Mobile Meets Social Across Demographics - eMarketer

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Mobile Meets Social Across Demographics

Rates of smartphone vs. PC usage the same regardless of demo group

December 5, 2013

Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have quickly built significant mobile revenue streams—on the basis of significant mobile user populations. And research from GlobalWebIndex suggests that social networks have become a mobile proposition for internet users across demographics.

Research from Q2 2013 indicated that among millennials, rates of smartphone and PC usage of social networks were identical. Gen Xers, meanwhile, were just slightly less likely to use a smartphone for social networking than to use a PC.

Rates of smartphone- and PC-based social networking were also largely unaffected by race or ethnicity, income, or status as a mother, father or college student. While overall rates of social networking across these populations varied, choosing to do so via a PC or smartphone did not.

Demographic Profile of US Internet Users Who Have Used a Social Network Service, by Device, Q2 2013 (% of respondents in each group)

Tablets were another story: rates of social networking via tablet dropped off relatively sharply for every group except the highest income category. This is likely based on rates of tablet ownership, which are still lower than smartphone ownership, and the fact that more affluent respondents are overall more likely to own one of the devices.

eMarketer estimates nearly 100 million US internet users will log on to social networking sites via smartphones at least once per month this year.

US Smartphone Social Network Users, 2011-2017

A substantially lower 79.4 million will use tablets to access social networks this year, up 52.0% from 2012 levels to reach 62.0% of tablet users and 48.6% of all social network users in the country. By 2017, eMarketer estimates, two-thirds of social networkers will visit the services via their tablets.


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