2021
9
UK Social Media Market Report 2021
2021-06-12T04:07:20+01:00
OX1050289
2195
139425
[{"name":"Social Media","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/media-marketing\/social-media"}]
Report
en_GB
“Social media has enjoyed a surge in use with people seeking entertainment and connection throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, although time online looks set to fall as restrictions are eased. The…

UK Social Media Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Social Media market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Social media platforms as a whole have seen increased usage across the COVID-19 pandemic, with stay at home orders and lockdowns meaning people have had more time to spend online throughout 2020. However, while 36% of social media users have reported spending more time on platforms since outbreak, once the pandemic subsides this high usage rate may fall back.

Social media platforms have seen increased scrutiny alongside their boost in usage, especially around political and pandemic misinformation. 54% of social media users have seen COVID-19 misinformation on social media, with further calls for platforms to better manage harmful content. While 34% of social media users want to see users banned for misinformation, only 15% of 16-24 year olds share this opinion. Further regulatory changes and concerns over data sharing could harm both revenue and brand image of many social media services.

More platforms are offering increasingly similar features, including short form videos and audio and video chat integration. While this helps to keep users from switching apps to use functions elsewhere, it means the market will becoming even more competitive. With 27% of users interested in purchasing directly within social apps, in-app shopping could provide further innovation opportunities.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Leisure Time market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on social media.
  • Key developments from the major social media platforms over the last year.
  • Frequency of use of different social media platforms.
  • Consumers’ social media priorities and perceptions of the major platforms.
  • Consumers’ attitudes towards social media.

Covered in this report

Brands: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, Reddit, Twitch, Tumblr, Tumblr.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Social media has enjoyed a surge in use with people seeking entertainment and connection throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, although time online looks set to fall as restrictions are eased. The pandemic and widespread banning of US President Donald Trump has brought misinformation and social media guidelines to the fore. The majority of Brits want action on false claims and social media platforms’ reactions could be an opportunity to restore trust in their brands.

Rebecca McGrath
Senior Media Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Products covered in this Report
          • Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on social media platforms
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on social media, May 2021
                • The market
                  • Easing of lockdown restrictions will see social media use slowly begin to fall back
                    • Health misinformation on social media fuelled by COVID-19
                      • Donald Trump bans brings political guidelines to the fore
                        • Social media blackout protests the handling of racist content
                          • Companies and brands
                            • Leading social media platforms are still adding users
                              • COVID-19 recession could pose a threat to advertising revenues
                                • Facebook passes the 3 billion user mark across its social platforms
                                  • Instagram updates like count tests to offer users more autonomy
                                    • YouTube and Snapchat launch short-form video to take on TikTok
                                      • Twitter looks to audio content with voice notes and Spaces
                                        • The consumer
                                          • Half of younger users have spent more time on social media during pandemic
                                            • Figure 2: COVID-19’s impact on social media usage, March 2021
                                          • Over half of social media users have seen COVID-19 misinformation
                                            • Figure 3: Social media and COVID-19 information, by age, March 2021
                                          • Facebook continues to lead but struggles for appeal among younger Brits
                                            • Figure 4: Use of social media platforms, March 2021
                                          • TikTok is the biggest growth platform in the UK
                                            • Figure 5: TikTok usage, by selected demographics, March 2020 and March 2021
                                          • Over half of Facebook and Instagram users visit multiple times a day
                                            • Figure 6: Frequency of social media visits, March 2021
                                          • The vast majority of Brits want action on social media misinformation
                                            • Figure 7: Action on social media misinformation, March 2021
                                          • Opinion is divided over the validity of political bans on social media
                                            • Figure 8: Attitudes towards banning politicians on social media, by select demographics, March 2021
                                          • Half of young users believe social media is bad for their mental wellbeing
                                            • Figure 9: Attitudes towards social media use, March 2021
                                          • Six in 10 younger social media users are clicking on adverts
                                            • Figure 10: Attitudes towards purchasing and advertising on social media, March 2021
                                        • Issues and Insights

                                          • COVID-19 is changing the dynamics of social media use
                                            • The pressure is on social media companies to tackle harmful content
                                              • Social media platforms are innovating, but risk homogenisation
                                              • The Market – Key Takeaways

