Home → Technology→

30+ Enlightening Social Media Stats in the UK

Written by, Ljubica Gjorgievska

Updated September, 15, 2022

Do you have a social media presence? You’re not the only one. Today, over 4 billion people around the world use social platforms, a number that is only expected to increase in the future. 

To find out how popular social networks and communication apps are in the UK and how fast their user base is growing, check out the social media statistics from the UK we prepared for you.

Let’s dive in. 

Ten Essential Social Media Statistics to Remember in 2022

  • There are 57.6 million active social media users in the UK. 
  • UK adults spend over an hour on social media every day. 
  • WhatsApp is the most used social media platform in the UK.
  • 58% of Facebook users in the UK log in more than once a day. 
  • There are 34.6 million Instagram users in the United Kingdom.
  • 55.5% of Instagram users are women. 
  • 43% of Twitter users log on to the platform at least once a day. 
  • 81% of YouTube users live in urban areas. 
  • 98% of active social media users log on to their accounts through mobile phones. 
  • 35% of people in the UK use social media to get info on the pandemic. 

Social Media Reach in the UK

Active social media users in the UK.

1. There are 57.6 million active social media users in the UK as of 2022.  

(Statista) (Statista) (DataReportal)

There are 67 million internet users in the UK, the majority of whom have a social media profile. More specifically, 2022 social media use statistics show there are 57.6 million active users of social networks, accounting for 84.3% of the UK’s entire population. In terms of social media penetration, Britain is well above the global average of 45% and ranks 16th on the worldwide list, climbing two spots since last year.

2. In 2022, England and Scotland have the highest social media penetration rate. 


There is a double tie in the social media penetration of UK nations with 88% of people in England and Scotland using social media. Northern Ireland and Wales are tied with social media penetration rate of 86%.

3. 16 to 24-year olds are the biggest social media users. 


The latest 2022 Ofcom Adults’ Media use report states that 98% of 16 to 24-year olds have a social media profile, making them the biggest users of social networking sites in Britain. As people get older, social media usage statistics by age point to a decline. Thus, while 97% of 25 to 34-year-olds have a social networking profile, the same is true for only 67% of the 65+ age group.

4. UK adults spend over an hour on social media every day. 

(Ofcom) (Statista)

In 2021, UK adults spent an average of 4 hours online each day, the majority of which, or 1 hour and 48 minutes, is spent on social platforms. Listening to music through streaming services and reading news media followed next with 77 and 76 minutes, respectively.

5. 25% of social media users often share, post and comment on social media.


23% of social media users in the UK are passive, meaning that they only read or watch social networking content and occasionally like a post or comment. By contrast, 25% are active users who frequently post, share or comment on social media sites. 

6. More than half of social media users know that personal information can be collected through networking sites.


When it comes to privacy issues and trustworthiness, Ofcom discovered the following:

  • 26% of social media users do not check if the information they find online is truthful or not.
  • 62% are aware that their personal data can be collected through their social media accounts and interactions. 

These social networking statistics prove that even though the majority of users are aware of the dangers of social media, they still exhibit quite a lot of trust in the information they find on the internet. 

7. Social media users are diversifying.

(Ofcom) (We Are Social)

Today, Brits have an average of 7.1 social media accounts. Even though Facebook is the most popular site, the number of users who only have an account on this platform is decreasing. Seven years ago, 48% of social media visitors used Facebook only, which dropped to 17% in 2022.

8. In 2022, slightly over half of the users make purchases through social media.


The 2022 Shopper Experience Index social media marketing statistics show that 51% of social media users make purchases through the social networks they use, with 41% of users making one or two purchase a month.

9. The best time to post on social media is Tuesdays through Thursdays at 9am or 10am.

(Sprout Social) (Influencer Marketing Hub)

Knowing the best time to post on each social network can be a superior advantage for users, but even more for marketers. 

Let’s take a look at peak engagement times of each social platform, according to Sprout Social:

  • The best day in the week to post on Facebook is:
    • Monday through Friday, with the highest frequency at 3 a.m.
  • On Instagram, the second most popular social network in the UK, the best times for posting are
    • Mondays at 11 a.m.
    • Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and and 1 p.m.
    • Thursdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m.
  • The best times to post on TikTok are:
    • Tuesdays at 9 a.m.
    • Thursdays at 12 a.m.
  • Peak user engagement on Twitter:
    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m.
  • LinkedIn users are most active on:
    • Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m noon.

Social Media Usage Statistics by Platform

Now that we’ve seen how many people in the UK use social media, let’s break it down by platforms. 

