mobile accounts for 60% of web traffic

Hootsuite and We Are Social unveil their new version of the Digital Report study. This survey aims to deliver the latest statistics on the use of the Internet and social networks, but also mobile. This July 2022 update focuses in particular on showing the strong momentum of mobile, which is still booming.

Mobile: ever-increasing usage, increasing connection speed

While the survey conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social highlights a deceleration in digital growth, the mobile dynamic is doing well for the second quarter of 2022. Among the key mobile figures in July 2022, we note:

  • 5.34 billion mobile users worldwide, i.e. 66.9% of the world’s population,
  • 93 million new mobile users, an increase of 1.8% over the last 12 months,
  • 92.1% of users access the Internet via their mobile,
  • 34 billion applications downloaded worldwide,
  • +3% applications downloaded in one year.

The rate of Internet connection via mobile is on the rise

Mobile has represented more than half of Internet connections worldwide since the end of 2018. However, the use of mobile to access the Internet has been rising steadily since 2021. For this second quarter of 2022, mobile represents 55 .5% of time spent on the web, compared to 52% at the same time last year.

Share of mobile in Internet connection in the world. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

On the other hand, mobile phones represent an increasingly important part of global web traffic. Thus, they represent 59.7% of traffic, against 38% for laptops and desktops. This percentage is up by 7.9% for mobile phones, compared to the same period in 2021, while computers are down by 9.4%.

Nearly 6 in 10 web page requests now come from mobile phones, up from just over 55% a year ago. However, these averages vary enormously from country to country. Statcounter reports that mobile phones account for more than 8 out of 10 web page requests in Turkey, Egypt and Nigeria, but are only responsible for 27% of web traffic in Belgium.

Web traffic by media. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

An acceleration of the connection speed on mobile

According to the study, this increasingly important use of the mobile can be explained by an acceleration of the connection speed on this medium. Indeed, figures revealed in the report show that the median mobile internet connection worldwide now exceeds 30 Mbps and average download bandwidth has increased by 25% over the past 12 months.

Granted, the average landline connection is still twice as fast as that (almost 65 Mbps) but with most mobile connections now capable of streaming 4K video without lag or buffering, the difference between landline connection speeds and mobile now has much less impact on most daily activities.

Mobile vs desktop internet connection speed. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

Hootsuite and We Are Social’s Digital Report also highlights that mobile internet speeds are now faster than landline internet connections in 51 countries around the world.

Comparison of mobile connection and landline connection. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

Social networks: TikTok continues to rise, the platform heavily used to consult the news

Globally, social networks continue to attract more and more users and are consulted for longer and longer by Internet users.

Among the key figures to remember:

  • 4.7 billion social network users worldwide,
  • 59% of the world’s population use social networks,
  • 47 million new social network users worldwide between the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2022 (+1%),
  • 227 million new socionauts in one year (+5.1%),
  • 2h29 spent on average per day on social networks (5 minute increase),
  • 7.4 platforms used on average each month.
Key figures for social networks in the second quarter of 2022. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

TikTok Surpasses One Billion Users, Reels Performance Increases on Instagram

According to the latest statistics on advertising resources, reported by ByteDance and shared within the Digital Report, TikTok’s advertising audience has exceeded one billion users to reach 1.02 billion Internet users aged 18 and over on the platform. This represents 52 million new users on the Chinese social network compared to the 1st quarter of 2022.

TikTok figures for the second quarter of 2022. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

According to figures from Meta statistics, the study also shows that the advertising audience of Reels, Instagram’s short video format created to compete with TikTok, is experiencing very strong growth. Indeed, in the 1st quarter of 2022, the potential audience reached by the Reels was 686.9 million users. This increases to 754.8 million users for this second quarter.

Instagram figures for the second quarter of 2022. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

Social networks are essential as a reference to consult the news

The uses of social networks are changing. Evidenced by the large proportion of Internet users who use them to follow the news. Thus, according to Reuters Institute in its Digital News Report 2022, 54% of Internet users say they stay up to date with the news through social networks. A significantly lower percentage according to GlobalWebIndex (GWI), which shows that only 34.8% of working-age internet users surveyed by GWI in Q1 2022 said viewing news was one of main reasons for which they used social networks.

This somewhat nuanced difference adds valuable context to the two sets of figures, however, as it can help identify the difference between what may be more casual or casual consumption of news content via social media (the study by Reuters Institute) and more deliberate engagement with news content on these platforms (the study conducted by GWI).

The use of social networks to consult the news. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

The inflection point of digital growth

The report highlights that the current period symbolizes the inflection point of digital growth. Indeed, according to the Digital Report, current trends indicate that two-thirds of the world’s population should be connected by next year and that social media users should reach 60% of the world’s population. This is why it is possible to assume that the growth curves will then stabilize or continue to flatten.

The growth of digital in the second quarter of 2022. © We Are Social / Hootsuite

The fact that we have reached this inflection point proves that connected technology is now integrated into the lives of most people around the world. Therefore, the question is no longer whether our audiences are actually using these technologies, but what they are using them for and how we can take full advantage of the valuable – and ever-evolving – opportunities these technologies present.

Find all the data shared by We Are Social and Hootsuite in the July 2022 update of the Digital Report on this page. You can also view the summary below, which recaps the report’s top 10 trends.

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