Experts Warn How Much Brits TikTok Obsession Is Costing Them

TikTok has taken the world by storm, and the UK is no exception. A recent report by Uswitch mobiles revealed that UK users are spending an average of 27 hours and 18 minutes per month on the video-sharing platform, nearly double the amount spent on other social media networks.

However, this obsession comes at a cost, with TikTok being the most data-hungry social media app, using up to 0.84 GB per hour of usage. This means that TikTok users in the UK could be draining up to 22.9 GB of data per month just by using the app, let alone other online activities that require internet usage.

Popular social media apps and their data usage

On average, UK TikTok users are spending more than 27 hours a month on the platform

As a result, searches for cheaper mobile data have skyrocketed, with a 67% increase compared to April 2022, as people try to save money on their monthly mobile bills. With mobile plan prices rising by up to 17.3% from April 1, 2023, it is becoming increasingly important for UK mobile phone users to find good data deals at lower prices.

The current cheapest deal for a large data allowance on Uswitch is Talkmobile's 40GB of data for £9.95 per month. However, this may not be enough for those who are constantly on the go without access to Wi-Fi. Instead, opting for an unlimited data plan could be a more sensible option, even if it may be slightly more expensive.

But, there are ways to reduce data usage and save money without compromising on app usage. Uswitch mobiles expert, Catherine Hiley, has shared some insights on how to do this:

When considering a mobile phone plan, it can be tempting to go for the cheapest deal available. However, if you are a heavy data user, constantly buying additional data packs on a cheaper plan can quickly add up and end up costing you a lot more in the long run. In fact, it may be more cost-effective to opt for a higher allowance plan, such as an unlimited data plan, even if it has a higher monthly cost.

While the cheapest deals from the major networks can range from £16 - £20 per month, the added expense of purchasing extra data on a cheaper monthly plan can often outweigh the cost of a more expensive plan with a higher data allowance. Therefore, it is worth carefully considering your data usage and choosing a plan that offers a sufficient amount of data to avoid the need for expensive additional data packs.

According to Hiley, you don't have to give up your favorite apps to save money on data usage. Here are some tips to help you keep your data allowance under control:
  1. Connect to Wi-Fi whenever possible, such as at home, work, or in public places. This is especially important for streaming video, which can use up a lot of data. Just be careful when using public Wi-Fi for sensitive activities, like banking.
  2. Adjust your app permissions to prevent apps you're not using from consuming data. You can also turn off cellular data or put your phone in airplane mode when you're not using it.
  3. Set a data cap to prevent unexpected charges on your bill.
  4. Understand your average data usage and choose a plan that fits your needs. If you regularly have access to Wi-Fi, a cheaper plan with a lower data allowance might be a good choice. However, if you frequently use up your data allowance, consider an unlimited data plan.
  5. Switch to a provider that offers better deals and benefits on data. For example, VOXI offers unlimited data for social media, while O2 and Virgin Broadband have Volt benefits that allow you to double your monthly data allowance for no extra cost if you have an O2 pay monthly phone or SIM only contract and Virgin Broadband plan at the same address.
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