                                                • Easing of lockdown restrictions will see social media use slowly begin to fall back
                                                  • Health misinformation on social media fuelled by COVID-19
                                                    • ‘Free speech’ app Parler set to return to iOS after ban
                                                      • Clubhouse and TikTok success driving innovation among social media platforms
                                                        • Popularity of video games streaming helping to drive social media use
                                                          • Social media blackout protests the handling of racist content
                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                            • The Impact of COVID-19 on social media
                                                              • Figure 11: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on social media, May 2021
                                                            • Social media continues to gain visitors a year into the pandemic
                                                              • Figure 12: UK unique visitors to top consumer categories and % change March 2020 and March 2021
                                                            • Brits are still worried about being exposed to the virus
                                                              • Figure 13: Concerns over exposure to coronavirus, 10 September 2020-6 May 2021
                                                            • Health misinformation on social media fuelled by COVID-19
                                                              • Banning of Donald Trump brings political guidelines to the fore
                                                                • ‘Free speech’ app Parler set to return to iOS after ban
                                                                  • Facebook coming under increased scrutiny from regulators
                                                                    • Conflict over publishing news content in Australia
                                                                      • Facebook’s market position in Germany under investigation
                                                                        • English football boycotts social media to protest racist content
                                                                          • Clubhouse success drives innovation among leading social media players
                                                                            • Popularity of gaming is driving social media streaming
                                                                              • Social media brands look to the rising use of smart TV apps
                                                                              • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                                                • Leading social media platforms are still adding users
                                                                                  • COVID-19 recession poses a threat to advertising revenues
                                                                                    • Social media boosts efforts to counter COVID-19 misinformation
                                                                                      • Former President Trump banned across social media platforms
                                                                                        • Social media brands continue to innovative amid growing competition
                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc

                                                                                          • Facebook passes the 3 billion user mark across its social platforms
                                                                                            • Figure 14: Facebook Family daily and monthly active people, 2019-21
                                                                                          • Facebook
                                                                                            • Facebook enjoys strong 2020 with revenues increasing 21%
                                                                                              • Figure 15: Facebook revenues, 2019-21
                                                                                            • European user growth slows despite a strong year for Facebook globally
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Facebook daily and monthly active users, 2015-21
                                                                                              • Figure 17: Facebook daily active users, by region, 2019-21
                                                                                            • Measures to tackle COVID-19 misinformation and promote vaccinations boosted
                                                                                              • Facebook moves to delete debunked health claims…
                                                                                                • …while adding labels to official sources on COVID-19 vaccine posts
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Facebook UK COVID-19 vaccination banner
                                                                                                • Facebook moves to indefinitely suspend former President Donald Trump
                                                                                                  • Oversight Board launched to improve regulation
                                                                                                    • Clubhouse-style audio tools announced
                                                                                                      • Facebook launches delayed dating service
                                                                                                        • Cryptocurrency plans scaled back as organisation rebrands
                                                                                                          • Instagram
                                                                                                            • Instagram continues to gain users throughout pandemic
                                                                                                              • COVID-19 Information Centre launches
                                                                                                                • Instagram updates like count tests to offer users more autonomy
                                                                                                                  • Minor updates added to Reels, Stories and DMs
                                                                                                                    • Pronoun option added to profiles
                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Instagram’s pronoun option
                                                                                                                  • YouTube

                                                                                                                    • YouTube is the most popular social media platform among young Brits
                                                                                                                      • 49% surge in advertising revenue
                                                                                                                        • 800,000 videos removed featuring COVID-19 misinformation
                                                                                                                          • Taking on TikTok with YouTube Shorts
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: YouTube Shorts
                                                                                                                          • Clips option being tested to encourage content sharing
                                                                                                                            • Leading YouTuber PewDiePie reaches 110 million subscribers
                                                                                                                              • YouTube bans account of former President Donald Trump
                                                                                                                              • Twitter

                                                                                                                                • User numbers surge in 2020 due to COVID-19
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Twitter monetizable daily active users (mDAU), 2018-21
                                                                                                                                • Twitter remains reliant on advertising revenues
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Twitter global revenue, 2018-20
                                                                                                                                • Former President Donald Trump suspended for breaking guidelines
                                                                                                                                  • Fleets feature is fully launched
                                                                                                                                    • Twitter looks to audio content with voice notes and Spaces
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Twitter launches voice note tweets
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Twitter launches Spaces
                                                                                                                                    • Super follow feature to allow users to charge for additional content
                                                                                                                                    • Snapchat

