Australians aged 16 to 64 now spend an average of 6 hours and 14 minutes using the internet each day, and 1 hour and 51 minutes on social media, according to a new report from social and media intelligence firm, Meltwater and creative agency, We Are Social.

The Digital 2024 Australia report shows TikTok has the highest average time per Android user of any social app, with over 42 hours and 13 minutes per month – equating to almost one and a half hours per day using the platform. In second place is YouTube, with the average user spending over 21 hours and 36 minutes per month on its Android app.

TikTok’s significant ad reach, now close to 10 million (+17%), and high volume of downloads and consumer spend, are proof of its rising prominence in the social media landscape in Australia.

Conversely, there’s a notable decline in time spent reading online and press content (-44%), listening to podcasts (-33%), using game consoles (-30%), watching broadcast and streaming TV (-15%), listening to broadcast radio (-15%) and streaming music (-13%).

Meltwater executive director of Asia Pacific, David Hickey believes the data from the report reaffirms how social media stands as the cornerstone of brand engagement and consumer interaction, with growing investment in social media advertising further underscoring its pivotal role in overall marketing strategies.

“As social media continues to shape consumer behaviour, it has become imperative for marketers to understand and capitalise on key insights from these platforms. These insights not only inform the refinement and effectiveness of future campaigns, but also serve as the bedrock for maximising returns on their investment,” he said.

Facebook remains the favourite platform for nearly one in four Australians, who spend an average of 20 hours and 15 minutes per month. Facebook remains the leading social media platform in Australia, boasting a potential ad reach of over 16.65 million users, or two-thirds (66%) of internet users.

Instagram follows closely, with three in five internet users engaging with the platform, spending an average of 11 hours and 46 minutes per month. Its total potential ad reach shows the biggest growth among the top social apps, increasing by almost 20% in the past year, now close to 14 million. Australians stand out among top economies as the users spending the most time on Snapchat, with 17 hours and 2 minutes and 619 sessions per month.

The report also underscores the pivotal role of social media as a key source of information about brands and products, with 58% of users aged 16 to 64 turning to social networks for this purpose.

We Are Social CEO, Suzie Shaw said the data speaks volumes about how integral digital platforms have become in the daily lives of Australians. “With almost all of the population active on social media, it’s clear that these platforms are no longer just an option but a necessity for brands to connect and engage with their audience. The remarkable surge in TikTok usage is proof of its evolution from an ’emerging platform’ to a pivotal channel.”