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Internet usage doubles in a decade

The way we use the internet has changed dramatically in the last ten years, thanks to milestone innovations such as smartphones and tablets, and not surprisingly the time we spend online each day has been going up and up. A recent survey confirms just how much extra time we’re surfing the net – put simply internet usage has doubled between 2005 and 2015.

The survey, conducted by Ofcom, shows that 10 years ago we were spending a mere 10 hours online each week, compared to over 20 now.

Ofcom’s results not only confirm the obvious but highlight the changing ways we’re accessing the internet, and why responsive sites are more important than ever for online businesses. Since 2010 the number of adults using a smartphone has more than doubled from 30% to 66%. The increase of the number of adults using tablets for their online activities is even more impressive, leaping from 5% to 39%. As a result people are spending an average of five hours online while out and about, compared to just 30 minutes in 2010.

Another key statistic is that 68% of internet users are happy to provide their personal details online if they believe they will benefit in some way – a noteworthy fact for anyone with a conscience about gathering information. However, the same people also say they would never share any credit or debit card details and their mobile numbers.

Social Media has also had its impact on the increased time we’re spending online, especially for younger internet users, though the 35-44 demographic has seen the biggest growth. A significant surge was seen in 2014 in the number of people aged 55-64 using Social Media. In 2005 Facebook was only a year old and since then other services like Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have all become dominant forces not only for socialising but for marketing as well, changing the way companies interact with customers.

With wearable technology promising to lead the next wave of mobile innovations there will no doubt be further dramatic changes to the way we access information and engage with brands. For now the best thing businesses can do is to make sure their services are mobile-friendly and optimised on-the-go browsing, and that they’re reaching their target audience through the right social media channels.