Digital 2021 Global Overview Report

Digital 2021 Global Overview Report

4.66 billion Internet users in the world, 4.2 billion users of social networks, 5.22 billion mobile users, 6h54 spent on average online…

Hootsuite and We Are Social unveil the figures for the use of the web and social networks in 2021.

The major annual Digital Report 2021 study, published by Hootsuite and We Are Social, provides all the statistics on the use of the web and social networks around the world. Among the main findings, the study shows that the use of the internet, social media and mobile has increased sharply in 2020.

Digital Global Overview Report 2021

Internet in 2021: the 10 key figures
Among the many statistics revealed by the study, we have gathered the main figures to remember about Internet use in 2021. Out of 7.83 billion people on the planet, there are :

5.22 billion mobile users (+1.8%),
66.6% of the world’s population is mobile,
93 million new mobile users (+1.8% in one year),
96.43 Mbps average connection speed from a fixed line to the Internet (+31.1%),
4.66 billion Internet users (59.5%),
4.32 billion Internet users from mobile phones,
316 million additional Internet users in 2020 (+7.3%),
4.2 billion active users of social networks (53.6%),
6h54 spent on average on the Internet (+4%),
63.4% of Internet users use the Chrome browser (-0.4%).


The study specifies that the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on the reporting of the number of Internet users. While the penetration rate reached 59.5% of the world population in January 2021, with a total of 4.66 billion Internet users, these figures could be higher than those stated. It will be interesting to follow their evolution in future updates of the report.

Sharp rise in time spent on the Internet: 6h54 per day
Unsurprisingly, the average length of time spent on the Internet, all types of devices taken together, rose sharply in 2020, from 6h38 in the third quarter of 2019 to 6h54 one year later (+4%), according to GWI figures mentioned in the study. This is equivalent to more than 48 hours spent online per week, or 2 full days.

Assuming that the average Internet user sleeps between 7 and 8 hours a day, this means that we now spend about 42% of our waking life online and that we spend almost as much time using the Internet as we do sleeping. If Internet use remains at these levels throughout 2021, Internet users around the world will spend nearly 12 billion hours online this year, representing more than 1.3 billion years of combined human time, the report estimates.

Top 10 most downloaded mobile applications :
Again according to App Annie data, 218 billion mobile applications were downloaded over the last 12 months, all platforms combined, up 7% year-on-year. ByteDance’s TikTok is the app that has garnered the most downloads in 2020 ahead of Facebook and WhatsApp. Netflix takes 10th place.

1- TikTok
2- Facebook
3- WhatsApp
4- Zoom
5- Instagram
6- Facebook Messenger
7- Google Meet
8- Snapchat
9- Telegram
10- Netflix

Tinder is the mobile application in which consumers spent the most in 2020 (excluding mobile games), ahead of TikTok in 2nd position. The Disney + application is in 4th place and Netflix in 6th place. The game Pokemon Go continues to be successful and takes second place (compared to 5th last year) among the mobile gaming applications in which consumers spend the most, adding WAS and Hootsuite.

What is the outlook for 2021?
In order to anticipate the evolution of web and social media usages, the study targets 4 major changes to watch in 2021:

The disappearance of third-party cookies, more flexible work, digital transformations, particularly in 3 sectors: health (tele-medicine), finance and education,
Portable digital identities, with a decentralised approach to digital identification (following the controversy around WhatsApp).


The We Are Social / Hootsuite report is a real goldmine, all the information collected in the framework of this study is available on this document : https://datareportal.com/

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