UK Social Media Statistics 2022

Feb 3, 2022

Social media statistics help social media marketers to decide on the best strategy for their brand. In this blog, we explore the UK social media statistics for 2022 and how this could impact your brand’s marketing strategy.

Overall social media user numbers grew by 424 million users in 2021, which is a growth rate of more than 10%. There are 4.6 billion social media users around the world. This number represents 58% of the global population. Although it’s worth noting that “users” does not necessarily mean unique individuals.

The latest Digital 2022: Global Overview report, created by We Are Social and Hootsuite, is an incredible source of digital insights and stats which can help brand marketers to make informed decisions in the months ahead.

In this blog, we examine the latest UK social media statistics for 2022 and explore how this can inform us to make good marketing decisions for brands.

Social Media Prize

The Global Social Media Statistics for 2022

There are now an estimated 4.64 billion social media users globally, according to the Digital 2022: Global Overview report.

Since January 2021, active social media usage has increased by 10%, or 424 million users. This is a significant rise considering the enormous increase in users who joined social media platforms during the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.

When it comes to daily usage, the average social media user has increased the amount of time they are using social media. The increase is small, from 2 hours 25 minutes to 2 hours 27 minutes.

The social media platform rankings haven’t changed since 2021, but this could change in 2022. TikTok was the most-downloaded mobile app in 2021 and is increasingly being described by users as their favourite social media app. We fully expect to see continuingly strong growth in 2022. This could result in users exceeding more established platforms in the next year or two.

Social Media Prize

The UK Social Media Statistics for 2022

Social media usage in the UK has increased over the last 12 months. In January 2022, 84% of the equivalent of UK population use social media. This figure may not represent unique individuals, but it gives a good idea of the scale of usage.

Despite an increasing movement towards social self-care and reducing screen time, people aren’t turning their backs on social media. The average UK spends 1 hour 48 minutes using social media per day. This is a decrease of just 1 minute over the past 12 months.


UK social media platform statistics haven’t changed dramatically, except for the continued growth in popularity of TikTok.

The average number of social media accounts per social media user in the UK is 6.3 (for 16–64-year-olds). There is dramatic user overlap too. This means that if you use social media it is almost certain that you use multiple platforms. Users will have a preferred platform and spend more time on it than on others.

Social Shopping

Globally “researching products to buy” is an increasingly prevalent reason for social media usage. In the UK, 28% of internet users use social media for brand research. This highlights the importance of social shopping. As users perform their brand research within the social media apps, guiding customers to your product pages and areas to buy is becoming more important. Find out How to set up Instagram Shopping for your brand in our blog.


One of the more interesting stats that we pulled from the report was that only 17% of UK social media users follow influencers. It isn’t clear what the criteria determined who is considered an influencer. But it would be fair to assume that “influencers” are macro-influencers and creators with large follower numbers. This percentage is much lower than we expected. It cements our view that there can be enormous value working with micro-influencers.


The decline of organic reach across social media platforms has lead to a need to invest in and increase advertising budgets.

Brands not advertising in 2022 will find it increasingly difficult to gain reach and engagement. According to Hootsuite the average organic reach for a Facebook post is 5.2%. 

Brands will experiment with more sophisticated styles of advertising, rather than just boosting posts in Facebook, or promoting posts on Instagram.

Using Ads Manager, more companies will use audience segmentation to deliver more relevant adverts to audiences at different stages of the funnel.

Despite marketing budgets tightening, more than half (51.4%) of the 18,100 marketers surveyed by Hootsuite said they’re planning to increase their paid social spend in 2022.

More experimentation with channels such as TikTok and Reels is expected.


Facebook usage has increased in the last year, with a reported 2.91 billion monthly users. It still holds the crown as the most used social media platform in the world. Total membership has increased marginally. Its number of monthly users has increased significantly every year since at least 2015.

There is a misconception that Facebook is an aging platform. Whilst it’s true that people 65+ are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook, 61.3% of global Facebook users are under 35.

The potential global advertising reach of Facebook is enormous. According to Facebook you can reach 60% of the UK population (13+) with ads through Facebook advertising.

One thing we’re asked about a lot at Avocado Social is how many engagements should we be getting on a Facebook post? Although it’s impossible to give you an answer to this question, we can say the Global average is 0.11%. Status posts receive the most engagement, followed by photos and then video.


YouTube remains the world’s second most popular social media platform after Facebook. The potential audience that marketers can reach on YouTube is now up to 2.56 billion users. This is an increase of nearly 12% in the last 12 months. In the UK it’s possible to reach 92% of the adult population through YouTube advertising.