Facebook Facts and Statistics in the UK

Facebook user demographics in the UK.

10. In 2021, WhatsApp was the most used social media platform in the UK.


With about 75% of internet users in the UK using the service, the WhatsApp social network was the most popular among the social media platforms, as of the third quarter of 2021. Following closely in second place, Facebook came in at a rate of 73.5%.

11. As of July 2022, individuals aged 25 to 34 are the biggest group of Facebook users.


When it comes to social media usage by age, people aged 25-34 dominate the platform, making up 24.3% of Facebook’s users in the UK. The share of younger generations, specifically those aged between 18 and 24, has seen a slight increase since 2020 when it was at 16%, currently sitting at 18.8%. The number of seniors, however, has increased from just 4% in 2012 to 9.3% today.

12. In 2022, UK women visit Facebook more frequently than men. 


Even though both women and men are represented almost equally within this demographic, female Facebook users are somewhat more frequent on the site. Namely, social media stats tell us that 53.4% of Facebook users are female, and 46.6% are male.

13. 58% of Facebook users in the UK log in more than once a day.

(Ofcom) (Statista) 

In 2020, more than 35% of the time spent online in the UK, is spent on Facebook and Google sites. What’s more, 58% of British Facebook users claimed that they logged in multiple times a day with the average amount of time spent on Facebook each day amounting to 23 minutes. 20% of users said they login only once a day, and only 4% once a week.

14. The Facebook page of Manchester United has the largest audience in the UK. 

(Social Bakers)

The most popular Facebook pages in the UK, with the largest number of fans, are:

  1. Manchester United: 73m+
  2. Adele: 61m+
  3. Jason Statham: 53m+
  4. David Beckham: 51m+
  5. UNILAD: 42m+

As we can see, sport and music-related pages dominate with the majority of Facebook users visiting these pages.

Instagram Statistics in the UK

Instagram app access in the UK.

15. There are 34.6 million Instagram users in the United Kingdom as of May 2022.


With the growth of internet penetration in the UK, the usage of Instagram has reached record-breaking levels. Today, Instagram sits as the fourth most popular social media platform in the UK, with a whopping 34.6 million users.

16. The majority of Instagram users are aged from 25 to 34.


An analysis of Instagram demographics in the UK shows that this is a platform favoured by younger users. As with Facebook, 25 to 34 year-olds make up the largest share of users with 30.8%, followed by the 18 to 24 age group which is at 23.9%. Those aged 65 and over account for the smallest share (2.8%) of users and are thus the least likely to have a profile on this platform.

17. In 2022, 55.5% of Instagram users in the UK are women.

(Napoleon Cat) (Statista)

More than half of Instagram users in Britain are female. More notably, 55.5% are female users, while men account for almost 44.5%. Moreover, the majority of visitors on this platform in the UK are women under 24 — a survey by Statista shows that 71% of women between the ages of 15 to 24 use Instagram. 

18. 54% of users visit Instagram several times a day. 


Social media use in the UK is thriving, and Instagram is no exception. According to Statista, in 2020, 54% of Instagram users in the UK accessed the platform several times a day. Only 12% of them, on the other hand, reported using Instagram a few times per week. 

19. Dua Lipa is the most popular UK influencer on Instagram. 

(Influencer Marketing Hub)

As the fifth biggest site in the UK, in terms of reach, Instagram poses an incredible opportunity for celebs to connect with the fans.

These are the top-ranking UK influencers on Instagram: 

  1. Dua Lipa: 86m+
  2. David Beckham: 74m+
  3. Emma Watson: 67m+
  4. Tom Holland: 67m+
  5. Gareth Bale: 47m+

20. In 2022, half of internet users aged 16-24 said they have multiple Instagram accounts.


The most cited reasoning for having several Instagram accounts were maintaining one for a specific interest or business, or having one for a smaller group of friends and another for a larger circle of contacts.

Twitter Statistics in the UK

Twitter usage demographics in the UK.

21. In 2022, there are 18.20 million Twitter users in the UK.

(Statista) (Business Times) (DataReportal)

Have you ever wondered how many people in the UK use Twitter? As of early 2022, the United Kingdom is among the top five leading countries based on the number of Twitter users, with 18.20 million. Social media stats from the UK further indicate that the number has grown significantly from 2019 when there were 13.7 million Twitter users.

22. 43% of Twitter users log on to the platform at least once a day. 

