5 min read

Digital 2024 – April Update

Published on
May 6, 2024

The digital landscape is in constant fluidity, with social media and web search playing pivotal roles in shaping how people connect, discover, and engage with content and businesses. Our friends at Meltwater have once again provided a key report with the April 2024 update of their Digital Statshot Report. Across 450 pages it offers a detailed snapshot of the trends in Q1 of 2024, focusing on global digital behaviour. In this edition of our blog, we will delve into the report's key findings, with an emphasis on the below topics impacting marketing:

- Headline Stats

- The State of Social Media

- The Role of Web Search

Headline Stats

The report presents a wealth of data on the global digital landscape. As of April 2024, over 5.44 billion people are using the internet (+3.4% YOY change), accounting for 67.1% of the global population (8.1 billion).

Social media platforms have also seen significant growth, with 5.07 billion users (+5.4% YOY change), representing 62.2% of the world's population. These figures highlight the increasing importance of digital platforms in everyday life.

Furthermore, the planet now has 5.65 billion unique mobile phones in active use, showcasing how truly reachable people are at all times. What’s significant from a device ownership perspective is the rapid increase of smart watches across the globe, and over 30% of internet users aged 16 to 64 now have one. This shows a 12.4% increase from previous years and is one of the biggest opportunities and considerations for businesses to consider.

Regarding media usage the year-on-year stats show a small decline across most metrics, but still incredibly high usage has been recorded, with 93.3% of 16-64 year old internet users also spending time on Social Media. The total daily time spent on socials has seen a 4 minute decline to “only” 2 hours and 20 minutes on average, and the majority of internet users times is spent using the internet with 6 hours and 35 minutes.

Now the top 3 reasons for internet usage are finding information, contacting friends and families, and watching videos and shows and these factors in particular lead us to the important social media details this report uncovers.

The State of Social Media

Social media continues to be a crucial part of digital life, with the report providing valuable insights into platform usage and trends. The world’s most used social platform remains Facebook, followed by YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and then TikTok.

However, in terms of potential advertising reach, it is reported that YouTube tops this list with a 2.5 billion reach, second placed Facebook with 2.24 billion, Instagram has a 1.69 billion reach, and TikTok now reaching 1.58 billion individuals.

Nevertheless, Instagram and Whatsapp top the favourite Social Media platforms, but it is important to note that with an average of 6.7 social media platforms being used per individual, these will always overlap and not be exclusively on one platform.

In terms of average time per user per month, TikTok still leads the way with an incredible 31 hours and 47 minutes. YouTube follows with 27 hours and 43 minutes, and Facebook now has 19 hours and 27 minutes, compared to Instagram’s 14 hours and 28 minutes and Twitter’s 5 hours and 19 minutes.

Importantly for businesses, the use of social media for brand research has taken a small decline of 0.8% but still remains a massive 73.3% of 16-64 year olds choice for researching brands and products they are considering buying. Interestingly, among all platforms, Instagram is named the most used platform for brand research.

For the first time, the report also has datasets on Reddit’s advertising audience, and their recent IPO documentation revealed opportunities for businesses. It attracts an average of more than 73 million unique visitors per day and 500 million unique visitors monthly. Overall, Reddit reports a potential global ad reach of 233 million, which equates to 4.3 percent of the world’s total internet user base.

These statistics underscore the imperative for businesses to embrace a multi-channel approach to their digital marketing strategies. Brands must adapt by not only being present across multiple platforms but also by tailoring their content to suit the distinct user experiences and preferences of each platform, whether through videos, photos, or text. As the landscape evolves, staying agile and responsive to new trends and platform capabilities will be key to capturing and engaging audiences effectively.

The Role of Web Search

Now much is said about social media and its impact on reaching audiences and being the new search engine, especially for the younger generations. However, web search remains a key aspect of digital behaviour, with the report highlighting its influence on discovery and engagement.

The modern web search environment is overwhelmingly dominated by Google, reflecting its integral role in how users navigate the internet. Despite evolving search behaviours, Google's dominance is evident, processing over 8.5 billion searches daily and drawing 18.5 percent of the traffic to the world's 10,000 most visited websites. This implies that more than one in six page views across these sites lands on This statistic underscores the platform's significant influence on information discovery, with no other search engine coming close to this level of web traffic and engagement.

While platforms like TikTok are becoming popular for search among younger generations, it's crucial to recognise that these users still engage significantly with traditional websites. Surprisingly, data shows that individuals aged 16 to 24 are more than twice as likely to have visited a brand's website in the past month compared to visiting a brand’s social media page. This highlights a complex behaviour where, despite the rising trend of social search on platforms like TikTok, traditional search engines and direct website visits remain highly relevant for brand engagement among Gen Z.

Google, processing billions of searches daily, continues to be a cornerstone of this digital interaction, demonstrating that even in an era of evolving digital habits, the fundamentals of web search hold strong. This blend of new and traditional practices underscores the necessity for brands to maintain a robust online presence across both social platforms and conventional websites to effectively reach and resonate with younger audiences.


As we wrap up our review of the 'Digital 2024 April Global Statshot Report,' it becomes apparent that the key to success in today's digital world lies in flexibility and understanding. Businesses need to stay informed of the rapid shifts in internet usage, social media trends, and search engine dynamics to effectively capture and engage their audience. Implementing a robust multi-channel strategy that adapts to these shifts will not only maximise reach but also enhance engagement across the diverse landscape of digital platforms. In embracing these insights, brands are well-positioned to navigate the complexities of the digital future, ensuring enduring relevance and success in a continuously evolving marketplace.

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