Mobile is becoming a prime screen for content consumption, as well as changing the way we socialize.
As we outline in our new mobile trends report, mobile is becoming a prime screen for content consumption, as well as changing the way we socialize. New data from broadband equipment provider Sandvine confirms that mobile users are spending a good deal of their time on the platform watching video and socializing.
As this chart shows, apps for video viewing now account for nearly a quarter of mobile data traffic in North America, confirming that watching content is one of the most popular activities on the mobile device. Among all mobile apps, YouTube was the biggest source of down- and upstream traffic during peak hours in March. Netflix accounted for a sizable 5 percent of this total, a percentage that we’ll see steadily rise. As Matt Gillis of Millennial Media remarked on a panel at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, “Mobile is undoubtedly the first screen. It’s crazy to think of it in any other way.”
Mobile is also catalyzing a shift in how we socialize. Unique social tools are going well beyond what exists for desktop, and people are spending ever more time with them. According to Flurry Analytics, social and messaging apps occupied 28 percent of time spent on mobile devices among Americans from January to March 2014, up from 24 percent in 2013. It’s no surprise, then, that Facebook was the No. 2 app for mobile data, while Instagram is also a big contributor to traffic.