Users of smaller screens are more likely to be engaged in content consumption than content creation, but are more likely to share content to social networks, according to a study of mobile device usage released this week by Onswipe, a company that helps Web publishers optimize for mobile devices.
Onswipe surveyed users of its products, all of which feature buttons that allow users to share content to email, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
The usage patterns depict tablets as “leisure devices,” on which users spend more time on social networks, according to Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste.
“They’re probably in more of a social, sharing-type mindset” than they are at work, he explained.
With Internet sessions more than 50 percent longer on tablets than on smartphone, the proliferation of tablets could be great news for social networks — at least until users begin to see them as work devices.
“As a whole, the tablets are both casual consumption devices, whereas the iPhone is truly a mobile device, where you’re waiting in line reading something,” Baptiste said.
Users are more likely to use 10-inch tablets for work, according Baptiste. For instance, users were most likely to share content via email.
Twitter draws more engagement on mini tablets than full-size tablets, but usage drops off on smartphone.
Facebook usage grows as the screen gets smaller. On smartphones, users are most likely to share to Facebook. Email follows as the second most common choice, trailed by Twitter and Pinterest.
Pinterest sharing numbers were not yet big enough to represent clear trends, Baptiste said.
The best way for social networks and publishers to drive more sharing, Baptise said, is to focus on sites that are “very image heavy” and to ensure that sharing buttons are “tappable.”