Saturday, April 20 2024

We are continuously becoming a more connected global society. Did you know
that the average time people spend online is almost seven hours per day?
(Or 6 hours, 58 minutes, to be more precise… four minutes more than last
year.) This means that we spend 40% of our waking hours online. Moreover,
the growth of social media users is speeding up too, having more than
tripled in the last ten years—going from 1.5 billion in 2012 to 4.6 billion
in January 2022, an annual average of 12%. These are just a couple of
statistics that have emerged from

We Are Social’s new report

on digital trends of 2021.

People’s favorite platform

The data speaks for itself: as far as social networks are concerned,
Instagram has surpassed Facebook as the preferred platform with 15% vs.
14.5% respectively. However, coming in first with 16% of the vote is
WhatsApp. In terms of content, people tend to pay for access to digital
content. In fact, more than seven out of ten people claim they pay for this
type of monthly service—eight out of ten when speaking about Millennials
alone. Audio and video streaming platforms (Spotify or Netflix) are
especially popular, making a $300 billion profit in 2021.

Though we prefer Instagram, Facebook still remains the most-used

Facebook remains the most-used platform in the world, with 2.9 billion
users as of October 2021. It saw a 6% growth in the last year (gaining 170
million more users).

Coming in second is YouTube, quickly gaining ground in the ratings with
twice the growth rate than that of Facebook. In third and fourth place are
WhatsApp and Instagram. Instagram has seen a 21% increase in users compared
to last year.

Online shopping: one of the pandemic’s legacies

There’s no sign of slowing down on the online-shopping-front: about three
out of five people buy something online every week, a trend that continued
to rise over the course of the past year. This indicates that new behaviors
that arose during the first lockdown remain and people aren’t reverting
back to their pre-pandemic behaviors when it comes to shopping.

Another interesting statistic is that about one in four people use social
networks for work purposes—a figure that has sky-rocketed in some
developing countries.

Internet behavioral trends

In regard to our use of the internet, the


offers up some interesting data. Did you know, for example, that the
feeling evoked from others matters more than the content we intend to

It’s helpful to note the growing emphasis on the immense amount of digital
content categorized in the genre of “vibes.” It’s about creating moments
and a specific mood (like watching a sunset, or flying above the clouds,
etc.). It’s about curating a specific mood or feeling.

Did you know that 8% of social media users around the world have already
invested in digital assets? In May 2021, Gucci sold a virtual bag for a
game for about $4,115… and the bag can’t even be used outside of the game!
It sold for a higher price than the offline version (at retail, the same
bag sold for about $3,400).

Finally, did you know that on social media, you can become famous by making
fun of famous people? In August 2021, Khaby Lame became the second person
(after Charli D’Amelio) to surpass 100 million followers on TikTok. His
“thing” is making fun of other TikTokers. And he’s just one of several
creators who have also been successful in producing this sort of content.

The “meme genre” is becoming a new art form. Brands have begun to realize
that they need to take part in this new trend.

Taken as a whole, this data raises a few questions: will we return to
having a clear boundary between real life and the digital world? With the
end of the pandemic—which has heightened our sense of isolation and
enhanced our “digital identity”—will there be an increase in personal
relationships without screens in between us?

Until the next reports… the arduous sentence.


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