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Smartphones Help Drive Users to Facebook

Facebook app users check newsfeed, games most often

For those who like to stay abreast of their social networks, the marriage of social and mobile gives them instant, everywhere access. And data from a March 2013 survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) on behalf of Facebook found that US smartphone users between ages 18 to 44 were taking full advantage by using the devices from the early morning until the end of day.

Smartphones have so quickly embedded themselves in the lives of their users that 62% of all respondents said they reached for their device immediately after waking up, while 79% did so within 15 minutes of rising. Those figures were even higher for the 18-to-24-year-old demographic: 74% picked up the smartphone first thing after waking up, and 89% did so within 15 minutes of rising.

For those smartphone users who the study found turned to Facebook on their devices, most of their time on the network was spent checking their newsfeed (16.4 minutes on average per day). The next most popular activities were Facebook messaging (9.5 minutes) and then updating a status message or posting a photo (6.6 minutes). Average time spent accessing Facebook via mobile came out to just over half an hour per day.

For those logging on to Facebook several times a day, checking the newsfeed was the most popular activity, performed by 63% of respondents. The next most frequent activity was playing games, popular among 52% of respondents, and the same percentage regularly checked for apps they could use. Interestingly, respondents were more likely to seek out games or apps than they were to interact with friends or comment on pictures or updates, indicating that not all behavior on a social network is necessarily, well, social.

Some of the shine has certainly come off of Facebook since its disappointing IPO last year. But eMarketer estimates that the network will enjoy a penetration rate of 60.3% of US internet users by the end of the year, a figure equal to 146.8 million users. Further, eMarketer estimates that there will be nearly 100 million US mobile social network users this year, or two out of five mobile users, and a significant percentage will be Facebook users.


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