Brits turn off Twitter, although teens and tweens keen on generative AI

Bing grows but Google remains top dog, according to Ofcom report

There was good news for Microsoft and bad news for Musk in the 2023 Online Nation report by the UK's data regulator. It seems Brits are falling out of love with X – formerly Twitter.

The wide-ranging report regarding internet use in the UK found that while Alphabet and Meta-owned sites remained the most visited, X had suffered a substantial fall in its total audience – down by 2.9 million in its total adult audience over the past year.

Facebook and Messenger also dropped by 1.4 million, and Pinterest fell by 1.5 million. However, TikTok saw its year-on-year adult audience in a month rise by 4.6 million.

Things were a little less bleak for X if one considers the average daily audience in a month. Year on year, X dropped by 0.8 million, with Facebook and Messenger being the only top ten services to suffer a greater fall, down by 2.6 million.

Facebook and Messenger also suffered the greatest drop in average time per day spent by an adult visitor, falling from 32 minutes in May 2022 to 23 minutes in May 2023.

On the other hand, X increased its time from six to 10 minutes.

Other findings of note included Microsoft's search engine Bing adding 8 million to its reach between May 2022 and May 2023, almost half of the online adult reach. However, with a total UK reach of 21.9 million, it still trailed significantly behind its arch-rival Google, which boasted a reach of 41.3 million – 86 percent of the online adult population.

All told, internet use among adults rose between May 2022 and May 2023 by eight minutes to an average of three hours 41 minutes a day online. Younger users (18-24) spent the most time online, at four hours and 36 minutes, while the 65+ age group was online the least, clocking in at two hours and 46 minutes.

An average of 7 percent of people aged 16 or over did not have access to the internet at home, a figure that rose to 18 percent for those aged 65 or over. Why? The majority were simply not interested or didn't see the point. Just over a quarter, however, cited reasons related to cost.

The rise of AI also made itself felt in the figures. Three in ten UK internet users aged 16 or over said they had used a generative AI tool, while four in five online teenagers and 40 percent of online 7 to 12-year-olds have used the services.

ChatGPT was the most used generative AI service, with 23 percent of internet users aged 16 or over saying they had used it in a June 2023 survey.

That said, while OpenAI and ChatGPT topped the charts this time, the likes of Bing Chat and Google Bard, with 11 and 9 percent respectively, were close behind. ®

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