A new study from Experian, which tracked usage on fixed line connections, shows that Australians spend an average of 14 minutes out of every hour on social networking, which is down from 16 minutes last year. The United States and United Kingdom have also seen a decrease.
In comparison, nine minutes are spent on entertainment, four minutes on shopping, and just one minute on email. The rest is spent on topics such as business, lifestyle and travel.
Some commentators have responded saying this indicates a slowdown in social media use but that is far from the truth.
Experian’s general manager of marketing services, Matt Glasner, says the figures only apply to fixed line connections, which may show people are spending less time on social networks while on desktop computers. But it doesn’t measure the move to mobile usage.
“I don’t think social media is in decline, based on this data,” he says. “Instead, we’re seeing a shift to the way people interact with their mobiles.”
Meanwhile new data from Hitwise Mobile indicates that news consumption is up 51% on mobile devices than on fixed line connections.
“…the key message here is that consumer behaviour is changing, and what we’re starting to see is the continued rise of the mobile world,” says Glasner.
These latest figures reinforce how important it is now for businesses to consider how they develop their online and social media strategies. Seeing that consumers are spending more time on their mobiles instead of desktop computers, businesses must reconsider how people are accessing their information.
For example, if a business posts a link on Twitter, that link should be optimised for a mobile site rather than just a desktop. Otherwise, then fewer people will read it due to the poor format experience. A lack of mobile optimisation means the users is also less likely to go through a payment process.
Here at Sticky we are strongly encouraging clients to ensure that they are taking mobile devices into account. There are several approaches to consider; a mobile optimised site or a dedicated mobile version of your site. Needs will vary depending on the nature of the business.