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Americans Get Social on Their Phones

One-quarter of Americans will use mobile social networks this year

Social networking, aided by the widespread adoption of smartphones in the US, is quickly making the jump to mobile, according to eMarketer estimates.

By the end of this year, nearly 82 million US mobile users will use a social networking site on their phone at least monthly, or more than a quarter of the total US population. The vast majority of these users (95.5%) will be checking social sites on a smartphone, and smartphone users are about twice as likely as overall mobile phone users to do so this year. By 2014, eMarketer estimates, nearly half of the total US mobile population will be mobile social networkers.

Unsurprisingly, most of these mobile social networkers are hitting up Facebook on their phones. Nearly 70 million people will access Facebook from their phones each month this year, or 85.4% of the overall mobile social networking population. That share will rise to 87.4% by 2014, when about four in 10 mobile users and nearly two-thirds of smartphone users will check Facebook on mobile devices.

Growth in mobile social networking is slowing, from 50% in 2011 to 40% this year. By 2014, the number of mobile social networkers will increase by just 18%—still in the healthy double digits. Mobile Facebook usage will have a similar growth trajectory.

eMarketer forms its estimates of mobile social networking and Facebook penetration based on the analysis of survey and traffic data from research firms and regulatory agencies, historical trends, company-specific data, and demographic and socioeconomic factors.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Android Grabs Ever-Greater Share of Smartphone Market” and “UK Smart Device Adoption and Mobile Ad Spending Soar in Olympic Year.”

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