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Communications and media in Australia: How we communicate

This interactive report, Communications and media in Australia: How we communicate, shows the ways Australian adults connect and interact in 2021, and how this has changed over the past 5 years. It focuses on our use of fixed-line and mobile phones, communications apps and social media, and is part of the Communications and media in Australia series.

How we communicate

How we communicate

  • We continue to use mobile phone calls, texts, email, and messaging and calling apps as our main ways to communicate. Although stable over the previous 12 months, our use is still well above 2019 pre-COVID-19 levels.
  • Our use of fixed-line home phones has sharply declined – down from 54% in 2017 to 24% in 2021.
  • Mobile phones remain by far our most popular communication device – 99% of us now use one.
  • Nearly all of us owned a smartphone – 94%, up from 83% in 2019. More than twice as many 75+ year-olds owned a smartphone now compared to 2 years ago (76% in 2021, 35% in 2019).

Use of websites and apps

The rise of communication apps

  • 78% of online Australians used an app to communicate via voice calls, video calls or messages – up from 67% in 2019.  
  • Nearly all of us (96%) used a communication or social media website or app. Facebook was the dominant service (75% used it) and it also owned 4 of the top 5 websites or apps.
  • We used Facebook Messenger most. 66% of us used it to send messages, 43% for voice or video calls.
  • Almost all online Australians (96%) used a social media website or app, with 76% of us actively engaging with the content. We used Facebook and YouTube most often. They were also the leading services for actively engaging with content.

Satisfaction with communications services

Increased satisfaction with communication services

  • We're more satisfied with our internet services overall, with average satisfaction levels increasing since 2019. Our satisfaction with most aspects of mobile phone and fixed-line services remained steady during this period.

About the report 

This report is part of the ACMA research program, which provides evidence to inform our decision making.

View information about the methodology used for the report.

Accessing the data

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