Here are all of the posts tagged ‘mobile’.
The number of unique mobile phone users around the world has just passed 50% of the world’s total population.
The usage figures – provided by GSMA Intelligence – suggest that 100 million more people started using a mobile device since April of this year.
To put those figures in context, that’s more than 750,000 new mobile users every day – or 9 new users every second.
Changing Usage Patterns
Meanwhile, the average mobile user still maintains roughly 2 active contracts per phone, with the total number of active mobile connections almost equal to the number of people living on earth.
The average of 1.97 connections per user indicates a slight drop since April though, when the figure was 1.99.
This fall may in part be fuelled by an increasing move to smartphones; as more people gain access to mobile data plans and start to use ‘chat apps’ like WhatsApp and WeChat, the need to maintain multiple mobile contracts across different networks in order to benefit from cost efficiencies will diminish:
On that note, it’s worth noting that smartphone adoption is continuing apace; Ericsson reports that more than one-third of all active mobile contracts now run on smartphones, while smart devices accounted for 65% of the 300 million new handset sold between April and June of this year.
Critically, this 300 million figure – when compared to the growth in overall mobile users outlined above – suggests that many existing mobile users are upgrading to smart devices.
However, more than 4.6 billion mobile connections around the world still run on more basic, ‘feature phone’ handsets.
Connecting On The Go
Despite the continued dominance of feature phones though, the use of data-powered services is becoming more widespread: in the past quarter, Ericsson report that mobile broadband subscriptions exceeded 2.4 billion, while more than 1.5 billion social media users around the world accessed their accounts via mobile devices in the past 30 days:
For more data on Mobile, Social and Digital usage, see our full range of free reports.
Continuing our series of reports into the Social, Digital and Mobile landscapes of countries around the world, today we’re pleased to share the latest numbers for India.
You may find it useful to put these numbers into context by comparing them to those for other Asian countries in our APAC report, where you’ll also be able to compare today’s stats to India’s January 2014 data.
India’s digital landscape is evolving fast, but overall penetration remains low in the world’s second most populous country, with fewer than 1 in 5 Indians using the Internet in July 2014.
Internet use appears to be accelerating though, with the latest figures indicating 30 million new users since January alone – an increase of 14% in just 6 months.
Social media use is also growing, with Facebook alone adding 16 million new users since January – that’s roughly one new user every second.
The picture for mobile is a little more complex though, with the latest data suggesting a drop in the total number of active subscriptions.
However, this is likely due to SIM consolidation; the average Indian mobile user currently manages 2.5 active connections (SIMs), but as people increasingly switch to smartphones with data plans that enable more cost-effective communication between different mobile networks, it’s likely that people will ‘drop’ some of these secondary (and tertiary) subscriptions.
The top story in this report is the dominance of mobile connectivity in India.
70% of internet page views in India originate from mobile devices, while 87% of all Facebook users access the platform through mobile:
Crucially, it’s this mobile connectivity that’s driving India’s digital growth, and the majority of new internet users access exclusively through mobile.
However, connection speeds remain disappointingly slow in India, with Akamai stating that the country has the slowest internet in Asia. Average connection speeds in India are a paltry 1.7Mbps. Broadband connections (i.e. connections of 4 Mbps or higher) are still relatively scarce, and account for less than 5% of all internet connections. Connections of 10Mbps or more are limited to just 0.7% of all users.
Despite these slow speeds, however, Internet users in India spend almost 5 hours on the net every day, with 40% of that time spent on social media:
Despite being Facebook’s second largest market worldwide, social media penetration in India remains at just 8%.
As with overall internet use, mobile drives social media usage, with almost 9 in 10 Facebook users accessing the platform via mobile:
It’s worth noting that 30 million people in India access Facebook through a feature phone (i.e. non-’smartphone’ devices).
66 million people access Facebook via smartphones, with 60 million of these – 91% – accessing via Android handsets. 4.6 million access via iOS (i.e. Apple devices), while Windows OS accounts for 3.6 million users:
These numbers suggest that at least 1.5 million Indian user accounts access Facebook via multiple mobile operating systems, indicating that multiple SIM usage occurs even amongst smartphone owners. Meanwhile, around 4 million users access Facebook across both feature phones and smartphone devices.
