Ofcom publishes annual Online Nation report showing that the UK’s internet use has surged to record levels

According to Ofcom’s report, UK adults are now spending more than a quarter of their waking day online, which is the highest on record, with services such as TikTok and Zoom seeing unprecedented growth.

Ofcom’s annual report is an in-depth study of how people use the internet. It reveals that during the height of the Coronavirus 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.

The study also reveals how coronavirus is changing the way we communicate. The proportion of UK online adults making video calls at least weekly has doubled during lockdown (from 35% to 71%). Zoom (659,000 adult internet users in January and 13 million in April) and Houseparty (175,000 versus 4 million) have rapidly grown their user bases.

Video-sharing sites and apps are also surging in popularity. TikTok, for example, reached 12.9 million UK adult visitors in April, up from just 5.4 million in January. One third (32%) of online adults now spend more time viewing video-sharing services than traditional TV, and two in five of us now create and upload videos ourselves.

The research also encompasses findings from Ofcom’s joint study with the Information Commissioner’s Office into Online Harms and Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes report 2020. To read Ofcom’s news release in full and for links to the reports, click here.