Smartphones beat computers for Facebookers time on site

A new study shows that the social-networking king also reigns in the mobile space, and its users are spending more and more time on the site via their cell phones.

by Dara Kerr

Smartphones users are spending a lot of time browsing social networks on their phones and Facebook seems to be their network of choice.

A new study released today by digital research company ComScore shows that the average U.S. Facebook mobile user spent more than seven hours perusing the site via cell phone in March and around six hours via the computer.

“Social networking proved to be a particularly popular activity on smartphones with several brands demonstrating exceptionally high engagement, in some cases higher than the corresponding time spent by users via traditional Web access,” ComScore’s report says.

In December 2011, Facebook said that more than 425 million monthly active users accessed Facebook on a mobile device. This is roughly half of all of Facebook’s monthly active users. And, over the past year, Facebook executives have noted the increasing importance of mobile for the company’s growth, launching an initiative to get its app on all mobile devices, including smartphones, feature phones, and the Apple iPad.

Other social networks also did well via mobile. Twitter users spent an average of almost two hours browsing on their phones for the month of March and just 20 minutes on the computer. Pinterest users spent an hour on the phone, Foursquare users spent 2.5 hours, and Tumblr readers browsed for a little over an hour.

Using a new mobile behavioral measurement service called Mobile Metrix 2.0, ComScore was able to collect this data. This service combines on-device measurement with census-level data to figure out U.S. mobile media usage via apps and mobile browsing.

Other notable conclusions from ComScore’s study:

  • Among smartphone users age 18 and older accessing from iOS, Android, and RIM smartphones, Google ranked top with nearly 94 million unique visitors, representing 96.9 percent of the mobile audience. Facebook ranked second with 78 million visitors and was followed by Yahoo with 66.2 million visitors.
  • The top apps were different for iOS versus Android users. System apps topped the list for both iOS and Android, with Apple iTunes reaching nearly the entire iPhone app audience in March while 93.2 percent of Android users visited the Android app market. Google Search ranked as the second largest app by Android audience size reaching 44.9 million users. Google Maps led as the top map app on both platforms reaching 91.2 percent of iPhone users and 74.5 percent of Android users.



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