(Business Times) (Statista) 

Data on Twitter demographics and usage reveals the following: 

  • Across the globe, Twitter has more female than male users (70% vs 30%); however, in Great Britain, the situation is reversed. In the UK, males use the platform more than females, with 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively. 
  • This social media network is also the most popular among adults. 33% of respondents in a 2018 survey who had used Twitter were 15 to 24-year-olds, whereas over half were aged 35 or over. 
  • Most Twitter users in the UK (43%) reported that they use the platform several times a day. 15%, on the other hand, said that they log on several times per week.

23. Dua Lipa’s Twitter profile was one of the fastest-growing in the UK in December 2020.  

(Social Bakers) 

According to Social Baker’s social media stats, these are the fastest-growing Twitter accounts in the United Kingdom for December 2020.

  1. Premier League: +480,145 followers
  2. BBC  News (World): +443,823 followers
  3. Manchester United: +350,182 followers
  4. Zayn: +339,720 followers
  5. DUA LIPA: +281,884 followers

24. BBC Breaking News is the largest UK Twitter account in 2022.


With over 51 million followers, BBC’s dedicated account for breaking news alerts is the most followed British account. Ex-One Direction bandmates Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson have the next two biggest twitter accounts with 38 and 36 million followers, respectively.

TikTok Usage Stats in the UK

Time spend on TikTok in the UK by children.

25. TikTok has more than 8.9 million users in the United Kingdom.

(Social films) (Statista)

TikTok had its biggest success in March 2020 when the app was downloaded 115 million times, 745,000 of which were in Britain alone, social media consumption statistics in the UK reveal.

According to Airnow, this video-sharing platform had 6 million monthly active users in the UK in May 2020, a considerable growth from 2017 when TikTok was launched.

Over the last 2 years TikTok has grown even more and currently has over 8.9 million active users in 2022.

26. TikTok is most popular with Gen Z. 


Who uses TikTok in the UK? 

  • This app is adopted mostly by the younger generation of internet users in the UK and is especially popular among Generation Z. In fact; the largest TikTok audience is individuals aged between 18-24. 
  • In December 2019, the platform was used by more than 25% of smartphone users in the UK younger than 24.
  • In 2021, TikTok was favoured by female users more compared to their male counterparts, with shares of 66.25% and 33.75% each.
  • This entertaining social media is very popular among children in the UK aged 4-15, who spend an average of 69 minutes daily on TikTok.

The breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused so many of us to stay at home, watching video content as well as creating it became a regular pastime. No wonder TikTok emerged as one of the biggest social media trends for 2020 in the UK and the rest of the world.

Let’s take a look at which were the most viewed and shared TikTok videos of 2020: 

(The tab)

  1. Lion at safari: 20.9m likes
  2. Time Warp scan smoking: 15.1m likes
  3. Satisfying flooring: 7.8m likes
  4. Guy sings What’s Up: 6.6m likes
  5. Christiano Ronaldo model: 6.4m likes
  6. Guy cleans swimming pool: 4.8m likes
  7. Satisfying cement: 4.6m likes
  8. Football freestyle: 3.4m likes
  9. Wholesome grandad content: 3.2m likes
  10. Ping pong ball trick shot: 2.7m likes

YouTube Statistics in the UK

YouTube usage in the UK.

27. 78% of British internet users aged 16 to 64 use YouTube.


Data from Q3 2019 reveals that YouTube is the most active social media site in the UK. With over 78% of people reporting that they use the platform, YouTube has an incredibly high reach in the UK, even edging ahead of Facebook (73%) and WhatsApp (62%).

28. 81% of YouTube users live in urban areas.

(Business of Apps)

A closer look at YouTube user statistics shows that:

Women in the UK use YouTube more than men (80% vs 78%)

  • YouTube is most popular among 18 to 24-year-olds. 97% of this age group use this video-sharing site.
  • It’s least prevalent among those aged 75 and over. Only 40% of this generation uses YouTube. 
  • 81% of internet users in the UK living in urban areas use YouTube compared to 72% in rural areas. 

29. 19% of users access YouTube several times a day.


A Statista survey of around 2000 respondents shows that almost 20% access the platform several times a day. 14% use YouTube once a day, while 17% do so once every few days. Surprisingly, 21% of respondents reported that they never used the video-sharing platform. 

30. MrBeast was the highest earning YouTuber of 2021, social media statistics indicate.


Forbes’ YouTube rich list revealed the 24-year-old American content creator as the highest earning YouTuber of 2021 who made approximately £46m.

