How Australians use the internet, Pinterest embraces body positivity and Snapchat makes a comeback

We’re officially at the halfway point in the year, where last Christmas is just as far away as the next one. Can you believe it? The midpoint of the year is a great chance to analyse the months before and this is exactly what Data Reportal have done with their report on global and Australian digital numbers, from hours spent on the internet to how users discover brands. Pinterest has also made the step to prohibit weight loss ads, the health and beauty sector grows during more lockdowns, Snapchat sees its biggest growth in users in 4 years and the Head of Instagram has announced that Instagram is making the move away from being a photo-sharing app. Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Global Digital Numbers 2021

Although this report was originally published in January, they released a global content update in July to give a more recent insight into how people use social media. A massive 53.6% (4.4 billion) of the world’s population are now active Social Media Users, an increase of 13% from Jan 2020 to Jan 2021. They revealed that the top 3 social platforms are Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp and an incredible 90% of global internet users visited an online store in the last month, with 76% purchasing a product online. The best source of brand discover is also still from search engines, even more than ads on TV and word of mouth.

Read the ReportReport - July Update Summary

2. Australia Digital Numbers 2021

Did you know that Australian’s spend on average 6 HOURS a day on the internet? There are 20 million social media users in Australia (that’s 20 million potential online customers!) but our social media use does slightly, with YouTube beating Facebook to first place in terms of the most used social media platform – although it was by as little as half a percentage point! It’s also a great point to note that a whopping 97.9% of Australian Internet users use search engines for brand discovery and search engines are the number one channel for brand research, so now is definitely the time to invest in paid search if you’re on the fence!

View Full Report

3. Pinterest embraces body acceptance with a new ad policy - and we LOVE it!

We feel it’s almost impossible nowadays to scroll through social media without being bombarded with weight loss products or adverts. After the stress of the pandemic, rise in eating disorders and the pressure to look great now we’re back socialising properly again, this is not what a lot of people want to see on their feeds. Pinterest is the first major platform to take direct action and so they announced this month that they’re going to prohibit all ads with weight loss language, imagery and products. This amazing policy change was developed with the guidance and advice of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and we love that platforms are starting to take these steps towards embracing body positivity!

Read their Announcement

4. Lockdowns drive up health and beauty sector

With many states still in lockdowns and some that are just coming out of long stints behind doors, there were bound to be changes in terms of how people shop. According to research by Retail Beauty, one of the things Australians missed most during lockdowns was their health and beauty regime, with many Australians facing restrictions to beauty salons, hairdressers, make-up studios and beauty stores. In 2020 the Health and Beauty sector was the second-fastest growing online industry after Home and Garden. Australians spent more time watching online beauty tutorials, beauty-related question queries on search engines increased by 106% and Deciem emerged as the most popular beauty brand for Australians with 475% growth in 2020!

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5. Is Snapchat making a comeback?

You heard it here first: Snapchat is back. The video-sharing app reported a 23% growth in users since last year, with 293 million daily active users… that’s even higher than Twitter! This growth can be attributed to lockdowns ending (so people have more to post about perhaps?), the fact they’ve recently improved their Android app, opening up the space to a whole new realm of users and their recent developments in AR. Watch this space. Could 2022 be the Year Of Snapchat?

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6. Instagram is no longer a Photo App

We’ve seen Instagram change drastically over the last few years and it seems now we finally have a goal in mind: to no longer be a photo-sharing app. The Head of Instagram has announced that the company is looking to lean more into entertainment and video after the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube. This is an app that already has IGTV, Reels and Stories so they’re not short of video-sharing content, but with the official announcement that they no longer want to be known as the “square photo-sharing app”… Although they haven’t explicitly announced how yet. We’re excited to find out!

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