GWI’s 2022 Social Report
GWI’s 2022 Social Report
The famous research firm GWI, formally GlobalWebIndex, has recently released its 2022 Social Report.
The report presents GWI’s findings from the studies they conducted with the help of over 700,000 respondents between the ages of 16 to 64 from nearly every continent.
Here are some of the must-know facts from this report.
Time Spent on Social Media
GWI reports that the time users spent on social media over the past five years has been a bit of a rollercoaster, with an overall increase of almost 40 minutes.
An increase in the average time spent on social media was due to restrictions related to COVID-19. However, as restrictions begin to be lifted, the trends are reversing and usage is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels. GWI found that, with the exception of the Middle East and Africa, global social media use is comparable to three years ago. We are now seeing a decline in the time spent on networks and this trend seems to be a new constant.
The average time spent on social media in 2021 was 2 hours and 26 minutes per day worldwide.
In 2021, Canada hit 1 hour and 53 minutes, France 1 hour and 46 minutes, and Belgium 1 hour and 40 minutes. The biggest consumers are mainly in South America, with Brazil at 3 hours and 46 minutes and Argentina at 3 hours and 25 minutes. Asia is also very active, and the Philippines takes the gold medal with 4 hours and 8 minutes in 2021.
If you listened to our previous episode, you already know that some of the markets mentioned above are growing very fast, so an increase in usage is expected for growing markets.
Social Commerce: Which networks?
In their study, GWI asks the question: What are the three reasons users use each platform (namely Pinterest, Facebook (and Messenger), Instagram and TikTok)?
Here are some of the reasons mentioned:
- Sending messages
- Posting content
- Following or finding information about a product or brand
- Finding/watching or reading entertaining content
Here are the platforms that come out on top for each reason:
- Sending messages -> FB, Messenger
- Posting content -> Instagram
- Following or finding information about a product or brand -> Pinterest
- Finding entertaining content -> Tik Tok
These results are fascinating because Pinterest clearly stands out as a preferred social network in a consumer's buying journey. Since users go to Pinterest for brand and product research, it's no wonder the platform has begun testing the ability to purchase directly on the platform in the United States.
GWI reports that 54% of "Pinners" who use Pinterest for product search use Instagram for the same reason.
The main conclusion is that most Pinterest users are in the buying and research mindset when they are on the platform.
Is TV advertising outdated?
Social media advertising will no longer be a small player in the communications arena. In fact, advertising budgets for this channel will soon surpass a well-known, older medium: television.
GWI cites an external study from Zenith Agency (part of the Publicis group) which predicts that in 2022, TV ad spend will be $174 billion while social media will be $177 billion. This overtaking is due to the relentless surge of TikTok and Instagram.
Zenith Agency estimates that in 2024, social media advertising will be the leading ad spend, even ahead of search engine advertising, with 26.5% of the total spend versus 22.5%.
What does this tell us?
"Social commerce is leading the future of online shopping."
Why? Because according to 64% of respondents interviewed, social networks are far ahead when it comes to discovering brands and products. Several elements contribute to this, but a significant factor with very direct impact stems from the impressive rise of Livestreaming. In Lives, influencers or brand promoters now talk about products and give demonstrations in front of the camera.
But in the end, what can we learn from this study? As governments reduced pandemic-related restrictions, they also ended a period in which social media consumption artificially increased. While the growth of established markets in North America and Europe may have stagnated, others continue to rise. These high-growth trends are found within emerging markets where users are becoming consumers and thus continue to feed the strong demand for the internet.
Despite this, social networks are a magnet for attention, which is why we see an explosion in advertising spending. The study shows us that there is virtually a social network for every need: exchanging, publishing/creating content, being up to date on the latest news, or following and discovering products.
To discover more marketing news, check out our latest discussions on the Elite Commerce podcast!