Digital Marketing Researches & Reports

Social Media Usage by Generation 2020 | GlobalWebIndex

Consumer Behavior | Global

Social media has become an important and essential part of our everyday life. Even amid the ongoing events and the COVID-19 pandemic, social media use is getting an obvious increase. It is either people staying at home and entertaining themselves, working remotely, or studying online. One way or another you will have to use social media to get your things done.

This report shows how different generations use social media and how much time they spend using it, for more details keep on reading the report.

Average Time Spent on Social Media Per Day

This report shows that the growth in time spent per day on social media is slowing down in 2020, for the most part, influenced by Gen Z and millennials in MEA and Northam. However, Baby boomers, show a growth in social media time in each region as the chart shows, especially in MEA and APAC.

  • In the Middle East and Africa region, there is an increase in using social media by Baby boomers, from spending 1:36 hrs to spending 2:39 hrs on social media, the increase is +66%.
  • On the other hand, Gen X increased their time spent on social media by +14% from 2:27 hrs to 2:48 hrs.
  • As for Millennials, nothing changed they spend the same 3:17 hrs on social media.
  • However, there is a slight increase when it comes to Gen Z by +2%. They spend 3:22 hrs instead of 3:18 hrs.
Average Time Spent on Social Media by Region and by Generation 2020

A Figure Shows the Average Time Spent on Social Media by Region and by Generation 2020

Social Media Use by Generation 2020—Top Reasons

Of course, the usage of social media is different from one generation to another.

  • For instance, the percentage of Gen Z who use social media to network for work has increased from 2015-2019 by +40%.
  • As well as the percentage of Gen Z  who use social media to research or find products to buy by +29%.
  • On the other hand, there is a decrease in the number of Gen Z who use social media from 2015-2019 because their friends are on them by -22%, as well as the decrease by -16% to stay in touch with their friends.
  • On the other hand, the percentage of Gen X who uses social media to research or find products to buy has increased by +32% from 2015-2019.
  • As well as the increase of +28% because they follow celebrities and their news.
  • However, there is a decrease in their usage for the network to share their opinion by -14% or because of their friends on the network by -25%.

The Use of Instagram and WhatsApp by Generation 2020

  • Baby Boomers are more likely to use Instagram and WhatsApp than other generations.
  • They’re followed by Gen X for both social media platforms.
The Use of Instagram & WhatsApp by Generation 2020

A Figure Shows the Use of Instagram & WhatsApp by Generation —2020 Data

What’s in the “Social Media Usage by Generation” Infographic:

  • Time spent on social media by region
  • Multi-Networking Trends
  • Instagram and WhatsApp in the spotlight
  • Social media in the purchase journey


  •  Free


All figures in this report are taken from the GlobalWebIndex Q4 2019 wave of online research among 173,859 internet users aged 16-64 in 46 markets. Among this cohort, there were 29,189 Gen Zers aged 16-22, 66,421 millennials aged 23-36, 60,649 Gen Xers aged 37-55, and 17,600 baby boomers aged 56-64.

Generations have been adjusted in overtime comparisons to account for year-on-year aging, hence earlier years include a smaller group of Gen Z.


Market Research & Data Technology

GlobalWebIndex is a leading market research company headquartered in London that provides digital consumer insights across 44 countries to the world's largest brands, marketing agencies and media organizations. Maintaining a global panel of more than 22 million connected consumers which leverage to create 25,000 data points to profile internet users around the world. Providing a combination of survey and analytics data. Since launching in 2009, GlobalWebIndex has become one of the UK’s fastest-growing data technology companies.

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