Samsung claims the lion’s share of Facebook mobile users, with 32 million users accessing the platform via one of the Korean manufacturer’s devices. Nearly 18 million Indian users access Facebook via Nokia devices.
Critically, our research suggests that much of this mobile social activity takes place in browsers rather than via native apps – an important point to note for marketers when planning their social content strategies.
Google+ appears to be India’s second most popular social platform, with 35% of internet users claiming to have signed in at least once in the past 30 days.
Twitter and LinkedIn follow, while Orkut still appears in India’s top 5 platforms (this will change by September, however, when Google shutters its original social network):
There are just short of 350 million unique mobile users in India, with each user maintaining an average of 2.54 active connections:
Smartphones are driving the new handset market, although feature phones still dominate everyday usage.
Moreover, almost all mobile contracts in India are ‘pay-as-you-go’ (i.e. pre-paid), and fewer than 10% of users have access to 3G networks:
Despite this, 95% of smartphone users are searching for local information via their portable devices, and 54% claim to have made a purchase via mobile:
Entertainment and social media lead activities on smartphones, with video particularly popular. However, it’s worth noting that most video viewing on mobile devices in India is driven by memory card transfer, rather than via internet streaming:
It’s been a few months since our Europe report, but today we’re delighted to announce the publication of the latest in our series of studies on the Social, Digital and Mobile landscapes from around the world.
This new report explores 30 countries across North, Central, and South America and The Caribbean, and contains more than 230 slides with all the key statistics, data and behavioural indicators you need to understand The Americas’ digital landscapes.
Here are some of the highlights:
As always, we begin the report with a fresh look at the key global statistics:
It’s worth noting that we’ve changed our data source for Internet users, so there has been a marked changed in the figures reported for this area since our Europe report.
In terms of material changes, there have been some changes in the global social media platform rankings though, with Tencent’s WeChat passing Google+ to take the number 5 spot:
Brands belonging to China’s Tencent now account for three of the top five social media platforms in the world, with Qzone, QQ and WeChat all recording growth in monthly active user (MAU) numbers in the company’s most recent quarterly results.
Facebook showed more modest relative growth since our last report, but still recorded 50 million new active users since February.
Google+’s reported active user numbers grew roughly 14% in the same period, up from 300 million, while LinkedIn posted 16% growth in MAUs.
However, the big growth story is WeChat, which posted 46% growth – almost 125 million new MAUs – since our last update. By comparison, Whatsapp grew just over 11% in the same period, adding 50 million new active users.
It’s also worth noting that more than 200 million people around the world now use Facebook’s standalone Messenger platform, but this does not bring it into the top 10 rankings (yet).
Added together, the populations of The Americas are approaching 1 billion, accounting for 13% of the world’s total population.
The region claims a disproportionate share of the world’s users across all digital areas though, with social media showing particular strength in the region:
Mobile social figures in the region are even stronger still, with one-quarter of all global mobile social media users calling The Americas home.
The Internet in The Americas
There are more than 600 million users across The Americas – 63% of the region’s population – with 60% of these users living in North America:
Internet penetration varies considerably across the region though, from 95% in Canada down to just 12% in Haiti:
Mobile internet usage is growing throughout The Americas too, although mobile’s share of total web traffic varies considerably:
Note that the chart above is based on the share of total web traffic – i.e. page views – as opposed to the number of actual internet users.
Social Media in The Americas
Facebook dominates social media across The Americas, with more than 460 million monthly active users.
As with internet use, though, social media penetration levels vary considerably by country, from 61% in Chile down to just 7% in Haiti:
Note that Facebook does not report user numbers for Cuba.
It’s worth highlighting that the figures for social media penetration in individual countries will often exceed those for internet penetration, especially in fast-evolving markets. There may be a number of reasons for this:
- Social media stats are almost always more up to date than those for internet usage, largely because they are collected by commercial entities on an on-going basis and published at least quarterly to help with advertising sales. In Facebook’s case, the monthly active user figures are available in almost real-time.
- Many reports on internet usage and penetration omit mobile internet usage, meaning many mobile-only users aren’t included in the internet user figures (partly because they’re more difficult to identify). However, in many emerging markets, mobile-only use can account for a significant proportion of internet users (even if slow speeds mean they account for a relatively low share of the overall web traffic). In contrast, people accessing social media through mobile devices will be counted in social media user figures, meaning that social media numbers are often a more accurate indication of actual internet use and penetration in these markets.
