Social media statistics 2016 vs 2017

With social media being such a fast-paced industry it can be difficult to keep up with changes that happen throughout the year. We take a look at how social media has evolved since our last blog post on the subject…

We’re spending even more time on social media.

This year, 90% of UK households had access to the internet and 73% of UK adults used the internet via a mobile or smartphone. Whilst only small increases compared to 2016, the amount of time spent on the internet and social media in particular, has increased more so.
Last year, we spent an average of 1 hour 29 minutes per day using social media across all devices. In 2017 that figure increased to 1 hour 48 minutes whilst the overall time spent online only increased by about 5 minutes to 2 hours 55 minutes per day. The Office for National Statistics reported that use of the internet for social networking increased to 66% in 2017, with a staggering 96% of 16-24 year olds and 88% of 25-34 year olds using the internet for this reason.


It comes as no surprise that the younger generations still make up the biggest share of Facebook users in the UK (Statista, Jan 2017). The biggest news this year came as Facebook officially hit 2 billion users, almost a 17% increase from 2016 and making it the world’s most popular social networking site.
Total number of Facebook users in the UK in Jan 2017
Even at 17 years old Facebook users have increased at a rate not seen since 2012 and these users are returning to the social networking site more often. When Facebook hit 1 billion users back in 2012 around 55% of monthly users returned each day. Now, at 2 billion users, that figure has increased to 66%. With more and more content to consume from family and friends, brands and news publishers could it be that there’s been more reason to return to Facebook this year than last?
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Facebook Monthly Active Users 2017


Instagram has continued to grow and grow and grow, doubling its monthly active users to 800 million in just two years thanks to the introduction of Stories, which now has 250 million active daily users, and other features such as shoppable photos.
Similarly to Facebook’s demographics and our stats from last year, 18-29 year olds still make up the largest percentage of Instagram users at 59% and, according to Smart Insights, are more likely to make a purchase than the other demographics.

Instagram Monthly Active Users
Instagram usage among key demographics
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Similarly to last year, it’s been pretty difficult to find user stats for Twitter. Earlier this year it was reported that Twitter had been miscalculating its user growth since 2014! So is it any wonder we’re struggling to find them? Despite this, global users do currently stand at 330 million, a far cry from Facebook’s 2 billion and Instagram’s 800 million but it will be interesting to see how Twitter develops its offering in 2018.

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With the likes of Instagram Stories now rivalling Snapchat, you could say it’s been a difficult year for the platform. According to Smart Insights, Snapchat has 173 million daily active users but the rate of growth is declining. However, 60% of users are under 25 and 45% of ‘Stories’ users between 18-34 prefer Snapchat to Instagram.  It’s also the third most used platform amongst millennials and they appear to be keeping their loyalty.

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% of 18-35 years olds that use Stories vs Snapchat



Written by Kayley Peters

Digital Account Exec