TikTok sucks up UK dwell time

Android users spending a third longer on the video app than last year.

Digital 2022 report: found average time spent on TikTok was 27.3 hours per month
Digital 2022 report: found average time spent on TikTok was 27.3 hours per month

The rapid growth in popularity of video social network TikTok is eating into the time UK users spend on more established platforms, according to a new report. 

Digital 2022, released yesterday by We Are Social and Hootsuite, presents the statistic (sourced from AppAnnie) that the average Android user spent 37% more time on TikTok in 2021 than 2020 and 6% less time on Facebook.

The average time spent on TikTok was 27.3 hours per month versus 15.5 hours on Facebook.

TikTok’s penetration of the UK population is much lower than Facebook, but is growing strongly, according to Digital 2022’s estimate.

Its estimate of 21.8 million UK TikTok users in 2021 – up by a third – is derived from a GWI global survey that asked people between the ages of 16 and 64 which internet platforms they use each month.

This is a higher number than another estimate, from UK communications regulator Ofcom, which put the figure at 13.9m UK adults as of March 2021. 

TikTok owner ByteDance has not published its own official numbers. 

Beyond TikTok, the Digital 2022 report found that the UK's digital advertising market has grown by 22% to $27.22bn in the last year, with social media advertising spend growing by nearly 23% to reach $8.25bn.

Digital usage examined in this global study included the adoption of smart devices, uptake of online food-delivery services and various media consumption habits.

Spend on apps and in-app purchases has risen by 24% to reach $4.16bn while annual spend on digital media downloads and subscriptions was up 21% to $15.16bn.

Other key UK findings include:

  • 23.8% of British people now own at least one smart home device, more than in any other nation. Ireland has the second-highest rate at 22.4%, compared with a global average of 14.1%
  • 35.4% of total time spent watching TV is now streamed
  • Ownership of VR devices has not changed in the past year, staying the same at 5.1% of the population. 

Jim Coleman, UK chief executive of We Are Social, said: "The findings in our 2022 report show that social media is still a hugely important part of our lives here in the UK, which is very encouraging for brands wishing to reach a UK audience in this way. That more than a third of people aged 16 to 64 are now on TikTok shows the phenomenal draw of the platform and is the perfect illustration of social media successfully evolving to meet the ever-changing needs and desires of its users.

"The pandemic undoubtedly changed our relationship with digital media and now we are living in a new-look digital environment. With the metaverse a growing topic of conversation, and connected television now the norm for many people, there are increasing opportunities to reach audiences in a very organic way with powerful creative and messaging."


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