2018: A Year in the Internet

Communiqué de presse
Connections still on the rise

Whilst almost 53 million users went online each month in 2018, 43.3 million did so daily. Social networks, instant messaging, media, entertainment and responsible consumption are the major trends observed last year. Legal services, especially for films/series and music have also significantly progressed.

“Once again this year, the internet’s momentum has continued, as evidenced by our Total Internet audience and web user behaviour analysis covering 6,000 brands and 700 apps across all screens,” revealed Bertrand Krug, Director of Médiamétrie's Internet Department. “French people spent an average of 1hr 37mins online each day, which was 9 minutes longer than the previous year.  This growth was being driven by mobile, which accounted for almost half of daily browsing time by itself, as well as being the No.1 screen for connecting to the internet. These days, apps play a central role for mobile internet users, capturing 90% of smartphone usage time.” 

More time spent, more smartphone usage

The amount of time spent on the internet has quadrupled in the last ten years.  Those aged 35-49 are the keenest internet users  at nearly 2hrs 30 mins each day. Young people are also increasingly online, for example 11-14 year olds devoted 1hr 26mins to daily internet activity, a 23-minute increase on 2017.

And then there are the 6.5 million avid French online users who browse for 6hrs 49mins daily. Whilst this group may only represent 15% of the internet user population, it accounted for 44% of the duration spent online.

The internet is used fairly constantly throughout the day: computer, smartphone and tablet complement one another, with a daily peak at 6:37 pm when more than 6 million internet users are online.

Mobile is driving growth: it has become the leading device to connect from, and is winning over more users every year. Today, there are 34 million daily mobile internet users i.e. 3 million more than the previous year.

In 2018, this mobile domination was felt even more strongly: in the wake of “mobile-first” came “mobile-only”, especially among younger people. 15-24 year olds spend three-quarters of their daily 2-hour browsing time on a mobile. And 6 out of 10 use their smartphone exclusively for web browsing each day. 

Although mobile internet users visit an average of 56 websites per month compared to just 18 apps, they spend 90% of their mobile time on the latter platforms. And almost half the time devoted to these apps is concentrated on the 10 most visited ones.

More Social Networks and Instant Messaging

Social networks have established themselves as the leading  online activity,  occupying 1/5 of the time spent on the internet (1/3 for the 15-24 age group). Every day, 30 million people go on social networks. Nowadays, each generation has its own favourite network.

Instant messaging platforms have also stood out due to their robust growth.  The amount of time spent on instant messaging platforms has doubled in just a year, with 11 million daily users.  Alongside the best known instant messaging platforms, newcomers have emerged and are making fans among young and technophile audiences.

A wealth of media content, a wealth of usages

The internet also serves as a conveyor for media content. For instance, 2 out of 3 web users keep up to date at least once a month via news websites or apps. The internet is also an entertainment arena for playing, (1 out of 2 web users per month), listening to music 
(4 out of 10 web users per month) and watching videos.

2018 also signalled a paradigm shift in internet user behaviour. Over half of them (52.5%) chose to pay to access content, whether it was articles, music, or videos. The development of legal services, especially for films/series and music, seems to be acting as an antidote to content piracy. Although declining, piracy remains at a high level, with close on 14 million internet users involved in piracy in 2018. At the same time, audiences of SVoD websites and apps have doubled.

From online consumer to citizen surfer

39.3 million online users have already made purchases online: that's almost
9 out of 10 web users.  Sales events are contributing to this boom in
e-commerce and are now more popular than ever: on Black Friday, 19 million online users visited e-commerce websites and apps, compared to 17.5 million in 2017.

A noticeable trend this year has been the development of new ways to consume that are based on: sharing, donating, combatting waste and concern for the environment. These concepts often involve disintermediation, i.e. direct exchanges between private individuals. This new facet of the internet appeals to new stakeholders who advocate greater consumer responsibility, thereby transforming the online consumer into a citizen surfer.

Please click on the icon to download the comprehensive press release.


Confidence interval calculus

Taille de l'échantillon ou d'une cible dans l'échantillon

n =

Proportion observée dans l'échantillon ou sur une cible dans l'échantillon

p =


Attention : ne s'applique qu'à une proportion. Le Taux Moyen est une moyenne de proportions et la Part d'audience un rapport de proportions.
Cet outil est donné à titre indicatif. Il ne saurait pouvoir s'appliquer sans autres précautions à des fins professionnelles.

Test of significance of the differences between two proportions

Permet d'évaluer si la différence entre 2 proportions est significative au seuil de 95%


Taille de l'échantillon

Échantillon 1


Échantillon 2


Attention : ne s'applique qu'à une proportion. Le Taux Moyen est une moyenne de proportions et la Part d'audience un rapport de proportions.
Cet outil est donné à titre indicatif. Il ne saurait pouvoir s'appliquer sans autres précautions à des fins professionnelles.

En complément