Smartphones and Tablets have Doubled Our Time Spent Online

screenjumpersWhat a difference a few years makes.

Back in February 2010, Americans over the age of 18 spent a total of ~451 billion minutes’ time on the Internet, according to comScore’s Media Metrix research.

By comparison, in February 2013, the total time spent online had nearly doubled to ~890 minutes.

The vast majority of the increase is attributable to tablet computers and smartphones rather than PCs:

  • PC minutes rose from ~388 billion to ~467 billion (+24%).
  • Smartphone minutes grew from ~63 billion to a whopping ~208 billion (+230%).
  • Tablet minutes grew from zero to 115 billion (tablets didn’t exist in 2010).

In fact, taken together, smartphones and tablets now account for nearly 60% of the time online spent by people age 18 to 24.  On the other hand, smartphones account for a relatively small 25% of time spent online by Americans age 50 or older.

This age divide is also clearly evident in comScore’s estimated breakdown of platform adoption:

All American Adults

  • PC only:  ~30%
  • “Screen jumpers” (PC + mobile):  ~63%
  • Mobile platforms only:  ~7%

Young Adults (age 18-24)

  • PC only:  ~22%
  • Screen jumpers:  ~65%
  • Mobile only:  ~13%

Older Adults (age 50+)

  • PC only:  ~48%
  • Screen jumpers:  ~51%
  • Mobile only:  ~1%

The comScore analysis also provides some interesting stats pertaining to online share of minutes by the type of content being accessed.

Most online time spent on PCs:

  • Business/Finance (~68%)
  • TV (~68%)
  • News/Information (~62%)
  • Sports (~62%)
  • Retail (~49%)
  • Health (~54%)

Most online time spent on smartphones:

  • Radio (~77%)
  • Social Media (~58%)
  • Weather (~55%)
  • Games (~48%)

Tablets don’t lead in any single category, but score particularly well in these two:

  • Games (~34% of time online is spent on tablets)
  • TV (~20% of time online is spent on tablets)

More details and insights from the comScore report can be found here.

2 thoughts on “Smartphones and Tablets have Doubled Our Time Spent Online

  1. I don’t like being in the “Older Adults” category. I’d rather think of myself as a “Forever Young Adult” in contrast to those “Younger Adults.”

    Platform adoption for “Older Adults” could be something like this:

    – Desktop or cordless land line telephone (~80%)
    – Typewriter and postal delivery (~60%)
    – Fax (~40%)
    – Wire/teletype (~5%)

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