Digital 2022: The evolution of the digital landscape in the UK


Today we launched Digital 2022: United Kingdom, part of our series of annual global digital reports (check out our global report, Digital 2022, if you haven’t seen it already). It’s a comprehensive report covering digital, social and mobile use in the UK.

TikTok’s popularity in the UK is continuing to soar with user numbers rising by more than a third in the past year, and each person spending an average of 27.3h a month on the app. 

Brits spend more time on TikTok than any other nation, ahead of Russia (26.3h) and the US (25.6h) compared to a global average of 19.6h a month. More than 21.8m British adults  – 31.9% of the population – use TikTok, with women outnumbering men on the site 59.7% to 40.3%. 

Overall, the value of the UK’s digital advertising market has grown by 22% to $27.22bn in the last year, with social media advertising spend growing by nearly 23% to reach $8.25bn. 

Spend on apps and in-app purchases has risen by 24% to reach $4.61bn while annual spend on digital media downloads and subscriptions is up 21% to $15.16bn.

Elsewhere the number of Brits using social media is still growing, up 8.7% to 4.6m in the past 12 months. WhatsApp is the most-used social media in the UK, with Facebook and Facebook Messenger claiming second and third place. 

People in the UK own more smart devices than any other country. 23.8% of Brits now own at least one smart home device. Ireland has the second highest rate of uptake, at 22.4%, followed by Canada at 20.7%, compared to a global average of 14.1%. 

35.4% of total time spent watching TV is now streamed with 92.6% of internet users streaming TV content over the internet for an average of 1h25m a day.

Despite the increasing conversation around the development of the metaverse, ownership of VR devices has not changed in the past year, staying the same at 5.1% of the population. However the report also found that 8.3% of the UK’s internet users now own some form of cryptocurrency. 

Online food delivery is up 34% to $11.3bn thanks to the 28.94m people who have ordered food online in the past year – an increase of 5m. 

Our CEO Jim Coleman, commented on the report’s findings:

“The findings in our 2022 report show that social media is still a hugely important part of our lives here in the UK, which is very encouraging for brands wishing to reach a UK audience in this way. That more than a third of people aged 16-64 are now on TikTok shows the phenomenal draw of the platform and is the perfect illustration of social media successfully evolving to meet the ever-changing needs and desires of its users. 

“The pandemic undoubtedly changed our relationship with digital media and now we are living in a new-look digital environment. With the metaverse a growing topic of conversation, and connected television now the norm for many people, there are increasing opportunities to reach audiences in a very organic way with powerful creative and messaging.”

Sign up the Digital 2022 webinar on 16th February here.

Want to learn more about how this data will impact your brand? Get in touch: [email protected]