Social Media Facts 2022: What You Need To Know Now To Improve Your Marketing

People looking at social media on smartphoneHow has social media usage changed in 2022?

And, more importantly, what do these changes mean for your social media marketing?

Don’t worry–we’ve got the social media facts you need for 2022!

Like the rest of your 2022 marketing, your approach to social media needs to be tailored and targeted to your audience’s specific needs.

Further, focus your social media marketing efforts on the platforms where your audience spends their time and where they seek brand and purchase related information.

To help you understand the dynamic digital landscape, we’ve collected and analyzed the most recent social media facts for 2022. Even better,  we’ve added charts and actionable marketing tips to help you make your business case.

The main 2022 social media marketing take-away:
Expect increased complexity and marketing costs to fulfill your audience’s needs across social media platforms, devices and content formats.

 How People Access and Use the Internet Globally

To put social media usage into the context of your overall marketing and business strategies, examine how internet usage has changed over the past few years.

Global internet users have more than doubled in the past 10 years from 2.18 billion in 2012, to 4.95 billion in 2022. Currently about 6 out of 10 people in the world have internet access. Over the past 10 years global internet users have grown at a compound annual growth rate (or CAGR) of 8.6%. (Source: Digital 2022 – We Are Social)

Internet Users Over Time

In 2020, the pandemic forced more people across age groups to connect and become internet and voice device savvy to access a variety of services and to stay connected with family and friends.

Digital inclusion and voice interfaces across age groups

Further, the move to internet and other digital options extended to B2B marketing as well. Post-COVID, B2B buyers are willing to use remote communications and self-serve. (McKinsey)

Most B2B seller interactions have moved to remote or digital

Average Daily Time Spent Online By Age Group

On average, global internet users spend 6 hours 58 minutes per day online or roughly 7 hours. By contrast, global GenZ users, who are true digital natives aged 16 to 24, spend about 8 hours per day on the internet or a traditional work day’s worth of time.average amount of time spent using internet

Average Daily Time Spent Online By Device

Internet access and use extends beyond computers and smartphones to a broad array of devices.

Global adults (16 to 64) access the internet via the following devices on a daily basis (Digital 2022):

  • 92.1% use a mobile phone:
  • 71.2% connect via a computer:
  • 28.2% use a tablet device;
  • 30.4% use via a connected television;
  • 13.8% connect via a smart home device; and
  • 12.6% connect via a game console.

The devices where internet usage increased the most were:

  • Game consoles grew 12.5%;
  • Connected television increased 10.%; and
  • Smart home devices were a new category for internet access.

Devices used to access internet

What’s missing from this list of devices to access the internet?

  • Smart cars and
  • Out-of-home kiosks.

Internet usage via smartphones, smart cars and out-of-home kiosks matter to marketers since people turn to these devices when “they’re on-the-go” and need immediate information. Often their requests have immediate purchase intent, such as “Near Me” searches.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

  • Know the devices your audience uses to access product and purchase information. Realize that these intents and devices may vary. It matters since your information must show up on the device and app used to find the information and be in the appropriate content format.

Time Spent with Media Daily

Globally, adults consume a variety of different types of media on a daily basis. Specifically, they:

  • Spend 6 hours 58 minutes per day on the internet;
  • Access social media for 2 hours 27 minutes per day;
  • Listen to podcasts for 0 hours 55 minutes per day; and
  • Spend 1 hour 12 minutes per day gaming via a console.

Time Spent with Media Daily

 Social Media Facts 2022

How Global Adults Use Social Media

To put global social media use in perspective:

  • There are 4.62 Billion social media users worldwide (or 58.4% of the total population). This has increased 10.1% or 424 million users since 2020.
  • On average, adults spend 2 hours 27 minutes per day on social media. This increased a slight 1.4% from 2020 and accounts for 35.2% of total time spent on the internet.
  • Users visit an average number of 7.5 social media platforms per month.

Global Social media users over timeDemogrphic profile of global social media users

Global Social Media Usage By Platform

On a global basis, the top social media platforms based on the number of users are:

  • Facebook with 2,910 million users (Further, Facebook user growth projected to slow as shown by the chart below (eMarketer);
  • YouTube (owned by Google) with 2,562 million users;
  • WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) with 2,000 million users;
  • Instagram (owned by Facebook) with 1,478 million users;
  • WeChat (Chinese owned) with 1,263 million users;
  • TikTok with 1,000 million users; and
  • FB Messenger (owned by Facebook) with 988 million users.

While these 7 social media platforms have the largest audiences, your social media marketing success must focus on the platforms where your audience and prospects spend their time. Also consider the devices and content formats they choose to consume.

US Social Media Usage By Platform

Americans use a wide variety of social media platforms. (Note: This data is from November 2021 via eMarketer.)

  • 180.7 million Americans use Facebook;
  • 126.3 million Americans use Instagram;
  • 90.6 million Americans use TikTok;
  • 89.6 million Americans use Pinterest;
  • 88.8 million Americans use Snapchat;
  • 66.8 million Americans use LinkedIn;
  • 56.1 million Americans use Twitter; and
  • 45.9 million Americans use Reddit.

How US Social Media Usage By Platform Has Changed Over Time

About 7 out of 10 Americans ever use social media, a proportion that’s remained stable over the past 5 years. (Note: The Pew Report is from  2021.)