                                                                                                                                      • Strong global user growth has not stopped the financial losses
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Snapchat daily active users, 2018-21
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Snap financials, 2016-20
                                                                                                                                      • Spotlight launched to compete with TikTok
                                                                                                                                        • Donald Trump is permanently banned
                                                                                                                                          • Snapchat looks towards made-for-mobile shows
                                                                                                                                            • Scanning features extended to food and shopping
                                                                                                                                              • Snapchat seeks to help mental health with launch of Headspace Mini
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Headspace on Snapchat
                                                                                                                                            • LinkedIn

                                                                                                                                              • COVID-19 recession boosts LinkedIn usage
                                                                                                                                                • UK is the largest European market by user numbers
                                                                                                                                                  • Revenues have been hit despite user growth
                                                                                                                                                    • New features look to boost time spent on the platform
                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                      • COVID-19 boosts social media use but increases the need for action on misinformation
                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook remains the leading brand but TikTok is the main growth platform
                                                                                                                                                          • Brits want action on social media misinformation
                                                                                                                                                            • The COVID-19 usage boom could be set to end as users look to reduce social media time
                                                                                                                                                              • Six in 10 16-34 year olds are clicking on social media adverts
                                                                                                                                                              • Impact of COVID-19 on Social Media Platforms

                                                                                                                                                                • Half of younger Brits have spent more time on social media during the pandemic
                                                                                                                                                                  • Most Brits are using the same social media as before COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                                    • Younger Brits are twice as likely to have stopped using a social platform
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: COVID-19 impact on social media usage, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                    • Brits turning to social media for entertainment during the pandemic
                                                                                                                                                                      • Social media’s image could be boosted by its role in connecting people during the pandemic
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: COVID-19 impact on social media usage, by select demographics, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                      • Over half of users have seen COVID-19 misinformation on social media
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Social media and COVID-19 information, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                      • Young Brits value social media more now than before COVID-19
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Perception of social media, by age, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                    • Social Media Platform Usage

                                                                                                                                                                      • Nine in 10 Brits are regularly using social media
                                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook continues to the most popular social media platform…
                                                                                                                                                                          • …but struggles for appeal among younger Brits
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Use of social media platforms, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Use of leading 5 social media platforms in the last 3 months, by age, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                          • A quarter of Brits use five or more social media platforms
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Repertoire of social media platforms used, March 2020 and March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                          • Video platform usage grows among parents of young children
                                                                                                                                                                            • Twitter is the only leading brand not to grow in the last year
                                                                                                                                                                              • Snapchat overtaken by LinkedIn for recent usage among Brits
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Use of leading social media platforms in the last 3 months, 2017-21
                                                                                                                                                                              • TikTok is the biggest growth platform in the UK
                                                                                                                                                                                • Half of 16-24 year olds are now using TikTok
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Popularity is prompting action from rivals
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Action on discrimination is needed to sustain user growth
                                                                                                                                                                                      • TikTok to offer third-party app logins but must improve record on data-sharing
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: TikTok usage in the previous three months, by select demographics, March 2020 and March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Frequency of Social Media Visits

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Over half of Facebook and Instagram users visit multiple times a day
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Frequency of social media platform visits, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Modest increase in visit frequency for most platforms
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Frequency of social media platform visits [at least once a day], March 2020 and March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Instagram’s young users are most likely to visit multiple times per day
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Multiple social media visits per day, by age, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Social Media and Managing Harmful Content

                                                                                                                                                                                      • The vast majority want action on social media misinformation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Younger people prefer content removal to outright bans
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Action on social media misinformation, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brits are not convinced about social media’s handling of harmful content
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pressure on Facebook to address longstanding issues with harmful content
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Best social platforms for dealing with harmful content, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Worst social platforms for dealing with harmful content, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opinion is divided over the validity of political bans on social media
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Trump’s social media bans have brought the issue to the fore
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Clear communication of guidelines from social media brands will be vital
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Attitudes towards banning politicians on social media, by select demographics, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards Social Media Use

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Over a quarter of young people on social media consider themselves influencers
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes towards social media use, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Half of young users believe social media is bad for their mental health
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Platforms must continue to update guidelines to protect users
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Some 21% regularly get into arguments on social media
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes towards social media use and mental health, by select demographics, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • After more time on social media during the pandemic, many will try to cut back
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Social media behaviours – CHAID – Tree output, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Purchasing on Social Media

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Six in 10 younger social media users are clicking on adverts
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Attitudes towards purchasing and advertising on social media, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Location and events advertising growing in importance
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Social media brands are increasingly looking to in-app purchasing
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Socially-conscious consumers are paying more attention to where brands advertise
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Social media behaviours– CHAID – Table output, March 2021
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology

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