Worldwide Daily Social Media Usage (New 2022 Data)

by Josh Howarth - May 4, 2022

People are spending more time on their favorite social media channels than ever before. In fact, the average American spends 147 minutes on social media per day.

While Facebook remains the most popular social media channel, the site experienced its first decline in average daily users last year. However, it remains the most-used site for social media marketers.

In this regularly-updated report, you’ll see exactly how much time people spend on social media per day.

Contents

Top Highlights

  • The average user spends 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media every day.
  • The average American checks their mobile device 159 times a day.
  • Users will spend 4 trillion hours on social media this year.
  • 46% of Americans say they watch more user-generated content on social media than they watch movies and television on streaming services.
  • Americans spend 36% more time watching TV than they spend visiting social media sites.
  • Americans spend an average of 31 minutes per day on Facebook.
  • Users spent 20% less time on Facebook than they did five years ago.
  • 93% of marketers use Facebook for advertising.
  • Facebook suffered its first decrease in average daily visitors in 2021.
  • Americans spend 4.2 hours per day on mobile gaming.

Daily Time Spent on Social Media

People are spending more time on social media every day. During the global pandemic, social media usage went up by 21%. As you can see from the stats below, this figure is likely to rise even more in the coming years.

The average user spends 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media every day (Data Reportal)

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Internet users spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media every day. Americans clocked in about 2 hours and 14 minutes per day, or 13 minutes less per day than the average global user. Canadians spend less time on social media than Americans at just 105 minutes per day.

The average American checks their mobile device 159 times a day (Psychology Today)

Americans check their mobile devices more than 9 times an hour per waking hour. Seven in ten people surveyed said they would feel depressed, panicked, or helpless if their mobile device was lost or stolen. Constant use of cell phones, said the report, “satisfies your hungry neurons with positive feedback of constant connectivity.”

Global users are expected to spend 4 trillion hours on social media (Hootsuite)

With more than half (58.4%) of the world’s population now using social media, social network users are expected to spend more than 4 trillion hours on social media in 2022. That number is just one-third of the 12 trillion total hours the world will spend online in 2022.

Nigerians and Filipinos spend more than 4 hours per day on social media (Data Reportal)

People living in Nigeria and The Philippines spend the most time on social media. Each spends more than four hours a day on social media, or 70% more than the global average. At the other end of the spectrum, residents of Japan spend just 51 minutes per day on social media.

46% of Americans say they watch more user-generated content on social media than they watch movies and television on streaming services (Deloitte)

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Nearly half (46%) of Americans are watching more user-generated content than they did in the last half of 2021. According to Deloitte’s annual “Digital Media Trends” survey, users prefer watching user-generated content because social media sites make it easier than streaming services to find content they like.

Social media takes up less than one-third of Americans’ total time spent online (Data Reportal)

While spending more than two hours a day posting, tweeting and watching videos may seem like a lot of time, it is just a fraction of the total time users spend online every day. Americans spend more than 6 ½ hours a day online, which means social media makes up less than a third of their total online time.

Which Social Networks Do People Spend the Most Time On?

While Facebook is the oldest and biggest social media site in terms of users, it is no longer the most popular in terms of average daily time. People are spending less time on the social media giant as they visit other social media sites. These stats explore which social media sites Americans spend the most time on.

American social media users spend an average of 31 minutes per day on Facebook (emarketer.com)

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When it comes to time spent on social media, Facebook content is no longer king. Adult users spent an average of 31 minutes per day on Facebook, placing it fourth behind YouTube, TikTok and Twitter. Americans now spend nearly 50% more time per day on YouTube (46 minutes per day) than they do on Facebook.

Social media users spent nearly 20% less time on Facebook than they did five years ago (Statista, Hootsuite)

Time spent on Facebook varies by study. According to a Statista study, Americans will spend an average of 33 minutes on Facebook per day in 2022. This time has decreased by nearly 20% since 2017 when Americans spent 39 minutes on Facebook every day.