31. With over 18 billion views, Ed Sheeran’s YouTube channel is the most popular in the UK.

(Social Bakers) 

These are the five most popular YouTube channels in the UK: 

  1. Ed Sheeran: 43,000,000 subscribers and more than 18 billion views.
  2. DanTDM: 22,200,000 subscribers and more than 15 billion views.
  3. CalvinHarrisVEVO: 12,400,000 subscribers and over 11 billion views.
  4. Coldplay: 15,800,00 subscribers and more than 9 billion views.
  5. OneDirectionVEVO: 22,800,00 subscribers and about 9 billion views. 

Communication Apps Usage in the UK

Ads on Snapchat in the UK.

As a result of the increasing number of internet users, as well as the nationwide lockdown at the start 2020, communication apps like Whatsapp, Messenger, and Snapchat saw the number of users and downloads skyrocket.

The latest stats and facts on these apps in Great Britain look like this:

(Statista) (DataReportal)

  • The number one messenger server in the UK is WhatsApp, used regularly by 74.8% of respondents in a 2022 survey. 58.5% of participants in the same poll use Facebook Messenger, and 31.2% use Snapchat. 
  • Another survey shows that 65% of respondents used Whatsapp several times per day. Only 11% of them used the communication app a couple of times a week. 
  • 18.70 million people can be reached with ads on Snapchat. According to social media advertising statistics, 56.5% of Snapchat’s ad audience are women, whereas 43.1% are men. 

Social Media Usage by Device and Operating System

Instagram downloads on Google Play in the UK.

32. 98% of active social media users log on to their accounts through mobile phones. 

(DataReportal) (Ofcom)

Ofcom reports that eight in ten adults are smartphone users in the UK, while an impressive 71% of time spent online is smartphones. Keeping these stats in mind, it’s no wonder the majority of British social media users access their accounts through mobiles rather than desktop. 

33. On Google Play, TikTok is the most popular social media app for 2022. 

(Statista) (SimilarWeb)

With 219.9 thousand downloads, TikTok is the most popular social app on Google Play in the UK. It is followed by the latest social media BeReal that is creating a buzz in the online world and Instagram.

34. WhatsApp is among the five most downloaded apps on Apple Store. 


These platforms are preceded only by ZOOM Cloud Meetings and the NHS’s COVID-19 tracing app, the popularity of which has soared as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

35. YouTube is the third highest-reaching app on Android and iPhone, social media trends reveal. 


Based on reach, YouTube is ranked third both on Androids and iPhones. On Android phones, it’s preceded by other Google-owned apps, Google Play and Google Search. By contrast, on iPhones, it stands behind social media sites Instagram and WhatsApp.

The Impact of Covid on Social Media Usage

Information about Covid-19 outbreak on social media in the UK.

36. 35% of people in the UK use social media to get info on the pandemic. 


With the COVID-19 outbreak and quarantine shaping most of our existence in 2020, the role of social media and communication platforms has reached a new peak, especially when it comes to reading and sharing news about the pandemic.

  • In a period of 7 days, a third of Brits have turned to social media to get information and updates on the COVID-19 situation in the country and the world. 
  • 14% of shared information about the COVID-19 outbreak across various social networking platforms.
  • 79% believed that fake news about the coronavirus pandemic should not be posted or shared on social media. 

37. 13% of UK Tweets are related to coronavirus.

(Total Media)

The coronavirus affected not just what people read or watch, but what they post as well, media consumption statistics in the UK suggest. More specifically, YouTube sees tens of millions of search queries and billions of views related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Twitter reported that 13% of UK tweets are currently about the novel coronavirus.

38. The UK government is working with social media influencers to stop the spread of the coronavirus. 

(The Conversation)

In a bold move to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the British government has paid several media influencers, typically those with 1.5 million followers, to promote the NHS test and COVID-19 contact tracing app among the UK population. 

Bottom Line 

As we can see from these social media statistics in the UK, networking sites have never been more popular. No one can tell what will happen in the future, but based on current trends, it’s highly likely that social media will only continue to grow both in popularity and usage. So the best thing we can do is go with the flow and enjoy the future benefits social media might deliver. 


As a writer for Don’t Disappoint Me, my job is to collect relevant key information and interpret it into a wide range of content. I also have an MSc in Marketing, so I am always trying to expand my knowledge and discover new and exciting areas of digital marketing, SEO and web traffic building. I am a nature enthusiast, so when I’m not researching and analyzing, I love to go hiking with my dogs, camping, or snowboarding. I am a bookaholic as well and have an ongoing obsession with crime TV shows and movies.