The state of the internet 2021

The state of the internet 2021

The digital sphere is in a constant state of flux and it’s our job as digital marketeers to stay ahead of the game and ensure our clients know what’s new and what tools they should be taking advantage of to drive their business to new heights.

Each year, in conjunction with Hootsuite, We Are Social carries out an in-depth overview of data and insights on social, ecommerce, internet and mobile usage around the world. It’s a pretty hefty document but we’ve broken down some of what we think are the key points you need to know.

Key takeaways from We Are Social’s 2021 State of the Internet Report

How are people using the internet?

  • Globally more than 4.7 billion people now use the internet and over 3.8 billion use social media.
  • We spend an average of 7 hours online each day, that’s more than many people spend asleep and translates to42% of our lifetime.
  • Mobile is the predominant medium used so it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is optimised for use on mobile devices.
  • While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter still the leading social media platform, niche platforms, for example the running app Strava, are now getting a seat at the table.

Who is using social media?

  • The past year has seen a real shift in the social demographic of those who use social media.
  • It’s a myth that social media is only used by the younger generations – last year the number of Facebook users aged 65 and over increased by 25%, while Snapchat’s fastest growing market is the over 50s.
  • The internet and social media no longer divide people – as different generations come on board and families spend time on social media together there is a need for more intergenerational content.

What are the emerging trends?


The games market is no longer considered as niche – in fact it is now the world’s largest social platform and is driving the future of entertainment culture. Virtual versions of real-time events are being organised within gaming platforms for example.

Tik Tok

Tik Tok jumped into the top 10 of social media platforms in 2020 with usage up by 61%. There are now more than 700 million TikTok users worldwide. But it’s no longer just about creating amateur music videos and is now being used to share content surrounding more serious issues.


With the number of podcast listeners steadily rising, a trend has emerged for audio-social platforms where discussion is the key focus. An example is part talkback radio, part conference call, part Houseparty, social networking app Clubhouse, which has over 10 million users.

A shift in focus

Due to the lack of social interaction we were able to experience in real life in 2020, the internet became one of the few ways we were able to interact. We’ve had to completely digitise our lives and this has led to people looking for deeper ways of connecting online. Online relationships are no longer viewed as superficial and brands need to provide richer, more intimate content as a result.

If you’re thinking of taking advantage of some of the key trends emerging in the digital landscape, get in touch with us today and let us help you take your digital marketing to new heights in 2021.

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