Social Media Statistics Australia 2023

Updated: Oct 05, 2023 | Nick Ainge Roy | 8 mins. read

As of March 2023, 21 million Australians aged 14+ are online every month, spending an average of 107 hours online per month. 49% of total time spent online is on social networks.*

That’s roughly 52 hours per month on social networks. To put that in perspective Australians spend:

  • 23 hours per month watching free-to-air TV
  • 35 hours per month in streaming services
  • 41 hours per month watching paid TV**

Social media has come a long way since the earliest days of internet chat rooms and now commands a greater attention share than traditional media. As new trends and platforms have hit the market in recent years, Australians’ social media usage has shifted in kind and continues to do so today. As a result, understanding social media usage is essential to developing a sound digital strategy.

This article will examine key statistics about Australia’s social media usage and how they can inform your digital marketing strategy. To start, let’s look at what social media platforms Australians use.

The Top 8 Social Media Sites Used by Australians:

The Top 8 Social Media Android Apps Used by Australians:

Source: Insights by Retain Media of the top 8 Social Media Android Apps by Australians as of July ’23

Five of the top 10 sites Australians visit are social media platforms, and 3 of the top 10 apps by usage are social media apps. This underscores the power of social media.

Australian Social Media Usage

Australian social media users spend a ton of time on social networking sites. According to the Digital 2022 report from Data Reportal, the most popular social media platforms (measured in hours used per month) are TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram, although there are several other lesser-known platforms that present opportunities to businesses looking to grow their digital marketing. Let’s dive into each of these a bit further.

Source: Data Reportal

The Rise & Rise of TikTok

TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing app that has taken the world by storm in the past few years, continues its immense growth in Australia. Its success can be attributed partly to the Covid lockdowns: stuck at home with nothing to do, younger generations especially craved a deeper sense of connection and a more immediate form of entertainment than social media like Facebook and Instagram were able to offer.

Now, more than three years after the first lockdowns, TikTok is rapidly gaining ground on Meta’s main platforms, with 1 billion active monthly users worldwide and entire communities and subcultures forming that reflect its more vibrant appeal.

TikTok demographics - Australia 2023

According to the Digital 2022 Australia report, of Australians aged 16-64, 32% regularly use TikTok, spending 23.4 hours a month on the app – the highest of any social media and a 40% increase over the previous year. As of 2023, TikTok has 8.3 million users over the age of 18 in Australia, more than 31% of Australia’s total population.

As impressive as this number is, the true figure is likely even higher, as ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) only collects audience data on users over 18. Despite these limitations, TikTok ads reached 40.3% of all Australian adults over 18, representing a massive potential market on its own.

Source: Insights by Retain Media

Of the reported data, we can see women over-indexing, making up 55% of the audience. The 18-24 age group is the largest age group, making up almost 40% of total TikTok users, with the 25-34 age group not far behind at 37% of total users. In this age bracket, the number of women is almost double that of men. After 35, the number of users drops off dramatically, reinforcing the fact that TikTok is overwhelmingly a young person’s platform.

On a state-by-state basis, people in New South Wales are slightly more likely to be on TikTok than those in Victoria and Queensland, with Western Australia and South Australia lagging far behind, and Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT having a negligible amount of users compared to the national population.

YouTube

YouTube is both a social media platform and a search engine, and if it was a stand-alone search engine it would be the second largest in the world behind Google. Despite being one of the oldest social media platforms, YouTube is still a force to be reckoned with, with Australians spending on average over 17 hours per month on Youtube, the third-highest of all social media platforms.

Advertising data from Google indicates that YouTube has 21.30 million users in Australia at the start of 2023, though it is important to note that this is not the same as monthly active users. Even so, YouTube’s figures suggest that the platform’s ads reach an estimated 81% of the Australian population, or 84.2% of Australia’s total internet user base, regardless of their age.

YouTube’s importance was underscored this year when Fast Company labeled YouTube #1 on its list of the most innovative companies in 2023. While other social media platforms popularity may wax and wane, YouTube – which is now approaching its 20th birthday – remains steadfast in its appeal and shows no signs of going away.

