A recent report, Digital 2024, released by Meltwater, a global leader in social and media intelligence, and the socially-led creative agency, We Are Social, reveals an intriguing look at social media and digital trends worldwide. A key point of concern specifically for Singapore is misinformation, with 65.2% of adults aged 18 years and older expressing concern about distinguishing between what is authentic and what is false on the internet. This is higher than the global average of 55.8%.
Surprisingly, given Singapore's high internet penetration and mobile connectivity, social media usage is not as high as one might contemplate. Internet users aged 16 to 64 spend an average of 2 hours 14 minutes each day on social media, which is less than the global average of 2 hours 23 minutes. Additionally, the average daily internet user in this age group in Singapore spends 6 hours 49 minutes online, a rate slightly higher than the global timing of 6 hours 40 minutes.
Of particular interest, social media usage stood out with 85.0% of Singapore’s total population on these platforms and internet users using approximately 6.9 social media platforms each month. On another note, a significant portion of internet users in Singapore expresses concern over personal data protection and misinformation. 35.9% of them are apprehensive about how companies utilise their personal data online, which is higher than the global average of 31.2%. Furthermore, only 43.7% of Singaporeans employ social media to learn about brands and view their content, which is noticeably below the global average of 48.9%.
Internationally, Digital 2024 reveals that active social media user identities have surpassed the 5 billion mark, equivalent to 62.3 percent of the world's population. The global total escalated by 266 million over the past year, an annual growth of 5.6 percent. The typical social media user now devotes 2 hours and 23 minutes per day to their preferred social platforms and uses 6.7 platforms each month. TikTok has emerged as the top social platform with the highest average time per Android user, recording an impressive 34 hours per month. Second, in place is YouTube, which sees an average user spending just over 28 hours per month.
As for the world's favourite social platform, Instagram has dethroned last year's winner, WhatsApp. 16.5 percent of internet users aged between 16 and 64 now favor Instagram, pushing WhatsApp into second place with 16.1 percent.
Alexandra Saab Bjertns, Chief Strategy Officer at Meltwater, highlights that "the rise of TikTok, coupled with Instagram's favourite status and the growth of professional networking platforms like LinkedIn, paints a picture of evolving preferences. With so many platform choices, brands need to really understand where their target audience is going for information and shape compelling narratives that engage them with unparalleled precision and authenticity." Nathan McDonald, co-founder and group chief executive at We Are Social, points out the importance of understanding platform nuances to connect effectively and culturally.