More than half the world’s population now uses social media according to the latest Digital 2020 report from Hootsuite, and We Are Social.

The report reveals that 3.96 billion people use social media today—that’s approximately 51 percent of the global population. With a large number of social media companies restricting the use of their platforms to people aged 13 and above, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the world’s total ‘eligible’ population now uses social media.

Among the key findings;

  • Social media use in Australia has grown by 6 per cent year-on-year from 13 million users to 15 million users in 2020
  • 83 per cent of respondents said the internet helped them cope with the COVID-19 lockdowns, while 67 per cent said it helped them do their job (white-collar workers).

  • When asked if they planned to keep working from home after the pandemic, 23 per cent of Australians said they would, compared to the global average of 27 pr cent.

  • Zoom was the most used video conferencing platform in June with 300 million meeting participants per day, followed by Google Meet (100 million per day) and Microsoft Teams (75 million per day).

  • 19 per cent of Australians said they would continue using video conferencing platforms after the pandemic, compared to the global average of 27 per cent.

According to Tom Keiser, CEO of Hootsuite “As expected, the data confirms that we’ve seen huge shifts in social and digital behaviour since COVID-19 lockdowns started around the world. Social media and messenger use has skyrocketed and even digital advertising has been forced to become more adaptive and agile.”

Tom Keiser, CEO of Hootsuite

“The challenge organisations—from business to nonprofits to government agencies to healthcare organisations—face today is how to manage all of these rapid shifts. Organisations need a holistic approach to managing their social and digital communications to remain connected while also listening to the changing social conversations to help ensure they are purposefully engaging with their audience,” he said.

Worldwide social media user numbers have surged by more than 10 percent over the past 12 months, with an average of more than 1 million people using social media for the first time every day since this time last year. With more than 376 million new users since July 2019, that translates to almost 12 new users every second, suggesting that user numbers are growing even faster today than they were at the start of 2020.

Nathan McDonald, global chief executive, We Are Social said, “Our lives are becoming increasingly interwoven with the digital world, and the acceleration of social media use globally is another reflection of this. It’s significant that so many of us are now on social media, using it in a variety of different ways; for news, opinions, information and entertainment; to socialise and, increasingly, to inform purchase decisions.”

Nathan McDonald, Group CEO, We Are Social

“Social media has been an integral part of the way we communicate with one another for a long time, but this evolution shows just how much it impacts multiple aspects of our lives right now, and in the future.”

In terms of platform success, Instagram and LinkedIn have enjoyed impressive recent growth. Brands can now reach 1.08 billion people using ads on Instagram, with the platform adding 111 million new users —more than 1 million a day — to its advertising reach in the past three months. Meanwhile, LinkedIn now has 700 million registered users; the platform’s global user base grew by more than 25 million over the past 3 months, equating to quarter-on-quarter growth of almost 4 percent.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, Australians’ digital behaviours have evolved substantially, with 33 per cent of Australians spending more time on social media in recent weeks,” said Heather Cook, General Manager, Hootsuite Australia & New Zealand.”

“Australia’s digital and social behaviours are evolving rapidly, whether it’s shopping and transacting online with 73 per cent of Australians buying something online in the past month, finding news on social, or parents staying up to date on their kids’ health and education through app usage which is up 190 per cent,”  she said.

Heather Cook, Hootsuite Managing Director ANZ. Source: LinkedIn.

“By leveraging and leading with real-time data and insights, companies can achieve better cut-through and audience engagement, and consumers can make better purchasing decisions.”

“The global milestone that social media has reached is astounding: every second person is now an active user. Numbers are even more staggering when we look at the local landscape, as 85 per cent of the Australian eligible population (people 13+) are active users,” said Suzie Shaw, managing director of We Are Social Australia.

“Social media permeate all aspects of our personal and professional lives, to the point that 1 in 3 Australians use social media to research brands and look for information about their products – increasingly influencing our purchasing decisions as a consequence. As a result, social commerce has become more and more important, and many platforms are now offering integrated, frictionless shopping features; this represents an invaluable opportunity for brands to adapt to an increasingly popular purchasing behaviour and grow their business”.

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