Facebook

Facebook’s decline has been one of the major stories in the tech sector over the past few years, and it is a story that will continue in 2023. Last year, Facebook’s user base declined for the first time in its history – a development resulting from its falling popularity with younger users.

A large part of this decline is because younger users have migrated to competitors such as YouTube, Snapchat and especially TikTok, but there are several social and political factors contributing to the loss of users as well. 

Between Facebook’s numerous, well-documented scandals and its perception among Gen-Z users as a social media for old people, Facebook’s dominance of the social media space may be coming to an end.

Meta demographics - Australia 2023

Despite the news, Facebook still has 14.9 million users in Australia. Facebook continues to see widespread use among older generations. 55% of Australian users are between 25 and 54 years old, a demographic responsible for Australia’s highest household spending levels.

Combine this with the fact that Facebook’s ad reach in Australia is equivalent to 57% of the total population, as well as the fact that the aforementioned demographic is the most likely to click on ads, it is clear that Facebook remains a fantastic way for many businesses to reach potential customers through its Ads network.

Older Facebook users are the most likely to engage directly with ads (Source: Meta, via Data Reportal)

Source: Insights by Retain Media

As of September 2023 women over-indexing, making up 56% of the audience on Facebook.

The 25-34 age group is the largest age group, making up almost 24% of total Facebook users. More than 75% of Meta’s Australian user base is over the age of 25, indicating that the drop in users is coming from trend-focused Gen-Z consumers, as we discussed above.

On a state-by-state basis, the spread of Facebook users matches the population, more or less mirroring the numbers seen amongst TikTok users.

Source: Insights by Retain Media

Is Instagram On the Way Out?

The counterpoint to TikTok’s success is the slow decline in the popularity of Instagram. While the platform maintains a base of 11.6 million users in Australia – 52.5% of the ‘eligible’ population, as Instagram restricts the use of its app to people over the age of 13 – data published by Meta (Instagram’s parent company) show that its potential ad reach decreased by 1.1 million people (-8.6%) between 2022 and 2023, with a decrease of 400 thousand coming between October 2022 and January 2023 alone. 

Despite this, Instagram’s total ad reach still accounts for 44% of the Australian population or 46% of the local internet user base, regardless of age. Of this ad audience, 56.2% are female, and 43.8% are male.

Although these figures represent a substantial audience (especially for brands and businesses with a large number of female consumers), public sentiment towards Instagram is undeniably shifting, especially among Gen-Z, who, as we mentioned before, are leaving both Facebook and Instagram for TikTok. 

Source: Meta, via Data Reportal

Is Snapchat Worth Your Time?

With 6.6 million users in Australia, Snapchat is certainly the smallest of these first four social media platforms in terms of its overall reach. Of these users, 54% of Snapchat’s ad audience is female, while 46% is male.

Between January 2022 and January 2023, Snapchat’s potential ad reach increased by 450 thousand users, with more than half of that growth occurring between October 2022 and January 2023. 

Although this growth may be a positive sign for Snapchat itself, its value to businesses (and the value of Snapchat as an advertising platform generally) is distinctly limited. Because Snapchat is effectively a personal messaging service, there is very little opportunity for businesses to engage directly with users and even less upside to advertising on the platform. 

Snapchat demographics - Australia 2023

Snap Skew heavily towards younger social media users with 55% of its users under 24.

Source: Insights by Retain Media 

While men and women are fairly even up to 25, Men start to drop off the platform at a much greater rate 25+

On a state-by-state basis, people in QLD and NSW are slightly more likely to be on Snapchat, while users in Victoria slightly under-indexed compared to their share of the national population.

Source: Insights by Retain Media 

Reddit

Another often-overlooked platform is Reddit. Reddit is the 3rd ranked social media site and 29th most-used app by Australians. As of 2022, Reddit was the sixth-most downloaded social media app in Australia, trailing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and Twitter.

Reddit has 6.7 million Australians users. All told, Australian users account for 3.9% of all Reddit users globally and are responsible for 190 million visits to the site each year.

The average Australian Reddit user spends 31 minutes a day on the platform, or around 15.5 hours a month, placing it firmly in contention with YouTube and Facebook despite its much smaller user-base. 

