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We Are Social/Meltwater: digital prospects in 2023 – yes, there’s going to be even more of it

We Are Social and media intelligence operation Meltwater have published Digital 2023, their latest report on social media and digital trends worldwide.

As ever with these research offerings (and this is a biggie, 465 pages in all) it’s a combo of surprising and not at all surprising. Yes digital is taking over the world but we kind of knew that.

Anyway, headlines are:

*5.16bn internet users in the world, meaning 64.4% of the world’s total population is now online

*TikTok tops the global list of social media platforms when it comes to time spent per user on Android devices, followed by YouTube and Facebook.

*Digital advertising surged over the past 12 months, making it one of the biggest beneficiaries of lockdown-induced behavioural change – digital’s share of total global ad spend was up to 73.3% in 2022, from 57.4% in 2021 and 27.7% in 2019.

*The average mobile user now spends more than 5 hours per day using their phone – users spent an additional seven minutes per day using smartphones in 2022 – a 2.4% year-on-year increase

*PCs, laptops and tablets still account for more than half of people’s connected time in 18 of the 46 countries for which this data is available. Computers still dominate online activities in the US and Canada, as well as across most of Europe.

*China, with an adoption rate of 70% of the total population, has the world’s second-largest unconnected population – 375m people yet to go online – after India, which has 730m people yet to go online.

*Overall, nine countries have internet adoption rates below 20% of the population, with South Sudan and Somalia at less than 10% and North Korea, where everyday citizens are blocked from internet access, 0%. (Result!)

Nathan McDonald, Group CEO and co-founder at We Are Social says: “Social media’s influence on how we live our lives continues to grow. From shopping to connecting, entertaining to searching, it’s inextricably linked to our habits both on and offline. It’s interesting to see internet use becoming more discerning – while being online is still incredibly important in our everyday lives, people rightly want to make sure it’s time well spent.

“Marketers and creators will have to work even harder to attract and retain people’s attention in 2023 – it’s never been more important to understand online culture in order to reach people in a relevant way.”

Meltwater CSO Alexandra Saab Bjertnæs says: “”Brands that want to be competitive today need to stay ahead of trends – searching for and identifying them, in order to understand their impact on any given industry. Consumers continue to spend more and more time on social media, and it’s clear that social will play an even more important role in the customer journey as users turn to platforms like TikTok and Instagram to guide their decision-making process. With more than 5 billion internet users today, it’s becoming more crucial than ever that brands deliver relevant, impactful, and purposeful content to capture attention and create value across digital channels.”

Some might disagree of course. With so much of this stuff about, trying to stand out could be an exercise in pointlessness.

More details here.

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