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Daily Time Per Social Media Platform

Platform

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Facebook

39

36

33

35

33

33

TikTok

22

25

33

32

31

Twitter

23

23

26

33

31

31

Instagram

25

26

26

30

29

29

Snapchat

26

26

26

28

28

28

Americans spend an average of 46 minutes per day on YouTube (emarketer.com)

Adult users spent an average of 46 minutes per day on YouTube. This is nearly 20% more than on the second-favorite social media site, Tik Tok (38 minutes per day).

Who is Spending Time on Facebook?

While people might be spending less time on Facebook, the site attracts the most average daily users and average monthly users in the world. Just how many people are using Facebook? Explore these statistics to find out.

Nearly 40% of the global population uses Facebook (Statista), (Hootsuite)

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As of October 2021, Facebook reported having 2.91 billion users, or 36.8% of the world’s entire 7.9 billion population. The only other social media sites to surpass 2 billion users are YouTube (2.562 billion users) and What’s App (2 billion users). Instagram (1.478 billion), WeChat (1.283 billion) and TikTok (1 billion) all have one billion or more users.

Facebook was the first social media platform to pass one billion users (CNN.com)

In 2012, Facebook became the first social media site to pass one billion users. That same year, the site experienced a growth rate of more than 30%, but that pace has slowed significantly since then. In fact, emarketer reports that Facebook saw a growth rate of less than one percent (.8%) last year.

93% of marketers use Facebook for advertising (Statista)

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Facebook remains the most popular platform for advertisers with 93% of all social media marketers placing paid advertising on the site. 78% of respondents said they use Instagram to market their business.

Brands post an average of 5.87 times per week on Facebook (Rival IQ)

Across all industries, brands post an average of less than one post per day on Facebook. Media outlets are the clear exception, as they post approximately 12 posts per day (87.2 per week). Additional top categories are Sports Teams (21.4 per week), Nonprofits (7.6 posts per week), Higher Education (6.9 posts per week), Retail (6.8 posts per week), and Health and Beauty (6.2 posts per week).

Facebook had its first-ever decrease in average daily visitors in 2021 (CNBC)

Facebook reported 1.93 billion daily average users for the fourth quarter of 2021, marking the platform’s first-ever decline in daily average users. Facebook stock tumbled 20% after investors heard the news. (CNBC)

People Are Spending More Time on Twitter

While Facebook has seen a decrease in average time spent on the site, Twitter users spent more time on the site. These stats explore just how people are using Twitter in 2022.

Americans spend 35 minutes per day on Twitter (Oberlo)

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After TikTok (38 minutes per day), Twitter is the second-most popular social media site, with respect to daily time spent on the site. In 2021, users spent 35 minutes per day on Twitter, which was a new record for the social media site. Unfortunately, Twitter also reported losing 300,000 users last year.

Less than half of Twitter users post daily (Pew Research)

Half (49%) of Twitter users are classified as “lurkers” meaning they post less than five times a week. 60% of lurkers fall in the 30-49 age range. The most active age group on Twitter are people in the 18-29 demographic.

Daily Time Spent on all Leisure and Sports Activities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which tracks data about the labor market, also measures the time Americans spend on leisure activities. Although the agency doesn’t measure social media specifically, it does track time spent on “playing games and computer use.” See how Americans are spending their leisure time below.

The average time per day spent “playing games and computer use” increased by 38% in 2020 (Time Use Survey)

People spent a lot more time playing games and on their computers in 2020, according to the BLS Time Use Survey. Despite the 38% increase, total time spent on games and computer use clocked in at just 36 minutes per day in the second half of 2020.

Americans spend 5x more watching television than they do on games and computer use (Time Use Survey)

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In the leisure category, television watching remained the most popular activity, with Americans watching television for almost 3.05 hours per day. They watched TV nearly five times longer than they spent on the next most popular activity, socializing and communicating. The time spent on socializing decreased by 18% in 2020.

Activity

2019

2020

% diff

Total, all leisure and sports activities

4.99

5.53

10.82

Watching TV

2.74

3.05

11.31

Playing games and computer use for leisure

0.45

0.62

37.78

Socializing and communicating

0.66

0.54

-18.18

Relaxing and thinking

0.33

0.44

33.33

Participating in sports, exercise, and recreation

0.32

0.37

15.63

Reading

0.28

0.34

21.43

Other leisure and sports activities

0.21

0.16

-23.81

The BLS does not track statistics specific to social media usage.