- On the other hand, some people may have multiple social media accounts on the same platform, leading to a slight inflation of social media users, although we don’t anticipate this is the main cause for the difference between internet and social media usage numbers.
Mobile social media use is common amongst social networkers throughout The Americas, with more than 80% of social media users logging in via mobile devices:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, penetration levels for mobile social follow similar patterns to those of general social media use, although there are some variations between individual countries:
These numbers are particularly interesting when compared to penetration levels for 3G mobile access, which you’ll find below.
Mobile in The Americas
There are just over 600 million unique mobile users in The Americas, with each user maintaining an average of 1.77 active subscriptions, resulting in more than 1 billion active mobile connections across the region:
Behaviour again varies between individual countries though, with Chile, Argentina, and Brazil all home to subscription rates well in excess their populations:
Mobile subscriptions aren’t all made the same though, and there are some significant differences between individual countries when it comes to pre- and post-paid contracts:
Similarly, access to faster 3G networks isn’t evenly distributed across the region, ranging from a high of 55% in the United States to barely 0.0005% in Cuba:
As a result, access to an affordable, rich mobile internet experience remains elusive for many people across Central and South America, and marketers will need to craft content and distribution plans accordingly.
In addition to the regional overview, the report also features regional breakdowns for North, Central, and South America, as well as The Caribbean:
In addition to these regional snapshots, our Americas report contains detailed reports on 30 countries across The Americas:
To whet your appetite, here are the slides for Brazil:
You can read We Are Social’s full Americas report here. You’ll also find the rest of our Social, Digital and Mobile reports here. If you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any of our future reports, why not sign up for our regular newsletter by clicking here?
We’d like to thank the lovely folks at GlobalWebIndex for allowing us to use their data again in this report.
The astonishing growth of all things digital continues to gather pace around the world, as We Are Social’s new Social, Digital & Mobile Worldwide report on the key social, digital and mobile stats from around the world demonstrates.
It should come as little surprise that much of this growth is being fuelled by connected mobile devices, but this year’s data do reveal some interesting trends and anomalies, especially in relation to Japan and Korea.
You’ll find the complete story in the SlideShare deck above, but we’ve pulled out some of the highlights below.
Adding up all the users in individual countries around the world, there appear to be around 2.5 billion global internet users today – roughly 35% of the world’s population:
While this represents around 150 million more users than this time last year, these numbers may still be conservative. Reliable, recent data for some countries remains patchy, but the International Communications Union estimates that there are probably closer to 3 billion global internet users, with most of the difference made up by mobile-only connections.
Users are still not distributed evenly either, with some parts of the world still struggling to reach double-digit internet penetration. In particular, Africa, Central and Southern Asia all report relatively low numbers, although it’s worth highlighting that mobile internet users may contribute a significant – yet uncounted – increase in these areas.
With reference to the continued growth in internet penetration, it seems clear that mobile connections will account for the vast majority of new sign-ups in the coming months. As the chart below highlights, the distribution of mobile penetration matches much more closely to the distribution of the world’s population, meaning most people around the world now have a realistic opportunity to access the internet:
The cost of mobile data clearly remains a barrier in much of the remaining world, but as costs continue to fall, and as the benefits continue to increase, it’s likely we’ll see more and more people in the developing world putting increased importance on reliable internet access.
Social channels continued to show strong growth over the past 12 months, with top social networks adding more than 135 million new users in the course of 2013.
This number is slightly misrepresentative of actual growth though, as we’ve decided to focus solely on monthly active user figures to report social media usage in this year’s report. As a result, some numbers may appear lower than they did this time last year (when we used total registered user numbers for some platforms), while the actual growth in active usage may appear smaller than it really was.
Due to the different usage contexts, associated behaviours and opportunities for brands, we’ve also chosen to treat chat apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat separately to social networks in this year’s report.
However, these platforms continue to capture significant interest from users and marketers alike, a trend reflected in their huge active user bases:
It also appears that social media is now an engrained part of the lives of people across different demographic groups. This increased ubiquity may result in some changes to the specific demographic bases of individual platforms, but even if people’s habits are changing, it appears that people are moving from one social platform to another, rather than deserting social media in its entirety.
