British adults spent more time online in 2020 than other European countries such as Spain, France and Germany, according to Ofcom’s annual survey of the country’s online habits.
Ofcom’s Online Nation 2021 report is the first such survey to show a full year of the country’s habits during the coronavirus pandemic.
It found that adults in the UK spent more than three and a half hours (217 minutes) online every day in 2020, more than an hour longer than in Germany and France and 30 minutes more than Spain.
In addition, about half of adults in the UK – 49 percent, about 26 million – visited an adult website or app in September 2020.
The largest, Pornhub, was visited by about a third of online adults (15 million) in September 2020. ), representing half of all British men online, compared to 16 percent of British women online.
UK adults also spent nearly £2.45 billion on and on mobile apps last year, with Tinder, Disney+, YouTube and Netflix topping the list.
Due to the forced closure of high street shops, online retail sales in the UK rose by half (+48 per cent) to almost £113 billion in 2020.
Food and beverage retailers saw the largest increase in online sales, with an increase of 82 percent from 2019.
Household goods also increased 76 percent, reflecting increased interest in home improvements.
In April, Ofcom showed that the proportion of homes without an internet connection dropped significantly during the pandemic and that adults with previously limited digital skills were embracing online shopping, digital banking and video calling.
However, it also warned that those who didn’t make the jump could become even more isolated as services, shopping and communications increasingly go online.
Since the lockdown in the spring of 2020, teens have been spending more money online than offline and this trend will continue in 2021 (68 percent online versus 32 percent offline in March 2021).
About one in eight online adults and more than one in five of 15-34 year olds said they used an online dating service before the spring 2020 lockdown.
Tinder was the most popular dating app among young UK adults online – visited by 11 percent aged 18-24 in September 2020 – while Plenty of Fish was most popular among the 45-54 age group.
Unfortunately, this also led to an increase in romance scams, with money lost to fraudsters increasing by 12 percent to £18.5 million. TikTok experienced massive growth during the pandemic – from 3 million adult visitors in the UK in September 2019 to 14 million in March 2021.
TikTok also saw the largest increase in daily use among young adults – with 18-24 year olds taking their time spent on it in the year to September 2020 (from 17 minutes to 38 minutes).
TikTok, which has been accused of violating U.S. child privacy laws and obeying Chinese state demands to remove content featuring homosexuality or mentions of the Uyghur Muslim genocide, nearly had to sell its international branch to a U.S. company last year under criminal charges.
a directive from the Trump administration before a judge blocked the move. Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director of Strategy and Research, said:
“In an unprecedented year, we have seen a real acceleration in our migration to online services – which has provided a lifeline for many people in lockdown.
” This research is critical to keep pace with these changes in technology, economics and behavior as we prepare to take on new responsibilities for regulating online safety.
” This year’s report included research into adult content to support the new tasks of Ofcom as regulator for UK-based video sharing platforms and in preparation for new responsibilities for regulating online safety.