By Corina Oliquino

MANILA — Advertising firms We Are Social and Hootsuite’s annual report Digital 2021 released on January 27, found Filipinos spend an average of four hours and 15 minutes each day on social media, topping the global usage ranking for the sixth straight year. 

This year’s figure is a 22-minute jump from the Philippines’ Digital 2020 average of three hours and 53 minutes and three minutes higher from 2019’s average of four hours and 12 minutes, with the global average for social media usage at two hours and 25 minutes. 

Colombia trailed the Philippines, spending three hours and 45 minutes online while Japan took the last spot in the rankings as they record an average of 51 minutes.

In terms of internet usage, the Philippines again topped the list, recording close to 11 hours per day at 10 hours and 56 minutes followed by Brazil with an average of 10 hours and eight minutes and Colombia with an average of 10 hours and seven minutes.

The global average internet usage is six hours and 54 minutes.


Reports by ABS-CBN News and Rappler noted the rise in internet usage as it reached 80.2 percent among those aged 16 to 64 as against last year’s 76 percent.

“This is the second consecutive year that the country’s figure was above the global average,” the report noted.

In December 2020, the country’s average mobile internet speed registered at 22.50 megabits per second compared to 18.49 Mbps in November 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced people indoors, with e-commerce rising across the world as many shifted online to shop for food and personal care.

“Finding information is the main reason why people go online, with almost two-thirds of the world’s internet users saying this is one of their top motivations,” the report said but noted that “more than seven in 10 respondents also say that they now use at least one tool other than text-based search engines to find information online each month.”

The report also noted that 57.2 percent of Filipinos express concern about misinformation and “fake news” when searching for news online, with the global average at 56.4 percent.

At least 38.2 percent Filipinos are worried about how companies will use the data they put online or the misuse of personal information, above the global average of 33.1 percent.

Global setting

The Digital 2021 report revealed a jump of over 13 percent in  social media numbers over the past year, with nearly half a billion users taking the global total to almost 4.2 billion by the start of 2021.

During 2020, more than 1.3 million new users joined social media every day on average, equating to roughly 15.5 new users every second.

Added, the world’s social media users will spend a total of 3.7 trillion hours on social media in 2021 or equivalent to more than 420 million years of combined human existence.

“In total, the average internet user now spends almost seven hours per day using the internet across all devices, equating to more than 48 hours per week online – that’s two full days out of every seven,” the report said, noting people spend roughly 42 percent of their waking lives online and more are spending additional time online each day than they did in previous years.

PLDT, Smart as fastest fixed, mobile networks in 2020

Rappler, PLDT and Smart Communications were named as the country’s fastest fixed and mobile internet networks.

It comes as Ookla (which runs web service Speedtest that tests an internet connection’s speed and performance) recognized PLDT’s speed score of 27.28 and Smart’s 24.99 in the second half of 2020 as the fastest download and upload speeds in the Philippines.