Smartphones are now the most popular device used to access social media in Australia, overtaking laptop and desktop computers for the first time ever.
According to the 2013 Yellow Social Media Report, the number of social users accessing sites on their smartphones has grown from 53% to 67% in the past 12 months, making it now the most popular device for every age category under 50.
Laptop use has fallen from 69% to 64% over the past year, and use of desktop computers fell 8% from last years figures. Despite this, desktop computers still remain the main device for social media for those aged over 50.
Moving up the ranks in terms of popularity is tablet computers, which grew strongly from 18% in 2012 to 35% this year.
Social media apps are also the most popular way of accessing social sites on mobile devices, with 69% of users using the dedicated mobile app, compared to 19% who use the website and 12% that use both.
Home is where our social media heart is
Almost 100% of Australians access social media at home, most regularly in the living room, but also in the bedroom, study and bathroom.
Increases in the number of social media users accessing sites at work, on transport and at bars/parties has also been seen in the past year.
In fact, 6% even use social media while on the toilet and 18% in the car, highlighting that there are few areas of our lives that social media doesn’t reach.
Not surprisingly the amount of time we spend on social media has also risen in the past 12 months.
According to the report, 3 out of every 5 internet users are accessing social media sites more than 5 times a day.
And the typical Facebook user spends more than 7-hours per week on the site, which is a rise of an hour on last year’s figures.
In contrast, LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace users tend to spend less time on the sites than they did in 2012, averaging around 9 to 10 minutes less per visit.
TV + social media = enjoyment
The number of Australians using social media while watching TV has also risen in the past year, with over 4 in 10 users now networking while watching their favourite show.
Reality TV is the most popular genre of TV show for this, rising from 31% last year to 38% this year, but the use of social media while watching news or current affairs fell 5% from 2012.
It is users aged between 14 and 29 that are most likely to use social media while watching TV, and users aged 65+ that are least likely to do so.
But what is particularly interesting is the finding that almost half of respondents reported that using social media while watching television actually increased their enjoyment of a show, with only 3% saying that it impacted on them negatively.
What sites we using and cruising
Facebook continues to dominate as Australia’s favourite social media site, being used by 95% of social media participants, although this is down 2% from last year.
Somewhat surprisingly LinkedIn was the second most popular social platform, reigning in 20% of Australian social users, a rise of 4% from last year. This site was more popular with men than women (25% vs 15%) and most heavily used by those 40 - 49 years old.
Instagram followed as the third most popular social media site in Australia (16%) yet it is rarely used by those over the age of 39, and not at all by those over 65 years.
Twitter (15%), Google+ (15%) and Pinterest (7%) followed as the three least popular sites.
But despite growing figures surrounding our social media usage, some sites have fallen out of favour in Australia, in particular Twitter, which saw a huge 45% of respondent report that they had stop using the platform in the past 12 months.
Almost 20% stopped using Facebook, 12% withdrew from both MySpace and LinkedIn and 9% left Google+.
[Image credit: Creative Tools]