How Much Time Do People Really Spend on Social Media? Let‘s Analyze the Latest Data

As a consultant who assists small businesses with social media marketing, I‘m often asked – just how much time do people actually spend on social platforms these days?

With over 4 billion global social media users, understanding current usage patterns is key for any marketing strategy. So let‘s dive into the latest data and identify opportunities.

Facebook Remains #1 But Usage is Dropping

Despite recent controversies, Facebook continues to have the most active users overall. However, time spent on Facebook peaked back in 2018 at over 50 minutes per day. It has since dropped to 30-35 minutes per day average for 2023.

My clients often believe Facebook should be their top focus, but the data shows usage is declining. This is especially true for younger demographics who are shifting attention to Instagram, TikTok and more visual platforms.

Average Time Spent Per Day on Facebook

Year Minutes Per Day
2023 30-35 minutes
2022 35-40 minutes
2018 58 minutes (peak)

(Source: BusinessofApps)

So while still an important platform, usage trends show Facebook should no longer dominate marketing budgets.

YouTube Views Continue Shifting to Mobile

YouTube retains over 2 billion monthly active users who watch 1+ billion hours of video daily. On average, visitors spend 15-20 minutes per day on the platform.

However, mobile YouTube usage has exploded in recent years. As of 2023, over 70% of all YouTube views now occur on mobile or tablet devices.

This increased mobility offers opportunities to engage users across devices. Shorter videos optimized for mobile continue gaining traction.

Instagram and TikTok Compete for Attention

Instagram has seen meteoric growth, now with over 1 billion monthly users spending 30+ minutes daily there. It continues gaining popularity across age groups but remains focused on visual content.

Meanwhile upstart TikTok has already attracted over 800 million global users in just a few years. It is aggressively pursuing small business marketing dollars as well.

TikTok users under age 30 now spend up to 50 minutes daily consuming short videos through the app.

As visual platforms consume more user time, marketers must diversify efforts beyond Facebook news feeds. Dedicating resources specifically for Instagram and TikTok content can better reach younger demographics.

Average Minutes Per Day Spent on Social Apps

Platform 2017 2023
Facebook 41 min 30 min
Instagram 15 min 30 min
TikTok n/a 45-50 min

Messaging Platforms Drive Active Engagement

Beyond passive scrolling and watching, messaging apps continue seeing high engagement by enabling real-time communication.

Globally over 65 billion messages are sent daily via WhatsApp alone. People check WhatsApp on average 23-25 times per day – nearly as often as email. So messaging remains a crucial way to reach users.

Dedicated messaging strategies should complement social media efforts. Customer service usage also continues to grow on chat apps.

As this analysis shows, social media usage data reveals clear trends to inform content efforts. While Facebook retains the most overall users, time spent continues dropping. And visual platforms like Instagram and TikTok increasingly consume user attention.

Understanding these patterns allows my small business clients to allocate budgets more effectively. Matching content initiatives to proven user engagement data directly drives results.