3 out of 5 Americans use mobile first for surfing the web

The internet plays an increasing role in our lives today, with social media spanning half the world’s population -- but there are still significant challenges for us all
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

It is increasingly clear that digital, mobile, and social media have become an indispensable part of everyday life for people all over the world.

But there is still work to do, according to a recent report. Social media management company Hootsuite and creative agency We Are Social have released the Digital 2020 annual report on global social media and digital trends. 

The report presents data from every country around the world, with findings including an on-going gender gap in social media use, global growth in the use of voice interfaces, and concerns around personal data security.  

Globally over 4.5 billion people around the world now use the internet  - a year-on-year increase of 298 million, or 7%. We are approaching internet penetration of 60%. And nearly half of the world's population (3.8 billion people) now uses social media.

But many are still not connected. Almost half (3.2 billion) people remain offline -- more than 40% of the world's population.

The survey shows that over half (53.9%) of US web traffic comes from mobile devices -- up 33% in the past year. When it comes to shopping, 74% of internet users aged 16 to 64 purchased a product online in the past month, and over half (52%) made a purchase via a mobile phone.

Mobile is now the top device for making online purchases. The world's ecommerce users spent more than US$3 trillion on online B2C purchases in 2019, with shoppers spending an average of almost US$500 each on consumer goods alone – a year-on-year increase of 9%.

The average internet user will spend 6 hours and 43 minutes per day online in 2020 -- more than 100 days in total. Globally, we will spend a collective 1.25 billion years online this year.

The average American spends 2 hours and 3 minutes a day on social media -- less than the global average of 2 hours 24 minutes, which accounts for more than one-third of our total internet time. Social media users in the Philippines are the most active on social, averaging 3 hours and 53 minutes on social every day.

Seven out of ten (70%) of the population is now on social, with Facebook as the top global contender with nearly 2.5 billion active users (2.449 billion). This is followed by YouTube with 2 billion active users.

However, women only account for 45% of global social media users. In the US, almost four in five report using YouTube each month, and three out of four report using Facebook.

Three from five Americans use mobile first for surfing the web zdnet

The world's most-used social platforms are Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. TikTok, in 7th place, now has 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million of these users in China.

Three from five Americans use mobile first for surfing the web zdnet

Despite major concerns around 'fake news,' the U.S. ranks seventh in countries concerned about misinformation with two out of three (67%) expressing concern about what is real or fake on the internet.

Two out of three (66%) express concern about how companies use their personal data. Almost half (47%) now use ad blockers.

Use of voice interfaces has grown over the past year. Today, 43.2% of internet users aged 16 to 64 use voice search and voice commands on any device each month, up from 39.5% this time last year.

The number of homes around the world with at least one smart home device increased by a third over the past year to 134.1 million. On average, 11% of internet users now have a smart home device.

The UK and the US lead the way with the smartest homes, with a respective 17% and 16% of internet users aged 16 to 64 owning some form of smart home device.  

Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing, Hootsuite said: "This data confirms what many of us had suspected -- that more people will continually be connected with more tools, on more devices and platforms, and through more channels, fundamentally changing how, as a society, we engage with one another."

The internet is now firmly embedded within our lives and habits. But our well-bring still matters. As long as we remember to take some time away from our devices, we will be able to control our internet usage -- on whatever platform we choose to use.

Related content

Complaining users call out businesses on social media for better service

Customers in the digital age expect instant responses when they complain to brands. But what prompts their personal frustrations with a product or service?.

One in three millennials say social media worsens their lives

Everybody and their grandparents are on social media these days -- for better or worse.

Half of Americans do not believe deepfake news could target them online

Deepfaking is an AI-based technology used to produce or alter online content. It presents something that did not actually occur. It is used to produce videos of politicians or celebrities saying or doing things that they did not say or do.

Alexa, you're scaring me: Study reveals top tech-driven concerns

Concerns about crimes and robberies have been around since the beginning of time. But our online world poses just as many threats and might even be scarier.

Editorial standards