UK adults spending 20 hours a week online as tablet and smartphone adoption grows

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Study shows online browsing has more than doubles in the UK in past decade,  with four in ten using a tablet

People in the UK are spending twice as much time online as they did ten years ago, with the growth fuelled by the boom in smartphones and tablet, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom’s tenth Media Use and Attitudes Report found that the average person in the UK aged 16 and above claimed to spend 20 hours and 30 minutes online, more than twice the 9 hours and 54 minutes in 2005.

Users aged 16-24 years old saw the biggest increase, from 10 hours 24 minutes in 2005 to more than 27 hours and 36 minutes last year.

According to the regulator, the biggest cause of the increase in internet use was the growing take-up of smartphones and tablets.

The first iPad launched five years ago and just five per cent of users reported using a tablet to go online in 2010, compared with 39 per cent in 2014.

Smartphone use has doubled during the same period, from 30 per cent of adults in 2010 to more than 66 per cent last year.

This has led to a five-fold increase in internet use away from home during the last decade. In 2005, the average user accessed the internet for 30 minutes per week outside of the home, compared with 2 hours 18 minutes last year.

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Games and messaging

According to the report, which interviewed 1,890 UK adults aged over 16, mobiles have surpassed game consoles as the most used devices for gaming – 26 per cent playing a game on their phone at least once a week, compared with 17 per cent on consoles. WhatsApp-web

Use of instant message has also skyrocketed thanks to online services such as BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

According to Ofcom, regular (more than once a week) use of instant messaging has leapt from 29 per cent of mobile phone users in 2013 to 42 per cent last year. The largest use has been among 25-34 year olds with 80 per cent regular instant messengers, compared with 38 per cent in 2005.

The number of users who regularly send text messages is also up 20 percent from 2005, when it was 70 per cent (now 90 per cent), while regular email use has risen from 5 per cent to 52 per cent. Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 10.33.04

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