  • 81% of Americans use YouTube
  • 69% of Americans use Facebook;
  • 40% of Americans use Instagram;
  • 31% of Americans use Pinterest
  • 28% of Americans use LinkedIn;
  • 25% of Americans use Snapchat;
  • 23% of Americans use WhatsApp; and
  • 21% of Americans use TikTok.

Further, American usage of social media platforms varies by the age of the individual. 

 Time Spent with Social Media in Apps

Given the “always available” nature of smartphones, social media users access and spend their social media time in apps.

How much time do users spend with specific social media apps?

  • YouTube users spend 23.7 hours per month in apps. Also, YouTube gets significant activity on its website and third-party websites.
  • Facebook users average 19.6 hours each month in apps
  • TikTok users spend an average of 19.6 hours per month in apps; Since the platform has fewer overall users its cumulative time ranking across all users is lower.
  • WhatsApp users average 18.6 hours per month in apps.
  • Instagram users spend 11.2 hours per month in apps. Also, Instagram app users increased their time spent in the app by almost 1 hour in the past year or about 10%.
  • LINE users average 11.6 hours per month in apps. While they spend more time in the app, LINE has many fewer users.
  • Snapchat users spend an average of 3.0 hours per month in apps. This increased almost 50% in the past year.

(Note: This data is only Android Apps and Android handset data; they account for about 70% of smartphones used globally. For more information: App Annie’s State of Mobile)

Time Spent with Social Media in Apps

Realize that much of this social media activity in apps falls into 1 of 2 types of content consumption:

  • Time filler consumption. People look at their social media feeds while they’re waiting to do something else.
  • Dual consumption. People view their social media feeds while they’re doing something else.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tip:

  • Consider when and how your audience will be viewing your social media posts to ensure that they stand out.


 Why Do People Use Social Media Now?

Why should you care what people do and say on social media?
To figure out where your best marketing opportunities exist.

Globally, social media participants use these networks as follows:

  • 47.6% Keep in contact with family and friends;
  • 36.3% Read news stories;
  • 31.6% Find content;
  • 29.5% See what’s being discussed;
  • 27.7% Get inspired to do and buy;
  • 26.3% Find products to purchase;
  • 23.1% See content from favorite brands;
  • 22.9% Network and research related to work; and
  • 21.7% Follow celebrities or influencers.

main reasons for using social media

Since about half of social media users visit various platforms to keep up with family and friends, realize that they may view your marketing as an interruption.

Instead, focus on the roughly one quarter of participants who actively go to social media networks for brand-related activities such as purchase inspiration, what to purchase and product information.

In addition to the top social media platforms, assess media sites and platforms that provide social media type information and interactions such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Also, about 1 out of 5 people use social media to network for business. This can help job search, sales and other business activities. BUT approach business networking with care! You need to do more than just send out social media connection requests. Instead, follow and comment on the postings of people in your category.

How People Discover Brands on Social Media

Across age groups, global adult users turn to social media to learn more about brands, products and services at various points in the buyer journey. Always having had 24/7 access to the internet, Gen Zers view physical and digital worlds as a seamless experience with regard to information, entertainment, commerce and communication.

global use of social media

Across the buying process, 76.1% of users turn to social media platforms to accomplish a variety of purchase-related tasks before, during and after purchase.

For purchase-related information and research, social media users don’t limit themselves to the top platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

  • 43.5% use social networks to gather product specific information and inspiration;
  • 21.5% seek information on question and answer sites such as Quora;
  • 17.2% check forum and message boards to gather information and ask questions;
  • 16.4% use messaging and live chat services;
  • 16.0% use micro-blogs such as Twitter; and
  • 10.8% look for inspiration on pinboards such as Pinterest.

As a video social media platform and the second largest search site, YouTube is missing from this list. It’s particularly useful for information-packed video demonstrations to show product use as well as for post-purchase instructions.

social media used for brand research

As a marketer, understand the role specific platforms play for your audience of buyers and users to succeed.

In addition, social media participants use these forms of social media placements to discover brands and products (Source: GWI Social 2022):

  • 28% use ads placed on social media to discover brands;
  • 17% pay attention to updates on brands’ social media pages;
  • 15% consider endorsements by celebrities and other influencers; and
  • 14% use ads placed on messaging apps to discover brands.

how brand discovery happens on social media

Social Media Commerce

US commerce from social media exceeded $36 billion in 2021 and is expected to more than double by 2025.

But 6 out 10 US social customers still prefer to place their orders on the retailer versus 4 out 10 who purchase through the social media platform. (Source: eMarketer)

Social media buyers

 Social Media Conclusion

Despite platform-specific issues and reduced credibility, social media remains an important element of a well rounded digital marketing strategy. In large part this is attributable to the amount of time people spend on these platforms across devices.

What’s important for marketers to understand when using social media is that prospects, customers and users turn to specific networks to get quality trustworthy information.

As a result, you need to have the social media facts so your business can present and engage with your audience in addition to  posting content and paid promotion.

Further, social media engagement involves people and departments across your entire organization such as sales and customer service. To make this case, use theses social media facts complete with charts.

Remember the most important step to social media success is to show up on the relevant platforms to your audience and regular basis.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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