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Everything marketers need to know about social media in 2022


Hootsuite and We Are Social have published their ‘Digital 2022: October Global Statshot Report’. Following on from the July release, this report reveals updated stats and insights into all things digital – from internet use, to social media trends, and online purchasing habits worldwide.

Social media users total 4.74 billion

Social media users grew by 190 million over the past year, to reach a total of 4.74 billion at the start of October 2022. That global total has increased by 4.2% over the past 12 months, and social media users now equate to 59.3% of the world’s total population.

In the UK, a staggering 98% of the population are internet users, and 84.5% are active social media users – far surpassing the global percentages. UK internet users aged 16-64 spend an average of 6 hours a day on the internet.

Is Facebook really dying? Short answer: No

There has been increasing speculation surrounding Facebook’s future – and the company did confirm a drop in monthly active user figures in its Q2 earnings announcement. But the decline in Facebook’s MAUs between April and June 2022 only amounted to 2 million users, which equates to a drop of just 0.1% of the global total.

Even after the recent dip in MAUs, Facebook is still by far the world’s most-used social media platform. Meta, moreover, accounts for all three of the world’s “favourite” social media platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram), and people are still two-and-a-half times more likely to choose Facebook as their favourite social platform as they are to choose TikTok.

New kids on the block: the Metaverse, BeReal and more

New social media platform, BeReal, is growing rapidly, with data from Sensor Tower revealing that the app has been installed on a cumulative total of 53 million smartphones a mere 2 years after its launch.

However, figures from August 2022 suggest that the app currently sees just 10 million daily active users. And even if that number were to have doubled since August, Facebook would still reach roughly 100 times as many daily active users as BeReal. So brands shouldn’t be tempted to abandon Facebook in favour of new toys just yet.

TikTok continues to grow exponentially, with its ads now reaching 945 million adults over the age of 18 each month – an increase of 121 million (or 14.6%) over the past 12 months alone. The platform’s revenue has continued to grow too – with both data.ai and Sensor Tower reporting that TikTok was the world’s top grossing non-game mobile app in Q3 2022.

Meanwhile, the Metaverse continues to baffle investors and marketers alike. Is it worth it? That depends on your definition. CoinDesk recently reported that virtual world Decentralandhas just 38 active users, despite attracting a market valuation in excess of $1 billion. However, for those willing to include immersive games that feature in-world experiences in the “Metaverse” definition, there is already plenty evidence of success. Analysis from ActivePlayer.io suggests that Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft attract hundreds of millions of monthly active users, for example.

Top tips for brands

In the UK, 59.3% of internet users aged 16-64 buy something online each week, and 54.1% research brands, products, and services online before making a purchase. Looking globally, the latest data reveals that about half of all working-age internet users actively visit social platforms to learn about brands, as well as to research the products and services they’re considering buying.

However, people are also becoming more thoughtful about where and how they spend their time online – especially when it comes to social media. So, it’s essential that brands don’t risk irritating their audiences with irrelevant content in an already over-saturated digital market.

Furthermore, with current global economic challenges, it’s never been more important for marketers to ensure that media and content strategies deliver tangible return on investment. Hootsuite’s and We Are Social’s latest Digital 2022 Statshot provides layers of global and country-level data that will help brands across industries construct successful and cost-effective strategies to meet their business goals.

To read the full report, click here.

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