Social Media Dominates Smartphone Internet Time, Accounting for Almost One-Third of Minutes

  Social Media Dominates Smartphone Internet Time, Accounting for Almost
  One-Third of Minutes

New GfK analysis identifies key differences in online behavior by device, plus
past-year trends

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- December 17, 2012

As consumers increasingly rely on smartphones as a major source of Internet
access, a new GfK analysis shows that social media represents by far the
largest share of online time via these devices. Social sites and activities
account for almost one-third (31%) of smartphone online minutes – double the
proportion for email, which ranks second at 16%.

The analysis also points out differences in online activities when using PCs
(laptops and desktop computers) versus smartphones. Social media represents
only 18% of time spent on the Internet via PCs – the same percentage as email,
and only slightly higher than online video (13%) and search (11%).

Phones now account for 17% of total time spent with the Internet across all
devices, compared to 12% in 2011, according to research from GfK’s MultiMedia
Mentor®. Desktop and laptop computers, by contrast, have dropped off
considerably, representing 73% of Internet time, compared to 83% a year ago.
Tablets account for 6% of online time – double the 2011 figure of 3%; and
Internet TVs also doubled, from 2% of online time in 2011 to 4% this year.

Trend data show that the purposeful Internet use encouraged by smartphone apps
– checking social sites and email – may be affecting how consumers approach
online time via PCs, as well. The percent of time devoted to uncategorized
“Other” Internet activities on PCs has dropped by almost half in just a year,
from 37% in 2011 to 20% in 2012. Meanwhile, time spent accessing online video
via PCs has essentially doubled, from a 7% share to 13%, and time with social
media and email also grew.

“Reading in-the-moment status updates and posting short comments, replies and
likes are activities tailor-made for smartphones,” said Robert DeFelice, Vice
President on GfK’s Media team. “Apps encourage a targeted, deliberate approach
to online time that consumers may not even clearly associate with ‘the
Internet’. On a PC, by contrast, people open browsers to access social media,
email, and a variety of other sites; but their interest in going beyond a
familiar repertoire of activities, even on the PC, seems to be dwindling.”

The new findings from MultiMedia Mentor® -- which tracks use of eight major
media – are based on interviews with 2,616 members of KnowledgePanel®, the
only commercially available online panel derived from a statistically
projectable sample of the U.S. population. Interviewing for this latest wave
of Mentor data was conducted between February and July 2012 with panel members
ages 13 to 64.

In addition to time spent with media, the MultiMedia Mentor research captures
hundreds of consumer characteristics, including use of product categories.
Clients have on-demand, online access to Mentor findings through exclusive
reporting and optimization software.

To learn more about MultiMedia Mentor®, contact DeFelice at

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 11,500
experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and
shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using
the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the
clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their
customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion. To find out
more, visit www.gfk.comor follow GfK on Twitter:

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GfK Marketing and Communications, Consumer Experiences North America
David Stanton, +1-908-875-9844
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