Younger Adults Drive Mobile Social Networking in the UK - eMarketer

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Younger Adults Drive Mobile Social Networking in the UK

18- to 34-year-olds will account for nearly half of UK mobile social networkers

July 26, 2013

Accessing social networks via mobile phones is becoming increasingly common for UK users, according to a new eMarketer report, “UK Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates.” eMarketer estimates that between 2013 and 2017, mobile phone social network users as a percentage of social networkers will rise from 65.0% to 84.6%.

In 2013, 20.8 million mobile phone social networkers will account for nearly one-third of all UK residents. In 2015, more than half of those using a mobile phone with access social networks on the device. By the end of the forecast period, an additional 10.3 million new people will regularly access social networks via their mobile phone.

UK Mobile Phone Social Network Users, 2011-2017

UK mobile phone social network usage is heavily concentrated among younger users, with their high overall social network and smartphone usage primarily driving this. eMarketer expects users in the 18-to-34 age group to total 10.1 million this year, or 48.2% of all UK mobile phone social network users. Adults ages 35 to 44 will also have a large audience, with 4.1 million users—a share of 19.5%.

UK Mobile Phone Social Network Users, by Age, 2011-2017 (millions)

UK mobile phone social network user penetration as a percentage of mobile phone users will be highest for 18- to 24-year-olds. This year, three out of four mobile phone users in this age group will access a social network site via their phone at least once per month. This rate is expected to rise to 90.0% by 2017. Those between the ages of 25 and 34 will also have a high likelihood of usage. Between 2013 and 2017, mobile phone social network users will climb from 66.0% to 83.0% of mobile phone users in this age segment.

UK Mobile Phone Social Network User Penetration, by Age, 2011-2017 (% of mobile phone users in each group)

For all age segments, UK mobile phone social network user growth will be in the double digits this year. Users ages 18 to 24 tended to access social networks via mobile phone earlier than those in other age groups and will have the lowest percentage gains throughout the forecast period. The rate of increase for 25- to 44-year-olds will also be on the low end. These users are more likely to have a smartphone than those in older groups. Higher growth rates are projected for the 12-to-17 age group and adults 55 and older, who are adopting smartphones later than users in the mid-age ranges.

UK Mobile Phone Social Network User Growth, by Age, 2011-2017 (% change)


The full report, “UK Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates,” also answers these key questions:

  • What is the outlook for the UK social network audience between 2013 and 2017?
  • How many people in the UK will use Facebook and Twitter between 2013 and 2017?
  • How will the UK mobile social network, Facebook and Twitter user bases grow between 2013 and 2017?
  • How do age and gender affect UK social network usage patterns?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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