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Under 4s to Drive Up Internet Usage in 2017

David Murphy

Baby-child-toddler-on-phone.jpgDigital video viewing from the under 4s will help drive up Internet usage this year, according to eMarketer's latest UK social network usage forecast, which includes Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram data.

The analyst has increased its estimate for Internet usage. In 2017, 54.4m people, or 82 per cent of the population will be online, a growth of 2.1 per cent. Younger audiences, particularly in the 0-4 category are driving up Internet usage, and eMarketer predicts that 20.9 per cent of under 4s will be online this year.

Unsurprisingly digital videos are the most popular online activity for the youngest internet users in the UK. This year 88.6 per cent of internet users aged under 4 will be tuning in. Buoyed by the growth in younger age categories, overall video numbers are up, with eMarketer estimating that 43.2m people, equating to 79.4 per cent of Internet users will be watching online videos.

Overall, social network users are up. This year 55.1 per cent of the population, or 36.6m people, will use social networks, a growth of 3.4 per cent. Facebook leads the way, with 32.7m people in the UK using the network, 2.8 per cent up on last year. eMarketer’s estimates for UK Facebook usage are slightly up since its last forecast, driven by slight increases in the 18-34 age group. 30.3m people in the UK will access Facebook via a mobile phone this year.

Instagram comes in second, with 14.4m people using the platform this year, a growth of 18.2 per cent. That figure means that in 2017, almost two-fifths of all social network users will be logging onto Instagram. Snapchat, meanwhile, will be will be used by 13.6m people, representing 37.1 per cent of all social network users.

Twitter brings up the rear of the mainstream social networks, with 12.53m people in the UK using Twitter, in 2017, 12.1m on those on a mobile phone. While this is up 2.5 per cent on last year, eMarketer’s projections on UK Twitter usage have been lowered as a result of drops in almost all age groups.