Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

UK's internet use surges to record levels

16/10/2020

UK's internet use surges to record levels Add to Your Pages

24 June 2020

Adults spending record 4 hours a day online on average, as coronavirus changes communications

Twice as many using video calls to keep in touch during lockdown

One in three now watch online video more than traditional TV, with two in five making videos themselves

But nine in 10 online adults have concerns around video-sharing sites and apps

UK adults are now spending more than a quarter of their waking day online the highest on record with services such as TikTok and Zoom seeing unprecedented growth, according to Ofcom's latest study into the nation's online lives.

Ofcom's annual Online Nation[1] report reveals that in April 2020, during the height of lockdown, UK adults spent a daily average of four hours and two minutes online up from just under three and a half hours in September last year.[2]

With people seeking new ways to keep connected, informed, entertained and fit during the pandemic, emerging video-sharing and video-calling services are surging in popularity.

TikTok, which allows users to create and share short dance, lip-sync, comedy and talent videos, reached 12.9 million UK adult visitors in April, up from just 5.4 million in January. Twitch, the popular live streaming platform for gamers, saw visitors increase from 2.3 million to 4.2 million adults.

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. But the biggest growth was seen by Zoom, the virtual meeting platform, which grew from 659,000 UK adults to reach 13 million adults over the same period a rise of almost 2,000%.

A nation of content creatorsSites and apps such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, which allow people to create, upload and share videos online, have never been so popular.

Our report reveals that nine in 10 online adults, and almost all older children aged 8-15, used at least one of these websites and apps in the last year, with many watching videos several times a day. One third (32%) of online adults now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than broadcast television.[3]

And we're not only watching but creating and broadcasting our own content too. Two in five adults (40%) and 59% 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.

Vlogging is also a money-making enterprise, with 17% of adults who create and upload videos receiving revenue or gifts in return.[4] With some vloggers going on to achieve global celebrity status, the proportion of children under 13 who aspire to become a YouTuber' had increased by 19% by the end of 2019 compared to 2018.[5] Boys in particular are more likely to consider it as a career.

Video-sharing and livestreaming during the Covid-19 pandemic, has also provided a valued means for people to stay in touch, keep informed, and boost their morale. Millions, for example, have watched and participated in Joe Wicks' P.E. with Joe daily on YouTube; Twitch hosted a Stream Aid charity music event to raise money for the fight against Coronavirus; and TikTok streamed a live Q&A with World Health Organisation experts.[6]

How the pandemic is changing communicationsOfcom's study shows that, before the Covid-19 pandemic, many people were moving away from more established forms of communication particularly landline calls and SMS text messages and adopting newer methods.

In the 12 months to February 2020, substantially more online adults were sending daily text messages using a variety of online messaging platforms (52%), such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, than using SMS (41%) or email (26%). Daily use of online voice calls (31%) was only slightly lower than mobile calls (38%).

The pandemic appears to have accelerated the adoption of online services to keep in touch with friends and family. More than seven in 10 online adults in the UK are now making video calls at least weekly, up from 35% pre-lockdown. This trend is particularly noticeable among older internet users; the proportion of online adults aged 65+ who make a least one video-call each week increased from 22% in February 2020 to 61% by May 2020.

The proportion of UK adults who used established online services to make video calls at least weekly during lockdown with WhatsApp reaching 49% in May (up from 20% in February); Facebook Messenger 41% (from 18%); and FaceTime 30% (from 13%).).

But the most dramatic increases have been in the use of Zoom (which reached 659,000 adult internet users in January and 13 million in April), Microsoft Teams (3 million versus 6.5 million) and Houseparty (175,000 versus 4 million).

Confident but cautiousFor many adults and children, watching or creating content on video-sharing sites or apps is a positive experience.[7] But 87% of adults and 79% of 8-15 year olds have concerns around children using these platforms. Bullying or trolling, harmful or age-inappropriate content and receiving private messages from strangers are among the top concerns.[8]

Adults' trust in sites to remove illegal, offensive and harmful material has grown by seven percentage points since last year, to 54%. Nevertheless, most adults (57%) continue to support greater regulation of video-sharing platforms (64% in 2019).

Ofcom is preparing to take on new duties for the regulation of UK-based video-sharing platforms. This summer, we will be publishing a call for evidence to inform our guidance on the measures platforms should adopt to protect users from harmful content.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom's Director of Strategy an
LINK: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__search/s/redirect?collection=web&url=https:...
See more stories from ofcom

More from OFCOM

12/02/2021

Ofcom fines O2 10.5m for overcharging customers

Ofcom fines O2 10.5m for overcharging customers Add to Your Pages 12 February 2021 O2 broke Ofcom's rules by failing to provide customers with accu...

04/02/2021

Ofcom revokes CGTN's licence to broadcast in the UK

Ofcom revokes CGTNs licence to broadcast in the UK Add to Your Pages 04 February 2021 London, 10:15 GMT, 4 February 2021: Ofcom has today withdrawn the ...

