Digital 2022 Report finds that 83% of Australians are now on social media

Letrecia Tippett, Head of Country ANZ, Hootsuite

Hootsuite, the global leader in social media management, and We Are Social, the socially-led creative agency, have released Digital 2022 Australia, which is their latest annual report that highlights the most notable findings on digital trends and social media in Australia.

The number of Australians adopting social media is up 4.6%, with 21m social media users countrywide (almost 1m new users) since last year, equalling to 83% of the total population.

Letrecia Tippett, the Head of Australia and New Zealand at Hootsuite expounded more.

“As social media usage in Australia steadily increases, it is more important than ever before for companies to embrace social media to strengthen their connection with their customers.”

“As Australians navigate through yet another challenging year of the pandemic, we encourage businesses to make use of the data from our Digital 2022 report to help them navigate which social media platforms will be most efficient in connecting them with their audiences.”

Facebook remains most used social platform

In addition to the rise in social media users, Australians aged 16-64 are also spending more time on social media each day, at 1 hr and 57 minutes (10% increase). Facebook remains the most used social platform, followed by Facebook Messenger and Instagram in Australia.

The report reveals that 15 million (58% of the total population) Australians can be reached by advertising on Facebook, while TikTok has a potential ad reach of 7.38m people aged 18+.

With a global audience available online, Australian businesses are increasingly investing in digital advertising, spending an additional $392m (18% increase) and $1.6bn (27% increase) on social media and programmatic advertising respectively, than the previous year.

Social media platforms are representing a 27% ($2.6 billion) of total share of digital advertising spend, and programmatic’s share of total represents 78% ($7.5 billion).

“The uplift in digital advertising spend means Australian businesses are competing for share a of voice to maximise their customer reach across all avenues online.”

“As we move forward, organisations should continue to prioritise a digital-led strategy, so as not to miss out on key opportunities for growth and new customers,” added Tippett.

TikTok leads in screen time

Despite Facebook being the most popular app, Australians spend longer on TikTok, with users spending an average of 23.4 hours per month (40% increase) on the app, compared to 17.6 hours (3% decline) on Facebook and 8.3 hours monthly (2% increase) on Instagram.

TikTok’s ad audience also continues to grow at a rapid pace. Digital 2022 Australia indicates that the platform now has a reach of 37% (audience aged 18+), and was the third most downloaded mobile app over the past year, behind Service Victoria and Service NSW.

Mobile gaming gains ground

It highlights how gaming has become mainstream with 3 in 4 internet users aged 16-64 playing video games, using a gaming console for 1 hour 7 minutes daily (24% increase).

Digital media spend in video games has increased by 25%, now at $716.9m. Mobile remains the preferred gaming device, with 49.5% adult internet users gaming on smartphones.

Suzie Shaw, the CEO at We Are Social Australia said, “Online gaming has really become a mainstream pursuit in Australia, with many spending hours a week doing it.”

“Throughout the pandemic, audiences have stayed connected via gaming, and it’s really evolved from just being a source of solitary entertainment to an activity where people are socialising, interacting with friends and family and creating meaningful connections.”

“Navigating the gaming space can be challenging, but given the size of the audience, the time spent doing it, the immersiveness of gaming environments and the creative flexibility it provides, brands should be considering gaming as part of their strategy in 2022.”

Headlines from the report represent global trends in social media, internet, and ecommerce.

It highlights the role of social media advertising in the marketing mix, with 24% aged 16-64 saying that they discover new brands, products, and services via social media ads.

Australians aged 16-64 absorb media and entertainment using 3 hrs and 44 minutes watching television, 54 minutes listening to podcasts and 1 hr and 7 minutes gaming.

Instagram’s advertisement reach has also steadily jumped by 16% (1.8 million user increase) over the past year, with almost 13 million users reached in each month.

Australians spent $2 billion on mobile applications and in-app purchases in 2021, with people spending the most on Disney+, Tinder, Kayo Sports, YouTube and Bumble.

Brand presence on digital online platforms is increasingly more important with 19 million Australians purchasing goods online, equating to an annual spend of $38 billion.