AI In Social Media

1 in 4 UK Consumers Spend 5+ Hours Daily on Social Media

Integral Ad Science, a global leader in digital media quality, released its Social Media Ad Receptivity study. The report, based on a survey of online UK consumers, provides an overview of social media usage as well as insights into user perceptions of social media advertising. social media uk

SIM card e SIM shop

Social media use is on the rise social media uk

Social media has become a significant channel for advertisers to reach online consumers in the UK, with ad spending projected to hit £8.95bn by 2023.

The new IAS study revealed that the majority (53%) of UK consumers spend two to four hours a day on social platforms. While a further one in four spend more than five hours a day scrolling, watching, and clicking through their social feeds.

The most popular social platforms include Facebook, followed by YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Consumers engage on mobile devices most often, with 76% claiming that it is the most common device for them to view social media content, followed by desktop (14%) and tablet (10%).

UK consumers engaged more with social ads since the pandemic

Social consumption has increased since the pandemic and is in line with global stay-at-home orders. The study found that 15% of Brits have increased engagement with in-feed social ads to shop online since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Almost nine in 10 UK consumers (86%) engaged with—click on, for example—an ad on social media in 2021. Almost half of consumers (40%) say that they’re more likely to engage with in-feed ads than with those on online web pages.

Consumers are not only willing to engage with brands in social environments, but one in five (19%) purchased a product or service advertised in their social news feed.

When asked about the format of ads, more consumers prefer viewing display ads (45%), rather than video ads (26%). Comparatively, 35% want to see ads from specific brand accounts on their social feeds, and only 21% prefer to see ads from online influencers.

The risks and rewards of social media advertising

Despite this, IAS research also points to some significant risks for brands, especially when it comes to social media ads that appear next to unsafe content—content that conflicts with a brand’s values and puts its reputation at risk.

36% of online UK consumers argue that the growth of fake news has made them less trusting of ads on social feeds. For ads that run next to unsafe content, 67% of consumers hold the social platform accountable, but a significant 31% hold the brand accountable.


Other key risk statistics from the survey include:

  • 35% have an unfavorable view of a brand whose ad appears next to content that does not align with the brand’s image
  • 55% are unlikely to purchase a product or service advertised on social media feeds that contains unsafe content

Nevertheless, brands have opportunities for huge rewards through social media advertising by using technology to control the context in which their ads appear.

  • 47% feel favorable towards brands whose in-feed social ads appear next to content that aligns with a brand’s image
  • 46% are likely to purchase a product or service advertised on their social feed if it is related to the content being viewed
  • 53% are likely to remember an in-feed ad if its message relates to the adjacent social content

Paul Nasse, Regional Vice President, of Agency Partnerships, EMEA at Integral Ad Science commented:

“It’s clear that social media consumption by consumers and ad spending by brands is at an all-time high and shows no signs of slowing down. Hyper-growth social platforms are a beacon for eyes and engagement and a potentially lucrative source of revenue for marketers who invest their ad dollars wisely.

The research demonstrates that marketers need to take into account the context of their social media ads and where they appear to maximize their investment. This responsibility lies with the entire advertising ecosystem to deliver ads that are engaging for a better online consumer experience.”

Integral Ad Science’s social in-feed study highlights online UK consumers’ overall social media usage and investigates their receptivity to social in-feed advertising. The survey was conducted in December 2021 with 503 UK online users. The full report can be viewed here. social media uk


Like this? "Sharing is caring!"

Driven by wanderlust and a passion for tech, Sandra is the creative force behind Alertify. Love for exploration and discovery is what sparked the idea for Alertify, a product that likely combines Sandra’s technological expertise with the desire to simplify or enhance travel experiences in some way.