By Adam Fraser
The annual Global Digital Trends report authored by Simon Kemp, delivered by We Are Social and Hootsuite, has become one of the must read reports into global digital activity.
And rightly so. It’s an incredibly comprehensive, professional, and well researched document – truly the go-to resource and reference point for research, blogs, business cases, sales decks and conference presentations for the year to come!
(If you are interested in the history of the report and how it is prepared, I chatted to Simon about the 2017 report on the podcast last year).
The 2018 report has just been released and as expected it’s another high quality, insight rich, document. The summary document alone is 153 slides, and there are country specific reports, with an overall total of an incredible 5,000 charts covering 239 countries. It really is an amazing resource.
The breadth of the research is what makes it so valuable, covering internet usage, mobile usage, messaging, social media, ecommerce and media consumption.
I highly recommend people browse the full slide deck. For those looking for the major headlines, here are 10 key trends:
- Global internet users have now surpassed 4 billion people (up 7% on the prior year) – over half of the world’s population is now online.
- People are spending more time online, with the average user spending 6 hours per day on the internet – this equates to a billion years spent online across the globe in 2018!
- An amazing 2/3 of the world’s population now have a smartphone – incredible penetration over a relatively short time span
- Social media usage has continued to grow over the past 12 months, with over 3 billion global users (3.2 billion, up 13% on prior year), most accessing via a mobile device (2.9bn). Growth in the USA was 7% and in Australia was 6%.
- Facebook’s data affirms this trend, with 95% of its global users accessing the platform via a mobile device.
- WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both grew twice as fast as the core Facebook platform in the last year, with the number of people using each messenger app up by 30 percent year on year. Both now have 1.3bn monthly active users.
- Three of the top 10 most trafficked websites in the world are social networks, being YouTube (2nd), Facebook (3rd) and Reddit (6th). Many may be surprised to see Reddit featuring so high, but this is an increasingly important community.
- The ad blocking stats by country were highly notable and significant – the percentage of users accessing an adblocker exceeding 40% in countries such as China (54%), India (52%), USA (45%), NZ (42%) and UK (41%). Australia’s ratio was still a highly material 36%.
- As expected, organic reach and engagement have both dropped over the past year, with average reach down by more than 10 percent year-on-year. The country by country Facebook organic reach stats was fascinating – while the global average reach was 8% (a number still surprisingly high) the deviation was significant between countries (e.g Netherlands 22%, Australia 14%, USA 7%, Japan 1%).
- In terms of ecommerce, total annual spend in 2017 reached almost US$1.5 trillion for consumer goods, a growth of 16 percent over the past year. Fashion products represent the largest single category.
It was an incredibly hard task to only extract 10 key insights from such a data rich document! Bookmark this one for the year ahead…