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June 11, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:21am

Ofcom: Britons now spend 30-times longer online with Google/Facebook than BBC

By William Turvill

Google and Facebook dominate the time British people spend online, a new report has revealed.

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom found that the average Briton spent three hours and 37 minutes online in 2020, up by nine minutes since 2019 and 40 since 2017.

A breakdown of this data reveals that Google-owned sites (including Youtube) accounted for an average of 55 minutes per day. Facebook-owned sites (including Instagram and Whatsapp) accounted for 30 minutes.

The highest-performing news-focused group in Ofcom’s ranking, based on Comscore data, was the BBC (including iPlayer), which accounted for three minutes per day on average.

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The only other news-focused publishers that accounted for one minute or more were Sky (two minutes), Reach (two), Mail Online (one) and News UK (one), the owner of the Sun, Times and Wireless Group.

After Google and Facebook, the next most popular websites/ apps were operated by Spotify (six minutes per day), Netflix (six), TikTok owner Bytedance (five), Microsoft (four), Amazon (four) and Verizon Media (three).

Twitter, Snapchat, Apple and Ebay each accounted for two minutes of time per day on average.

The report also found that Google sites reached 99% of the population of online adults thanks to 45.2m unique users through 2020. Facebook reached 97% with 44.1m unique users.

Reach, the owner of the Mirror national newspapers and hundreds of local news brands across the UK, had a reach of 91% thanks to 41.5m unique users.

The next best-performing news-focused publisher on this metric was News UK (89%), followed by Mail Online and BBC (both 82%).

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The 185-page report also included separate data on news consumption, Covid-19 information sources and misinformation.

Read the full Ofcom report here, and find additional data here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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