Usage is also incredibly high. Globally, the average number of hours per month that each user spends using the YouTube app is 24.7 hours. In the UK this figure is 16.1 hours.

Many brands continue to use YouTube to host longer-form content. Unlike other social networks, where users scroll passively through newsfeeds, YouTube users are intentionally searching on the platform for videos to watch. They are increasingly doing so on mobile. Last year 70% of all watch time was on mobile.


As of January 2022, there were 1.48 billion Instagram users globally.

According to Instagram, 55% of the UK’s population can be reached with advertising. The gender split is still slightly skewed towards females (54% vs 46% males). The average time a UK user spends on Instagram is a little under 8 hours. This is significant!

As we mentioned in our Social Media Trends for 2021 blog video will be an ever-increasing content form on Instagram. Currently, 17.8% of all Instagram content is video posts, 17.3% are carousels and 64.9% are photos. Carousels receive the best average engagement, with 3.2%, followed by video at 1.5%. Engagement on Instagram is slightly higher than on Facebook. The more your follower numbers increase, the less engagement you are likely to see. According to 2021 statistics, for accounts under 10K followers, engagement sits at 1.29%. This goes down to 1% for 10-100K followers, and 0.73% for over 100K.


TikTok continues to disrupt the social media landscape since its launch in 2016. Globally, TikTok now has 885 million registered users, which is an increase of 196 million in the last 12 months.

Although the platform is still in its infancy, TikTok’s advertising reach amongst over 18’s in the UK is now at nearly 22 million accounts. This is equivalent to 40% of the UK population). User numbers are expected to grow another 10 million before the end of 2022. The opportunity for marketers is only going to grow too. Interestingly, the UK leads the global league table when it comes to the average number of hours per month a TikTok user spends on the app, at 27.3 hours.

We put together an In-Depth Look at Marketing on TikTok for the Digital Marketing Institute last year. It’s full of ideas on how your brand can get started on the platform.


LinkedIn has consistently grown over the last few years and engagement is at record high levels.

In January 2019 there were 610 million professionals interacting on the platform and looking for new ideas and opportunities. This jumped to 663 million in 2020, 727 million in 2021, and now stands at 808 million at the start of 2022.

LinkedIn noted that: “More and more people are using the feed and giving feedback to their network’s posts. Our members generate tens of millions of viral actions (likes, comments, and reshares), and the number is increasing more than 50% YoY.”

Advertising reach has also increased amongst users. LinkedIn ads now have the potential to reach 52% of the UK’s adult (18+) population. A 5% increase on last year. Globally, the advertising reach has also increased from 13% to 14.5% of the global adult population.


According to Twitter, they have 436 million registered users globally, roughly 18.5 million of which are in the UK. The potential reach of Twitter ads is now more than 31% of the UK population, and 7% globally.


Pinterest seems like a sleeping giant amongst the other social media platforms in this blog. The platform is often compared to other visual social media platforms, but this isn’t necessarily fair. From a feature standpoint, it has a unique ability to absorb entire catalogs into shoppable pages. For eCommerce brands, it is incredibly valuable for driving customers down the conversion funnel.

 User numbers are steadily increasing, with a 25 million increase in followers over the last 12 months to 225 million in January 2022. This is just under 3% of the global population.

In the UK advertising can reach more than 8.7 million people. Of all the social media platforms, Pinterest still has the greatest gender imbalance – 77% of all users are female. It also has a strong user base of those between the ages of 25 to 44. This age bracket makes up 44% of total users.

One of the most valuable things about Pinterest is the long shelf life of Pins. The average pin is repined 11 times. Eighty percent of all pins are repins and it takes a pin 3.5 months to get 50 percent of its engagement. A Pin will, on average, live for seven months – about 7 months longer than the average tweet.


Without a doubt, 2022 is set to be another huge year for social media marketing, as consumers are more engaged than ever before in the platforms. The winners will be brands that invest in their relationships with employees, customers, and influencers authentically, to in order to cut through the noise. Hootsuite noted: “The smartest brands will understand where they fit into customers’ lives on social media, and they’ll find creative ways of fitting into the conversation.”

The figures show us that the social media giants aren’t going anywhere soon, but new and emerging platforms like TikTok and Clubhouse offer more creative opportunities for those targeting particular audiences.


To find out more about how you can apply the UK Social Media Statistics for 2022 to create a successful social media strategy for your brand, check out our upcoming workshops or on-demand courses.

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