UK adults now spend 20 hours a week on the internet

Alex Yau
May 12, 2015

A new study has shown that online browsing has more than doubled in the UK, with four in 10 people using the internet on a tablet.

People in the UK are browsing the Web twice as much as they did 10 years ago. According to Ofcom, this surge is down to increased smartphone and tablet use.

The results of Ofcom’s tenth Media Use and Attitudes Report, which interviewed 1,890 UK adults aged over 16, revealed that the average person aged 16 and above claimed to spend 20 hours and 30 minutes online. In 2005, people in the UK claimed they spent just nine hours and 54 minutes online.

Those aged 16 – 24-years-old saw the biggest increase from 10 hours and 24 minutes in 2005 to over 27 hours and 36 minutes in 2014.

The regulator says the increase in internet time was fuelled by growing smartphone and tablet usage.

Apple’s first iPad was released five years ago. Just five per cent of users reported using a tablet for online use in 2010. That figure increased to 39 per cent in 2014.

Smartphone use also doubled during the same period. Just 30 per cent of adults used smartphones for internet browsing in 2010, whilst 66 per cent now use smartphones for the internet.

Internet use away from home has also increased. In 2005, the average user spent 30 minutes a week on the internet away from home. Users spent 2 hours and 18 minutes surfing the internet away from home in 2014.

Internet gaming and messaging

The report also revealed that mobiles are used more than consoles for gaming. It found that 26 per cent played games on their phone, whilst 17 per cent played games on consoles.

Instant messaging use also increased due to online messaging services including BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Ofcom also discovered that regular instant messaging use increased from 29 per cent of mobile phone users in 2013 to 42 per cent in 2014. It found that 25-34-year-olds were the largest users, with 80 per cent using instant messaging services compared to 38 per cent in 2005.

Text messaging also increased. Users regularly used text messaging increased from 20 per cent in 2005 to 90 per cent, whilst email use has risen from five per cent to 52 per cent.

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