Reddit demographics - Australia 2023

Reddit is more popular among males, with only 37% of its users being female. In Australia, people aged 18-34 represent 62% of the country’s users, while the second-largest age group is 35-49-year-olds, with 28% of Australian Reddit users. 

Like most other social media platforms, Victoria and NSW slightly over-index on users when compared to their share of the national population. 

Source: Insights by Retain Media

While Reddit does generate revenue through advertising – and the company has recently opened an office in Australia – most businesses advertising on the platform are large, international brands. As such, we do not recommend advertising on Reddit, especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

Twitter

Unlike in the United States, Twitter does not occupy a large role in Australians’ social media usage. With just 5.25 million users, Twitter’s ad reach in Australia is equivalent to 20% of the total population, 23.7% of the eligible population (those aged 13 years and older), and 20.7% of the local internet user base. Twitter’s potential ad reach increased by 1.6 million in the year between January 2022 and 2023, with an increase of 550,000 between October ‘22 and January ‘23 alone. 

What is particularly interesting about Twitter is the demographic breakdown of its ad audience: 31.7% of users are female, and a whopping 68.3% are male. It is also worth noting, though, that Twitter infers its users’ gender by analysing things such as the name they use on their profile rather than having them select a gender when they create their profile, as Facebook and Instagram do.

As such, it is difficult to know what the true breakdown of Twitter’s ad audience is and the opportunities this presents to businesses and advertisers, especially as these figures can fluctuate significantly over short periods of time. Add to this the fact that a substantial portion of Twitter accounts belongs to businesses, institutions, public figures, etc., and it becomes hard to justify its value to businesses, especially SMEs. 

What’s the Point of Pinterest?

One of the most overlooked social media platforms is Pinterest’s 4.1 million Australian users – representing 16% of the total population. It may seem like an audience that is hardly worth paying attention to, but don’t be so quick to dismiss it.

Pinterest demographics - Australia 2023

While this audience may be small in the grand scheme of things, it does offer value to certain businesses. With 83% of Pinterest’s Australian users being female, there is tremendous potential for businesses with large numbers of female customers, especially those in the beauty, fashion, design, wedding and photography industries.

Source: Insights by Retain Media

The 18-24 age group is the largest cohort, making up almost 30% of total platform users, with the 25-34 age group not far at 28% of total users. In this age bracket, the number of women is almost double that of men. Like TikTok, after 35, the number of users drops off dramatically.

On a state-by-state basis, people in NSW and Victoria are slightly more likely to be on Pinterest, compared to their share of the national population.

Source: Insights by Retain Media

Learn to Leverage the Strengths of LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s advertising audience is significant with almost 15 million members in Australia as of August 2023. This audience is growing and has grown by almost 6% (700,000 members) since January 2023.

It should be noted this is based on total registered members rather than monthly active users. As such, the total number of active users will likely be considerably lower than 14 million.

LinkedIn pitches itself as the world’s largest professional network, and its main value is as a B2B platform, where you can communicate with other businesses in your industry. 

LinkedIn demographics - Australia 2023

LinkedIn users skew slightly male with a user base that is 53% male and 47% female.

Source: Insights by Retain Media

52% of all users are aged between 25 and 34. Victoria and New South Wales users slightly over index compared to their peers in other states – a figure that aligns with the fact that the nation’s two biggest professional cities are located in these states.

Source: Insights by Retain Media

The State of Social Media in 2023

We live in a rapidly changing world, and that is true too of social media. While the past decade was seemingly dominated by the big three of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, new, more dynamic social media platforms are emerging that look set to supplant the old platforms, with more sure to appear in the coming years.

However, that doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel when it comes to Instagram or Facebook and focus all your attention on growing the world’s greatest TikTok account. Social media is not a zero-sum game, and just because one platform is in the ascendancy, it doesn’t mean the others are no longer worth your time.

An effective social media presence can encompass a wide range of platforms and approaches and is often determined more by which platforms suit the specific needs of your business. If you have spent the past 10 years building a following and developing a community on Facebook, you don’t need to jump ship to TikTok suddenly. Likewise, if your efforts on a certain platform are not delivering results, it can be worthwhile to focus your attention elsewhere – it’s all about seeing what works and acting accordingly.

*Source

**Source Insights by Retain Media 

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