Social Media Dominates Smartphone, Tablet Usage

Social media accounts for roughly a third of the time Americans spend on smartphones, and also accounts for a good chunk of their tablet time, according to Nielsen’s latest “Cross Platform Report,” based on data drawn from a panel of 5,000 smartphone owners and 1,300 iPad owners in March of this year.


Overall, smartphone users spent nine hours and six minutes per month using social-media apps, Nielsen found, while iPad users spent three hours and 41 minutes per month on social-media apps. Those figures represent about one third of all time spent on smartphone apps, and 30% of time spent on iPad apps, respectively.


By comparison, smartphone and iPad users don’t spend nearly as much time watching video on their mobile devices: streaming video account for just one hour and fifteen minutes of smartphone app usage per month, and one hour and 48 minutes of iPad usage per month.


Apps remain the most popular means of accessing content for smartphone and iPad owners, although iPad owners are more likely to use the mobile Web. Smartphone owners spent 87% of their time interacting with their devices on apps, and just 13% on the mobile Web, while iPad owners spent 76% of their time on apps, and 24% on the mobile Web.


Traditional TV watching still dwarfs iPad and smartphone usage, however: according to Nielsen, the average American watched 157 hours and 32 minutes of traditional TV (not including DVR playback) in the first quarter of 2013.

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