Social networks were created on the premise of sharing your interests, photos, events, and recent news with groups of friends and have recently become increasingly used by mobile phone users due to the ability to update your status, to tweet and share photos instantaneously. This has changed the nature of social media sites, making them ways to share things in real time, which we would otherwise not have been able to do. This ability to update your social media profile immediately has led to increasing access of social media on smaller, portable devices over traditional desktop usage and findings have shown that smartphones and mobile devices are now the primary portal used to access services such as Twitter and Facebook. Improvements in access to 3G and 4G networks has further increased the access of social media by mobile users meaning we are even more likely to turn to using social media on a portable device.
Studies have even shown that social networking is now the most frequent activity on mobile devices and is even more common than gaming, with the average time spent on social networking apps by phone users being 24 minutes a day. In a Mobile Consumer Survey by Adobe in 2013, 71% of people were reported to use their mobile device to access social media. Research has also found that people are twice as likely to use social media on smartphones than on tablets, due to the fact that tablet users act more like they would on a desktop computer. This suggests that it is the small and portable nature of a mobile phone which is one of the main factors which leads people to use social media more as it allows them to update their profiles and statuses as events happen. For instance, mobile use of social media networks also allows people to check-in their location immediately when they are on the move so that they can inform their friends of their current plans. Access to social networks through smartphones has made this kind of communication possible, when previously real time updates on social media could not be carried out.
As the recent article on consumer behaviour and time spenton social media stated, people are increasingly using social media to alleviate boredom and as a way to entertain themselves. As young people these days constantly have their phones on them, and in the US 91% of adults have their mobile phone within an arm’s reach 24/7, it isn’t surprising that they will often access social media websites from their phones as a method of entertainment. This makes social media a good platform to connect with a wide audience of people, who will be reachable instantly through their smartphones.
The increasing use of social networking apps specifically created for mobile phones, such as Instagram has also added to the increase in use of social networks on smartphones. This has increased the ability to instantly share what you are doing online with a group of friends, but can also be a valuable tool for businesses hoping to market their own products. With people constantly sharing information over social networks, using social media could be an imaginative way to target a new audience. Take a look at our past article on ‘26 Tips for Using Instagram for Business’ to see how Instagram on mobile devices can be a great way to market your brand.
How often do you use social media on your phone? What do you do when using social media on your phone?