Young Mobile Users Drive UK Social Media Usage - eMarketer

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Young Mobile Users Drive UK Social Media Usage

Social networking popular among teens and millennials

October 29, 2015

Social networking has been a majority behavior among UK internet users for several years. Add mobile’s influence to the mix and users are provided with more access anytime and anywhere.

UK Social Network Users and Penetration, 2014-2019

eMarketer estimates that there will be 34.9 million social network users in the UK in 2015, equivalent to 53.5% of the total population and 68.0% of its internet users, as explored in the new eMarketer report, “UK Social Media Usage: Young Mobile Users Pioneer Uptake of Additional Platforms.” The UK will rank 11th globally when it comes to the share of internet users who access social networks—well behind Russia’s leading rate of 79.3%, but above the worldwide average of 65.6% and not far off the US average (69.4%). Such is the maturity of UK social networking that user numbers will grow by shrinking single digits in the coming years, dipping from 4.0% in 2015 to just 1.9% in 2019, the end of the forecast period.

Mobile social network use, particularly via smartphones, looks strikingly similar to the UK’s overall social network picture—a maturing market with slowing growth. In fact, eMarketer expects 72.1% of UK smartphone users will use those devices to access social networks at least once per month in 2015. And while growth will be slightly more robust than for social network users in general, it will slow to single digits this year (9.2%) and decline throughout the forecast period.

UK Smartphone Social Network Users and Penetration, 2014-2019

Focusing further by demographic, teens and millennials use social networks more often than any other age cohort in the UK and are utilizing previously second-tier platforms like Snapchat and Instagram on a growing basis. eMarketer projects that more millennial internet users will be social network users in 2015 than any other age group in the UK, led by 95.5% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 88.6% of 25- to 34-year-olds. The teen cohort will have the next highest penetration rate with 86.0%. All these percentages will be well above the 68.0% average among age groups in the UK overall.

Indeed, younger cohorts are leading the charge toward diversifying social network usage, with mobile the preferred access route. However, mobile usage habits across the broader population also have an impact on the UK social media landscape. Smartphones, for example, have engendered an always-on approach to social networking, and an approach that very often spans multiple platforms.

Get more on this topic with the full eMarketer report, “UK Social Media Usage: Young Mobile Users Pioneer Uptake of Additional Platforms.”

eMarketer releases over 200 analyst reports per year, which are only available to eMarketer corporate subscribers.

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