Despite this increasing ubiquity, though, social media penetration remains unevenly distributed around the world:
As might be expected, mobile is playing an increasingly important part in the social media landscape. Facebook reports that almost three quarters of its 1.2 billion monthly active users around the world access the platform through mobile, while on any given day, almost half of its users are mobile only.
The importance of mobile is mirrored across other platforms too, with Twitter increasingly a mobile-dominated platform, and platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram depending entirely on a mobile ecosystem.
Given the above, most marketers have now accepted that mobile devices are people’s most important devices, but the opportunities they offer continue to evolve at a staggering pace.
Connected mobile devices have already outpaced more traditional means of internet access such as laptops and PCs, while smartphone sales now outnumber those of feature phones around the world too.
The number of mobile subscriptions jumped by 173 million in 2013, and the number of active mobile subscriptions around the world now equates to roughly 93% of the world’s population.
Penetration rates are more healthy all over the world too, with two-thirds of Africa’s population now mobile powered. Meanwhile, many regions – including those in the developing world – have penetration levels far in excess of 100%:
Mobile broadband access has exploded around the world in recent months too, and 1.5 billion people now have access to relatively fast internet from their mobile devices:
A Regional View
While the picture in many Western countries has converged, there are a number of areas around the world that maintain their idiosyncrasies. In particular, China and Eastern Europe continue to prefer local social networks, while Africa, Central and South Asia are considerably under-represented when it comes to internet penetration:
The world’s most populous region saw another strong year of growth across all things digital in 2013.
China’s social media giants continue to post strong growth, whether it’s active users on Qzone, or the incredible growth of Weixin (WeChat).
However, both Japan and South Korea have seen some fragmentation of the social media landscape, with chat apps like LINE and Kakaotalk continuing to gain momentum. Neither company releases monthly active user numbers though, so it’s hard to know exactly how these platforms compare to the more traditional networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Interestingly, however, ‘claimed’ usage of social media in both countries differs dramatically from the picture painted by Facebook’s monthly active user numbers, suggesting that Northeast Asia’s netizens may be harnessing a wider variety of platforms.
Facebook continues to lead Twitter in both countries though, and appears to maintain its top spot almost everywhere.
China and countries in Eastern Europe host the few exceptions to Facebook’s global dominance, with Qzone and VKontakte claiming the top spots in a handful of nations.
However, with more than 1 billion monthly active users, it’s safe to say that Facebook will continue to play a central role in the social media landscape in 2014 too.
The Local Picture
We’ve gone into an extra level of detail in this year’s report too, offering insights into the local digital ecosystem across 24 of the world’s biggest economies:
Alongside offering the key digital indicators, we’ve also collated some key behavioural indicators, including time spent on the internet and on social media, as well as the prevalence of important activities on connected mobile devices.
You’ll find all the facts and figures for each country in the complete 180+ page report on SlideShare (as embedded at the top of this post).
Social Brands Part 4: On The Go Is The Way To Go
It’s official: mobile is literally everywhere. Google tells us that more people around the world now own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush, while the UN just revealed that more people have access to mobile phones than toilets.
Here’s how things break down by geography:
However, despite the cellphone’s ubiquity, a recent WARC study revealed that barely 39% of brand advertisers in APAC consider mobile to be ‘very important’ to their current marketing plans, and a scant 29% actually have a mobile strategy.
So why aren’t marketers’ plans in tune with their audience’s existing behaviour?
In other words, it’s highly likely that, around the world, more people now use mobile phones than watch TV:
That’s a huge shift. Moreover, global cellphone adoption is still growing at a rate of 140 million new subscriptions per quarter.
Of course, many people around the world still rely on more basic ‘feature’ phones, but these devices still provide a level of intimacy that TV can’t match.
What’s more, the shift to internet-connected smartphone devices continues to accelerate with each month that passes, with global mobile data usage currently increasing at close to 30% per quarter:
Out of Sync
Perhaps more tellingly, people are more emotionally connected to their phones too: as we highlighted in our recent report on the country, 70% of people in China – the world’s largest consumer market – said that they “can’t live without” their cellphones.
People used to say the same of TV, but ironically, many people now use their mobile internet connections to download ‘TV’ content to watch on their mobile phones (sans adverts).
TV clearly still has a vital role to play in the marketing mix of course, and this isn’t about replacing one medium with another. Indeed, mobile has a big part to play in the continuing evolution of TV by enabling and driving phenomena like second screening and transmedia storytelling.
