one of the most popular social media in the UK.
#21 TikTok is the most popular app on the British Play Store
(Statista, Avocado Social)
The rapid growth of the TikTok user body resulted in it becoming the most popular social media app on the Google Play Store among users in the UK—having been downloaded 528,000 times in one month.
#22 More than 1/4 of those aged 18 to 24 use TikTok
Young people are most likely to use TikTok. The demographics on TikTok’s usage show that more than 25% of all accounts on the platform include those aged 18 to 24. And social media usage statistics for the UK showed that only 9.3% of those aged 25 to 34 use TikTok. The percentage decreases among older generations.
#23 TikTok has an 8.7% market reach among all smartphone users
TikTok has an excellent market reach. Even though it’s most popular with the younger generation, the platform manages to reach 8.7% of all smartphone users. This is especially significant, considering that a large number of the user body are children aged 4 to 15.
#24 During the lockdown, 47% of TikTok users increased their use of the app
Social media statistics for the UK in 2020 showed that 47% of TikTok users increased their use during the lockdown, while 21% stated that it became the most used app on their phones.
Other Social Media Platforms
We’ve presented the most popular and most used social media platforms, but a few more are actively used in the UK.
#25 YouTube is the second most popular social media site in the UK
The most recent UK social media statistics revealed that YouTube is the second most popular social media site, trailing Facebook. In addition, stats show that 35.6 million UK adults use the site regularly—meaning that 35% of the UK population are active YouTube users.
#26 More men (54%) than women (46%) use YouTube
Men use Youtube slightly more than women, with 54% of men regularly using the site compared to women at 46%. Additionally, 44% of all active users are aged between 25 and 44, but the site’s popularity is growing with baby boomers.
#27 WhatsApp is the most popular messenger app in the UK
(Avocado Social, Statista)
Social media facts for 2020 show that WhatsApp is the most widely used messenger app in the UK, with 30.1 million registered users. Some 65% of those using WhatsApp stated that they use it every day, while 11% use it several times per week.
#28 Facebook Messenger is the second most used messenger app
With 30 million UK users, Facebook Messenger is the second most used messenger app, with a market reach of 52.1% among those over 13 years old.
#29 Most Pinterest users (77%) are female
Facts about social media reveal that the gender imbalance on social media is most evident on Pinterest. Some 77% of the user body is female, with only 23% male users. It’s also notable that almost half (44%) of Pinterest users are aged 25 to 44.
#30 Snapchat has 21 million users in the UK
The UK has Snapchat’s fourth-largest user base, with 21 million registered on the platform. Snapchat demographics show that 59% of users are under 24, and the platform’s reach is an excellent 36.6%.
A Few More Facts on Social Media
We thought it beneficial to present some essential facts about social media addiction, how it affects user behaviour, and the average time people spend on each social network.
#31 Women are more likely to become addicted to social media than men
(Time To Log Off)
Although there are no concrete numbers, some studies reveal that women are more susceptible to social media addiction than men. The Nightingale Hospital in London, for example, reports 50 new cases of digital addiction each year.
#32 Two out of five UK adults think they spend too much time online
(Time To Log Off)
Social media addiction statistics reveal that 43% (two out of five UK adults) believe they spend too much time online, and 66% fear losing their phones—a condition known as nomophobia (NO MObile PHone PhoBIA).
#33 Influencer content is the most popular social media content
During the pandemic, the most popular social media content was influencer content (46%), followed by shopping content (39%). The remaining 15% of social media content included personal posts, photos, and videos.
#34 Social media influences the body images of half of those aged 18 to 34
(Time To Log Off)
Social media and body image statistics revealed that nearly half of those aged 18 to 34 reported that feeds on their accounts made them feel unattractive.
#35 UK citizens access 4.8 different social media platforms per week
Some 63% of the UK population use social media every day. In one week, people access 4.8 different platforms. Each day, they spend 11 minutes on Facebook, 5 minutes on Twitter, 13.65 minutes on Snapchat, and 31.95 minutes on YouTube.
UK social media statistics for 2021 and 2020 show that social media usage has rapidly increased. Millions use at least one of the numerous social media platforms daily, and these numbers are expected to grow in the future significantly.