Digital 2023 Australia: 1 in 3 Australians use social networks for brand research

Special Reports

Following our global Digital 2023 report launch last month, our Editorial Director, Ruaridh O’Donnell, takes a look at things closer to home with a rundown of the latest trends impacting the Australian digital and social landscape, as highlighted in our Digital 2023 Australia report. 

As we look forward to another huge year in the world of social, it’s time to crunch the numbers and reflect on the behaviours which have been transforming online trend patterns across the country, as highlighted in our latest Digital 2023 Australia report.  

Sit back, grab a coffee, and check out the headlines below. You can find the full report at the end of this post.

Digital is on the up 

The research highlights the growing significance of digital in Australia, with internet usage and social media engagement reaching new heights. According to the study, 25.31 million Australians, or 96% of the population are internet users, while the number of active social media users is 21.30 million, or 81% of the population.

Net loss. Social gain. 

When it comes to media consumption, Digital 2023 Australia found that the average Australian is actually using the internet slightly less. The figures show our daily dose of connectivity is clocking in at 5hr and 51m, which represents a 5.9% decrease (22 minutes) compared to the previous year. 

On the other hand, the average daily time spent using social media has increased by 6% to 2hr and 4min (+7 minutes). 

So interestingly, although we are spending less time connected to the interwebs, our social media consumption continues to rise, with almost 1 in every 3 minutes spent online now attributable to social media activities.

More and more brand research is happening on social 

Almost one in three Australians now visit social networks to look for information about brands and products — up by 7.3% since this time last year. 

As this behaviour continues to grow across platforms, the importance of social as a brand discovery tool is becoming ever-more crucial, and highlights the need for brands to have a strong social presence as part of their wider channel mix.

TikTok takes further strides

Of all the social platforms, TikTok saw the most significant rise in usage, with average monthly consumption increasing by 6hr and 12m (26.5% up on last year) to 29 hr and 36m – the highest in the world. 

It was also the second-most downloaded mobile app in Australia in 2022 (behind MyGovID), and drove the fourth highest in-app consumer spend (behind Disney+, Tinder and YouTube).

TikTok is striking the right notes with Australians of all ages and backgrounds, as the app continues to diversify into education, wider entertainment and joy spreading of all kinds. 

Purchasing power-up 

There has been a significant increase in the number of people choosing to purchase consumer goods through the internet, with 19.46 million Australians spending a total of USD $39.57b. 

Social media partly contributes to this, with many discovering new products and services via ads. The main channels for online brand research among 16-65 year olds include search engines (55.6%), product or brand sites (35.8%), consumer reviews (33.4%), and social networks (32.5%).

The final word 

If stats aren’t your thing, we got our CEO Suzie Shaw to break down the data and add some nuance to the numbers. 

When asked about the report’s biggest findings, she says: 

“There has been a shift in internet usage patterns in the last year: Australians are spending more time than ever on social media, despite the decrease in time spent on the internet overall. 

“Social media is one of the go-to sources for brand discovery for consumers, making it a crucial channel for marketers to reach their target audience. 

“As social media offers a more engaging and immersive experience, users are increasingly turning to social to make decisions on what to watch, where to travel, and what to buy, with TikTok playing an especially significant role in influencing consumer choices. 

“Its unique algorithm and content captivate Australians for an hour a day, providing a great opportunity for marketers to reach a highly engaged audience. 

“It is now more critical than ever for brands to have a strong presence on social media, and to understand how to navigate the ever-evolving culture of the internet and influencers, in order to connect with people in a meaningful way.”

That’s barely a fraction of what you’ll find in the full report though, which is packed with almost 100 charts exploring what people are really doing on the internet, social media, mobile devices, and online shopping platforms. You can read the full Digital 2023 Australia report below.

If you’d like to check out our Global report, you can find it here. Sign up here for the Global Digital 2023 webinar as we’ll be providing an in-depth analysis of how digital behaviours have changed in the past 12 months and advice on how brands can navigate the ever-shifting digital landscape in 2023.