Facebook will reach a key milestone this year, with more than half of the UK population using the social network on a regular basis, according to eMarketer’s social network usage forecast. In 2016, an estimated 50.5 per cent of UK residents-33.2 million users-will log on to that social network at least once a month, up from 49.5 per cent in 2015. As a result, eMarketer forecasts that 89.9 per cent of social network users in the UK will be Facebook users this year. This number will increase to 35.4 million, or 52 per cent of the UK population, by 2020.
By comparison, Twitter will have 14.3 million UK users logging on regularly in 2016, eMarketer predicts, representing 38.7 per cent of UK social network users-up from 13.2 million or 25.5 per cent of the UK population and 37.2 per cent of its social network users in 2015. Twitter’s UK user base is forecast to reach 17.2 million by 2020.
Another important milestone for Facebook this year is that more than half of UK mobile phone users will be Facebook users. In 2016, 50.8 per cent of UK mobile phone users will log on to Facebook via that device at least once a month. And mobile will continue to play an important role in Facebook’s growth. This year, 81.1 per cent of UK Facebook users will access the platform through a mobile phone, with that figure climbing to 88.0 per cent by 2020.
“People are spending more time than ever with mobile devices. It stands to reason that Facebook users are heading to the mobile platform, too,” said Bill Fisher, eMarketer’s UK analyst. “Indeed, such is the ubiquity of these devices that the default platform for the vast majority of Facebook users is now mobile.”
In terms of demographics, females are heavier Facebook users then males in the UK, according to eMarketer, with 67.7 per cent of female internet users of any age in the UK expected to log on at least once a month in 2016, compared with 57.2 per cent of UK males. Twitter on the other hand is more evenly split with 26.6 per cent of male internet users and 27.1 per cent of female internet users in the UK forecast to frequently use the social network in 2016.’
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