Social Media Accounts for One-Third of Smartphone Usage, Survey Finds

By Cameron Scott 

social networking, social apps, social networks, mobile phones, smartphones

kurhan /

Smartphone users devote almost one-third of their connected minutes to social sites and activities, compared to under 20 percent on their desktop computers, according to a study by the research firm GfK.

Email is the second most popular activity on smartphones, accounting for 16 percent of users’ online minutes. Desktop users devote 18 percent of their connected time using email.

Mobile users spend 9 percent of their time looking at videos, compared to 13 percent of time on desktop devices. Small screen users also spend slightly less time using search engines: 9 percent compared to 11 percent on desktop.

The figures are consistent with recent comScore data suggesting that users devote more time on social media on their smartphones than they do on desktop PCs.

The time desktop users devoted to “other” activities dropped by almost half since 2011, from 37 to 20 percent.

“Apps encourage a targeted, deliberate approach to online time that consumers may not even clearly associate with ‘the Internet’. On a PC, by contrast, people open browsers to access social media, email, and a variety of other sites; but their interest in going beyond a familiar repertoire of activities, even on the PC, seems to be dwindling,” said Robert DeFelice, vice president for media at GfK.

GfK interviewed 2,616 people aged 13 to 64 who it claims make up a statistically projectable sample of the U.S. population.