Always Connected: IDC-Facebook study highlights

In March 2013, Facebook sponsored the “Always Connected” study by IDC to showcase the relationship between smartphones and social activities. The study found that Facebook is used by 70% of Android and iPhone owners who believe smartphone connections are the new and preferred form of direct communication. These results should motivate any social marketer to engage with the growing Facebook smartphone audience.

The research was conducted via an online survey over one week in March. Over 7,400 respondents were polled, all of whom were Android or iPhone users between the ages of 18 and 44.

Major Findings from the Facebook Study:

  • Eighty percent of people polled check their smartphones first thing in the morning
  • One out of four respondents couldn’t remember the last time their phone wasn’t within their reach — or at least in the same room
  • Approximately 46% of respondents used Facebook on their smartphones while shopping, cooking or running errands

Top Mobile Social Activities: These proved to be most popular amongst smartphone users regardless of age or gender:

  • Emailing: 78%
  • Web browsing: 73%
  • Facebook: 70%
  • Checking maps/directions: 64%
  • Playing games: 60%
  • Searching: 57%
  • Sharing photos: 53%

When are people most socially active on their smartphones?

Weekdays vs Weekends: The study found that people spend twice as much time socializing via their smartphones on weekends (160 minutes per day) as compared with weekdays (80 minutes per day).

Social breeds social: People are most likely to use social applications when attending a social event. They want to share experiences when they are with friends and family – this is why you often see pictures of food that people are eating; movies they are watching, etc.

Why do People Spend so Much Time on Their Smartphones?

Results from the Facebook study bring up an important question: why are people spending so much time on their smartphones? People want to be connected, and they crave instantaneous connections with those they care about most.

Of all services available on smartphones, respondents ranked the following as the ones which make them feel most connected:

  • Text Message: 49%
  • Voice conversation: 43%
  • Facebook messaging: 40%

Researchers concluded that this is most likely because these services are direct, and require an immediate response from the other party.

The Future of Mobile and Social

In 2012 there were about 155 million smartphone users in the U.S., or 49.4% of the total population. In 2013, that number has risen to approximately 181 million, or 57.3% of the total U.S. population. According to the study’s authors, expect that number to rise to 222.4 million by 2017, or 67.8% of the total U.S. population. We can expect this trend of engagement and social connection to keep growing in the near future.

More people are likely to use their smartphones to stay connected with their immediate friends and family and – at least according to this study – Facebook is one of the most popular networks for direct one-to-one social communication with loved ones. Check out some Facebook marketing tips to help leverage this community for your business.

How often do you use the Facebook mobile application in your daily life? Share some of your experiences below.

Connie Bensen

Connie Bensen

Global Digital Marketing, Social Media and Community Executive at Dell
Connie Bensen is a leading Community Strategist who has provided resources and mentorship for Community Managers since 2007. Her definition for the Community Manager role is linked from Wikipedia and has been referenced by many organizations. She can be found presenting at leading social media conferences around the world. She has authored a series of ten white papers on the ROI of Social Media.
Connie Bensen
Connie Bensen
Connie Bensen
Tags: Business,Social Media