UK adults spent daily average of four hours and two minutes online in April 2020 – up from just under three and a half hours in September last year, Ofcom’s annual Online Nation report reveals.
UK adults are spending time on platforms such as TikTok and Zoom. TikTok, which allows users to create and share short videos, reached 12.9 million UK adult visitors in April, up from 5.4 million in January. Twitch, a popular live streaming platform for gamers, has 4.2 million adults vs 2.3 million.
The proportion of UK online adults making video calls has also doubled during lockdown, with more than seven in 10 doing so at least weekly.
Houseparty, the app which combines group video-calls with games and quizzes, grew from 175,000 adult visitors in January to 4 million in April.
Zoom, the virtual meeting platform, grew from 659,000 UK adults to reach 13 million adults over the same period.
Nine in 10 online adults, and almost all older children aged 8-15, used websites and apps such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok in the last year, with many watching videos several times a day. One third (32 percent) of online adults now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than broadcast television.
Two in five adults (40 percent) and 59 percent of older children who use video-sharing sites and apps now create and upload their own videos, driving an explosion in short-form, user-generated content.
Online adults sent text messages using a variety of online messaging platforms (52 percent), such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, than using SMS (41 percent) or email (26 percent). Daily use of online voice calls (31 percent) was only slightly lower than mobile calls (38 percent).
More than seven in 10 online adults in the UK are now making video calls at least weekly, up from 35 percent pre-lockdown.
The proportion of UK adults who used established online services to make video calls at least weekly during lockdown – with WhatsApp reaching 49 percent in May (up from 20 percent in February); Facebook Messenger 41 percent (from 18 percent); and FaceTime 30 percent (from 13 percent).