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UK internet users spent almost a quarter of their desktop internet time in 2012—22%—using social media sites, according to data from Experian Marketing Services. That proportion was lower than in either the US, at 27%, or Australia, at 24%. In addition, time spent on social shrunk between 2011 and 2012 by 3 percentage points. Conversely, the proportion of time UK internet users spent on entertainment grew, from 13% in 2011 to 15% in 2012.
Even as social is drawing a lesser share of desktop web activity, that does not mean social networkers are turning away from the sites. Instead, many are visiting the sites on mobile.
eMarketer forecasts mobile social media use to grow strongly, with the number of people using social networks on their smartphones increasing by 50% to 30.7 million between 2013 and 2017, or 46.6% of the population.
Still, even as mobile social use is becoming more common, there is plenty of competition for smartphone users’ mobile content activity time. Consumers seem likely to further increase the amount of news, shopping and entertainment they consume on their mobile devices, particularly as new 4G services come into play in the UK, allowing for improved performance across a variety of mobile internet activities.
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