(Australian Associated Press)
Australians downloaded more than 830 million apps during a year when screens dominated work and recreation.
YouTube was the nation’s favoured social media platform in 2020, and continued to be popular with 78.2 per cent of the 20.5 million users in January, fresh data shows.
Facebook (77.7 per cent), Messenger, (65.4 per cent) and Instagram (55.3 per cent) rounded out the top social media platforms and unsurprisingly, video conference program Zoom was the most downloaded mobile app.
The new online-usage data from social media management company Hootsuite and brand agency, We Are Social, was gathered from sources including market research agencies, internet and social media companies, governments and public bodies.
It shows Australians spent an average of an hour and 46 minutes per day scrolling through social media applications and that almost 80 per cent had visited an online retailer in January.
The nation’s population spent a combined nine billion hours using mobile phones in 2020, researchers estimated, based on the data.
During a COVID-ravaged year of lockdowns and travel restrictions, social media platforms offered an opportunity for users to network, We Are Social Sydney’s Suzie Shaw said.
“New social platforms, like TikTok, are growing exponentially, and social gaming is proving to be a prominent presence in the digital diet of most Australians,” she said.
The data shows three in four internet users aged 16-64 played video games for almost one hour per day.
While bricks and mortar shops will hope 2020 is an outlier, Hootsuite’s Henk Campher believes the appeal of online shopping and digital marketing will continue.
“Australians’ embrace of online shopping and retail spending is a trend that continues to emerge,” he said.
“More than three in four Aussie internet users aged 16 to 64 … bought something online in the past month and 28 per cent … (discovered) brands through ads on social media.”
About 64 per cent of internet users reported concern about how companies are using their data, with 36 per cent using ad-blocking tools in the past month.
ONLINE SPENDING, 2020 COMPARED TO 2019
* Mobility and accommodation dropped 52 per cent
* Food and personal care up 41 per cent
* Fashion and beauty up 27 per cent
* Digital music up 26 per cent
* Toys, hobbies and DIY up 25 per cent
* Furniture and appliances up 20 per cent