03/02/2021

New plans for seamless broadband switching

New plans for seamless broadband switching Add to Your Pages 03 February 2021 Proposals for a new one touch' process to cut out the hassle of broad...

17/12/2020

Gigabit broadband reaches four in ten Scottish homes

Gigabit broadband reaches four in ten Scottish homes Add to Your Pages 17 December 2020 New Ofcom figures reveal broadband and mobile coverage across Sc...

17/12/2020

Gigabit broadband reaches one in four homes

Gigabit broadband reaches one in four homes Add to Your Pages 17 December 2020 New figures reveal broadband and mobile coverage across the UK 8m homes ...

15/12/2020

Maggie Carver appointed Ofcom interim Chair from January

Maggie Carver appointed Ofcom interim Chair from January Add to Your Pages 15 December 2020 The Government has appointed Maggie Carver as Ofcom's in...

12/12/2020

BT fined for breaking Ofcom rules in Northern Ireland tender

BT fined for breaking Ofcom rules in Northern Ireland tender Add to Your Pages 11 December 2020 BT failed to meet regulatory obligations during procurem...

09/12/2020

Traditional UK broadcasting at risk without radical shakeup, Ofcom warns

Traditional UK broadcasting at risk without radical shakeup, Ofcom warns Add to Your Pages 08 December 2020 New laws and rules needed for public service...

26/11/2020

Delivering postal users' needs in a digital age

Delivering postal users' needs in a digital age Add to Your Pages 26 November 2020 Royal Mail needs to become more efficient and modernise its parce...

25/11/2020

Broadcasters must look beyond London and reach the whole UK

Broadcasters must look beyond London and reach the whole UK Add to Your Pages 25 November 2020 Ofcom calls on industry to reflect wider range of geograp...

25/11/2020

Ofcom appoints six new Content Board members

Ofcom appoints six new Content Board members Add to Your Pages 24 November 2020 Ofcom has appointed six new members to its Content Board. Ofcoms Conte...

07/11/2020

Vulnerable customers must be treated fairly

Vulnerable customers must be treated fairly Add to Your Pages 23 July 2020 Ofcom sets out how phone, broadband and pay-TV companies should treat those w...

28/10/2020

Mobile firms to be banned from selling locked' handsets

Mobile firms to be banned from selling locked' handsets Add to Your Pages 27 October 2020 New rules to help customers put off from switching becaus...

16/10/2020

Reappointment of Mairi Kidd to MG ALBA board

Reappointment of Mairi Kidd to MG ALBA board Add to Your Pages 30 April 2020 Ofcom has today announced the reappointment of Mairi Kidd to the board of M...

16/10/2020

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (May 2020)

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (May 2020) Add to Your Pages 12 May 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of six new community radio li...

16/10/2020

Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic

Broadband networks stand firm during pandemic Add to Your Pages 13 May 2020 Ofcom analysis shows UK broadband speeds have withstood a surge in demand du...

16/10/2020

Jonathan Oxley to step down

Jonathan Oxley to step down Add to Your Pages 13 May 2020 Ofcom has today announced that Jonathan Oxley, Group Director for Competition and Board member...

16/10/2020

Ofcom appoints Alison Marsden as Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement

Ofcom appoints Alison Marsden as Director of Content Standards, Licensing and En...

16/10/2020

New Board appointment for Channel 4

New Board appointment for Channel 4 Add to Your Pages 29 May 2020 Ofcom has today announced the appointment of a new non-executive director to the Board...

16/10/2020

Ofcom's General Counsel Polly Weitzman to move on

Ofcoms General Counsel Polly Weitzman to move on Add to Your Pages 01 June 2020 Ofcom has today announced that Polly Weitzman, Ofcom's General Couns...

16/10/2020

UK's internet use surges to record levels

UK's internet use surges to record levels Add to Your Pages 24 June 2020 Adults spending record 4 hours a day online on average, as coronavirus chan...

16/10/2020

Royal Mail fined 1.5m for missing 2018/19 delivery target

Royal Mail fined 1.5m for missing 2018/19 delivery target Add to Your Pages 10 July 2020 91.5% of first-class post was delivered next working day in 20...

16/10/2020

Ofcom awards three new community radio licences in Northampton

Ofcom awards three new community radio licences in Northampton Add to Your Pages 22 July 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of three new community...

16/10/2020

Broadband customers to save millions following Ofcom review

Broadband customers to save millions following Ofcom review Add to Your Pages 28 July 2020 Out-of-contract customers could save over 270m a year in tot...

16/10/2020

Ofcom confirms plans for spectrum auction early next year

Ofcom confirms plans for spectrum auction early next year Add to Your Pages 03 August 2020 January auction for important airwaves to boost mobile capaci...