But in a world where brands can reach more of their consumers, more of the time, in more contextually relevant and intimate ways through mobile than through TV, marketers must spend more time – and more of their budgets – exploring how mobile can help them engage audiences and reach their objectives.
If Your Marketing Isn’t Mobile, It Isn’t Going Anywhere
Mobile offers a very different kind of audience experience to TV.
The latter is still largely a communal device; a centre piece that takes pride of place in the heart of our living rooms.
However, mobile is more personal; its primary purpose has always been to connect us with other people, rather than simply delivering passive entertainment.
Critically, people have more control over what they do on their phones.
They decide which activities they participate in, what content they consume, and where and when they do so:
Because of their size and increasing flexibility, mobiles have also become many people’s most important devices.
To put things in perspective, a recent survey found that 1 in 3 American smartphone owners would even give up sex before giving up their phones.
And with more and more of our activities shifting to mobile devices, this intimacy for mobile seems set to continue.
But, perhaps because of this heightened sense of device intimacy, people don’t welcome interruptions on their phones.
As with so many of today’s big marketing opportunities, interruptive, broadcast approaches simply aren’t the best use of the medium.
Social by Design
Critically, mobile phones started life as truly ‘social media’ – they were always intended to be a means of connecting people.
However, as they’ve evolved from voice-and-text handsets into today’s multi-purpose connected devices, the scope of the social interaction they offer has increased dramatically, to the extent that telephony has dropped way down the list of activities people use their ‘phones’ for.
Meanwhile, the importance of social networking on mobile devices continues to grow.
Smartphone users check Facebook an average of 14 times every day, and American smartphone users spent 40.8 billion minutes on social media mobile apps in July 2012. On an annualised basis, that’s close to 1 million years of human time spent on mobile social activities in the US alone.
Meanwhile, another recent survey from J. D. Power found that, across all age groups, American smartphone users spend an average of almost 2 hours per week using social media apps.
comScore now reckons that 55% of all social media activity in the US takes place on a mobile device.
These trends aren’t unique to the US though, and based on our recent round of SDMW research, mobile’s share of social activities around Asia is likely to be even higher.
More importantly, with the increasing role of mobile instant messaging apps (MIMAs) like WeChat, Line, and Kakaotalk, mobile social’s share of our attention is only set to increase.
Mobile doesn’t just offer new opportunities to drive attention and engagement though; it is increasingly becoming a key channel for conversions too:
Here again, the role of mobile social comes to the fore, with around half of Facebook’s users checking the site while in stores.
As a result, within the next few years, marketing strategies that don’t come to life on mobile devices will never come to life at all.
That shift requires a significant re-evaluation of the way we approach communicating with audiences too.
We won’t be able to rely on interruption anymore, and as we saw in the previous post in this series, marketers will need to get much savvier at adding value instead of finding more efficient ways of distracting people.
Consequently, it’s imperative that marketers explore mobile-social synergies, and build contextual engagement into the core of their engagement strategies.
So how do marketers make better use of mobile apps?
First up, the answer doesn’t have to be about building native apps.
Indeed, even when native apps are available, people don’t always use them; as Mark Zuckerberg revealed recently, “there are actually more people in the world using Facebook on mobile Web” than using the iOS and Android native apps combined.
The real trick is understanding why people use mobile devices – what are the specific wants, needs and desires driving their behaviour?
The best mobile marketing embodies a few simple principles:
- Deliver something of value, whether it’s utility, entertainment, or social interaction;
- Take advantage of context, using mobile devices’ portability to offer different experiences depending on where and when people engage;
- Keep things streamlined, with content that’s easily accessible and suitable across a range of different devices and connection speeds;
- Build in device portability, allowing people to continue their experience across phones, tablets and computers if they choose to, especially when sharing things with other people;
- Harness layers of detail, allowing people to enjoy a rewarding experience whether they’ve got just 30 seconds on their work break, or 30 minutes on the bus home.
Stay In Touch
Lastly, don’t forget that mobile is still primarily a social channel – a reality that presents a huge opportunity.
Social media experiences will increasingly come to life on the go, and here at We Are Social, we’re already planning on the basis that mobile and social should be seamlessly integrated to provide the best possible social experiences, wherever and whenever the audience wants to engage.