Facebook, WhatsApp usage decrease in NL; Instagram on the rise

People in the Netherlands spent less time on social media this year, according to the second edition of the Smart Media Monitor by online market researcher Multiscope. Facebook and WhatsApp in particular saw less usage, though remain the biggest social media platforms in the country. More time was spent on Instagram.

All together, Netherlands residents spent 1.1 billion minutes a day on social media this year, compared to 1.2 billion minutes a day in 2017. On average, social media users are on these platforms 79 minutes per day, a decrease of 4 minutes compared to 2017. WhatsApp and Facebook account for the largest shares of this usage, 32 percent each, followed by Instagram at 8 percent. 

The popularity of Instagram seems to still be increasing, according to the researchers. While the average number of minutes per day for Facebook and WhatsApp fell, minus 5 minutes and 4 minutes per user respectively, Instagram saw its average number of minutes per day increase by 2 minutes. The number of Instagram users in the Netherlands also increased by over 1 million compared to 2017. Almost a third, 32 percent, of Netherlands residents now use Instagram. 

According to the researchers, there are multiple signals that social media use will continue to decline in the future. 26 percent of Facebook users indicate that they will use the platform less often and 3 percent that they will use it not at all in the coming year. "We also see negative figures for future use for services such as Snapchat, Skype and Twitter", the researchers said. The only exceptions to the rule are WhatsApp and Instagram - users expect they will use these services more in the coming year. 

For the Smart Media Monitor, Multiscope researchers questioned 3,600 people in the Netherlands about the time they spend on social media.