16/10/2020

UK talks for longer during lockdown

UK talks for longer during lockdown Add to Your Pages 08 October 2020 Callers spent around 50% longer on their mobiles during early stages of the corona...

08/04/2020

Ofcom sets out licensing plans for small-scale DAB

Ofcom sets out licensing plans for small-scale DAB Add to Your Pages 07 April 2020 Local radio listeners will be able to tune into new digital stations ...

03/04/2020

Changing attitudes of viewers and listeners revealed

Changing attitudes of viewers and listeners revealed Add to Your Pages 03 April 2020 TV and radio programmes that are unsuitable for children, or which ...

25/03/2020

Helping broadband and mobile users stay connected

Helping broadband and mobile users stay connected Add to Your Pages 25 March 2020 As families work and learn at home, Ofcom launches practical tips to g...

25/03/2020

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (March 2020)

Ofcom awards six new community radio licences (March 2020) Add to Your Pages 25 March 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of six new community radi...

13/03/2020

Ofcom finalises rules for mobile airwaves auction

Ofcom finalises rules for mobile airwaves auction Add to Your Pages 13 March 2020 New airwaves will boost mobile capacity and enhance 5G services Airwa...

10/03/2020

Ofcom welcomes shared rural network' agreement to improve mobile coverage

Ofcom welcomes shared rural network' agreement to improve mobile coverage Add to Your Pages 09 March 2020 The Government has announced it has reach...

03/03/2020

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (February 2020)

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (February 2020) Add to Your Pages 03 March 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of three new communit...

15/02/2020

Companies must tell customers about their best deals

Companies must tell customers about their best deals Add to Your Pages 14 February 2020 Providers must now tell you when your contract's up, and wha...

12/02/2020

Ofcom Board appoints Dame Melanie Dawes as Chief Executive

Ofcom Board appoints Dame Melanie Dawes as Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 12 February 2020 The Ofcom Board has today announced the appointment of Dam...

12/02/2020

Ofcom response to Government announcement on online harms regulation

Ofcom response to Government announcement on online harms regulation Add to Your Pages 12 February 2020 Jonathan Oxley, interim Chief Executive: We sha...

04/02/2020

Parents' rising concern over children online (Wales)

Parents rising concern over children online (Wales) Add to Your Pages 04 February 2020 Gaming and self-harm among biggest concerns Half of older childr...

04/02/2020

Parents' rising concern over children online

Parents' rising concern over children online Add to Your Pages 04 February 2020 Gaming and self-harm among biggest concerns Half of older children ...

30/01/2020

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (January 2020)

Ofcom awards four new community radio licences (January 2020) Add to Your Pages 30 January 2020 Ofcom has today announced the award of four new communit...

21/01/2020

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint update

Ofcom response to the CMA's super-complaint update Add to Your Pages 21 January 2020 Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Consumer Group Director, said: We...

09/01/2020

Helping customers get fair treatment and fair prices

Helping customers get fair treatment and fair prices Add to Your Pages 09 January 2020 New scorecards help customers compare phone and broadband firms ...

08/01/2020

Supercharging investment in fibre broadband

Supercharging investment in fibre broadband Add to Your Pages 08 January 2020 Ofcom sets out conditions to help bring full fibre nationwide Improving t...

20/12/2019

Latest Scottish broadband and mobile coverage revealed

Latest Scottish broadband and mobile coverage revealed Add to Your Pages 20 December 2019 Number of homes with access to superfast broadband increased b...

20/12/2019

Latest UK broadband and mobile coverage revealed

Latest UK broadband and mobile coverage revealed Add to Your Pages 20 December 2019 Full-fibre broadband now available to around three million homes So...

18/12/2019

Celebrity Big Brother tops TV complaints for the decade

Celebrity Big Brother tops TV complaints for the decade Add to Your Pages 18 December 2019 Ofcom publishes most complained-about shows of the 2010s An ...

17/12/2019

Ofcom plans ban on mobile firms selling 'locked' phones

Ofcom plans ban on mobile firms selling locked phones Add to Your Pages 17 December 2019 New rules also proposed to make broadband switching easier Mob...

21/11/2019

Ofcom's Mansoor Hanif to step down

Ofcoms Mansoor Hanif to step down Add to Your Pages 21 November 2019 Ofcom has today announced that Mansoor Hanif has stepped down from his role as Chie...

07/11/2019

Ofcom appoints Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive

Ofcom appoints Jonathan Oxley as interim Chief Executive Add to Your Pages 06 November 2019 The Ofcom Board has today announced that Jonathan Oxley will...

29/10/2019

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year

Releasing airwaves for mobile services next year Add to Your Pages 28 October 2019 Ofcom updates on proposals to auction new frequencies Airwaves wil...

25/10/2019

Ofcom welcomes mobile firms' agreement to build a shared rural network'

Ofcom welcomes mobile firms' agreement to build a shared rural network' Add to Your Pages 25 October 2019 Ofcom spokesperson: We warmly welc...