Social Media Consumption Figures for Key Platforms, on Computers and Smartphones

February 14, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories: Connected Device Comparisons | Digital | Mobile Phone | Social Media

Nielsen-Monthly-Time-Spent-SocNets-Feb2014Nielsen’s recently-released “Digital Consumer Report” [download page] contains a host of aggregated data from the company’s recent studies, and while most of the results have been covered elsewhere on this site, there are some interesting statistics related to social media consumption on desktops and smartphones that are worth taking a look at.The study indicates that while Facebook obviously leads, there’s heated competition behind the dominant platform. Among smartphone app users in July 2013, Instagram users were spending more time per person per month on the platform (3 hours and 40 minutes) than Twitter users (3 hours and 7 minutes). (Facebook was the easy leader, at 7 hours and 43 minutes per month). Both Instagram and Twitter were far ahead of Pinterest, which averaged out at 1 hour and 39 minutes per month among users. As for Google+? Just 11 minutes per month.

Not surprisingly, smartphone users are spending far more time on social networks via apps than browsers. Facebook was the leading network in terms of smartphone browser access (40 minutes per month among those using), followed by Twitter (11 minutes), Blogger (6 minutes), LinkedIn (4 minutes) and Pinterest (3 minutes).

The study also analyzes average consumption via computers. Interestingly, the per-person average for Facebook (6 hours and 24 minutes) was fairly close to the platform’s smartphone consumption average. That wasn’t the case for the other networks analyzed. For example, desktop users of Twitter and Pinterest averaged just 36 minutes each per month with those platforms.

As for unique audiences, Facebook led among smartphone apps with 109 million uniques, up 39% year-over-year. Instagram (35 million; +79% year-over-year) followed, ahead of Twitter (31 million; +38%), consistent with research from comScore. Nielsen’s data also indicates that Google+ had a larger smartphone app audience than Pinterest (21 million vs. 16 million), though that may well have changed by now given Pinterest’s faster growth trajectory (233% year-over-year versus 117% for Google+).

While Twitter may have a smaller smartphone application audience than Instagram, it does have a sizable following on smartphone browsers, with a unique audience totaling 56 million. Another interesting stat: Blogger (23 million) had a larger smartphone browsing audience than both LinkedIn (17 million) and Pinterest (17 million), though it was growing at a slower pace than each.

Given the fluidity in popularity of these networks, it’s quite possible that some of these rankings have since changed. But, they still are a useful reminder not only of Facebook’s continuing dominance but also of the competition behind it. Also – high audience figures don’t necessarily translate into high rates of engagement (see: Google+).

Overall, Nielsen says that 47% of smartphone owners visited social networks on a daily basis last year.

Here are some other takeaways from Nielsen’s report, with links to related coverage elsewhere on MarketingCharts:

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