Daily Time Spent on All Media

While Americans are spending more time on social media, they are increasing their time on other media as well. See how social media compares to watching TV, listening to streaming music, playing video games, and other digital media activities.

Americans spend 36% more time watching TV than they do on social media sites (Data Reportal)

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Americans spend approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes watching broadcast TV and streaming every day, or 36% more time than they spend on social media.

Activity

Hours

Minutes

Total Minutes

+/- social media
Using the internet

6

58

418

Watching TV, broadcast and streaming

3

20

200

36.05%

Using social media

2

27

147

0.00%

Reading press media (online and physical print)

2

0

120

-18.37%

Listening to streaming music services

1

33

93

-36.73%

Using a games console

1

12

72

-51.02%

Listening to broadcast radio

1

1

61

-58.50%

Listening to podcasts

0

55

55

-62.59%

Nearly nine in ten American adults go online daily (Pew Research)

Americans love the internet, with 85% reporting they go online daily. One in three Americans say they go online “almost constantly”, and half say they go online a couple of times a day. Only 7% of Americans say they don’t go online at all.

Multitasking is making the American day 50% “longer” (Activate)

The average American now spends approximately 8 hours a day doing two things at once, leading to an “average day” of 32 hours. Messaging and social media account for 1.29 hours per day, while video takes up 5.28 hours.

Time Spent on Mobile Gaming Apps

Americans spend 4.2 hours per day on mobile gaming (Venture Beat)

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Americans are spending 4.2 hours per day on mobile gaming, which is just less than the global average of 4.8 hours per day. Globally, 68% of all consumer spending in mobile apps was attributed to mobile gamers.

19% of mobile gamers say they play video games to play and socialize with people they already know (Activate)

When it comes to social gaming, 19% of mobile gamers say they play for social purposes. This is nearly twice as high as non-mobile gamers. Mobile gamers also make up nearly 56% of all consumer video game revenue.

Nearly half of all U.S. gamers say they spend less time on other leisure activities and spend more time playing video games (Deloitte)

Americans aren’t the only ones playing more video games. More than half of respondents in the U.K. (55%) and nearly half in Brazil (45%) and Japan (44%) are bypassing other leisure activities to spend more time playing video games.

Mental Health Effects From Spending too Much Time on Social Media

Spending more time on social media is leading to more mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, as well as social issues such as cyberbullying and online harassment. Below are some statistics about the mental health issues caused by too much time on social media.

Up to 10% of Americans may be “addicted” to social media (Addiction Center)

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Depending on the definition of “addicted”, 5 and 10% of Americans could be addicted to social media. Social media addiction is defined by the Addition Center as “being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas”. Another study reports that more than 210 million people around the world are over-dependent on social media.

Spending more than three hours per day on social media increases the risk of mental health problems in adolescents (JAMA Network)

A 2019 study found that adolescents who spent more than three hours per day on social media are more likely to “internalize problems,” which could lead to anxiety and depression. One in four people said they felt social media has a negative effect on people their age and also that social media could be a cause of increased rumor spreading, peer pressure, unrealistic expectations, and other related issues.

75% of people who have suffered from cyberbullying say their experience happened on social media (Pew Research)

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Some 41% of Americans have been a target of online abuse or cyberbullying, with 25% saying that they experienced “severe harassment.” This number has increased greatly since 2014 when just 15% of users reported being subject to severe harassment. Three out of four people reporting harassment said their most recent experience happened through social media channels. 20% of adults say they have been harassed for their political views.

Wrap Up

As you can see from the above statistics, people are spending more time on social media than ever before. Although they might be splitting their time across an increasing number of different platforms, their overall daily use of social media is growing. People are also increasing their time spent on other social activities, both online and off. In particular, people are also watching more TV and streaming on social media sites and on traditional devices.

The growth in time spent on social media has led to increased opportunities for digital marketers, but it is also causing concern over social issues. In particular, youth heavily engaged in social media could be at higher risk for mental health issues.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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