The weather has always been a pervasive preoccupation — both in face-to-face exchanges and in our use of media. This is as true of mobile and interactive media, as TV weather forecasts that
have spawn whole networks based around our obsession with weather in all its forms.
Which may explain why The Weather Channel App is apparently the second-most-downloaded after "Angry Birds," per a USA TouchPoints analysis that examines the social settings from which users access weather apps and Web sites.
Looking across the computer, the mobile phone and the tablet, three dominant social settings for use of Web sites or apps are Alone, With Partner/Spouse and With My Children.
While Alone dominates in every case with the single
exception of the tablet (where it is the second place social setting to With Partner/Spouse by just 3%), the tablet is — overall — the most “family-friendly” of media examined
in terms of who users are with. While this does not automatically signify co-use in the way that co-viewing of a TV program would, it is suggestive of an environment in which messages intended to
influence decisions made by more than one member of the family may have more effect.
The high incidence of tablet use for accessing weather Web sites and apps while in the presence of users’ Partner/Spouse as well as their children also suggests a higher degree of use in the home than some of the other media examined. It is notable that the tablet is used less Alone than either the Mobile Phone or the Computer for accessing the same content.
The combination of the high incidence of use Alone (61%) and while With Co-Workers (26%) is suggestive (though not exclusively) of the computer’s dominance in the workplace. Advertisers seeking to influence lunchtime, end-of-day and B2B decisions may be best served in this context.
It is the Mobile Phone App however, that appears to be most prominently consistent Anytime, Anywhere means of accessing weather information — most likely reflecting our continuing obsession to know about the weather conditions regardless of where we are and who we are with.
Although seldom dominant in terms of social settings, this may change as smartphone penetration continues to increase and
weather apps are either ready-loaded with new phones or are downloaded as a perceived necessity.