Mobile Is the Way to Stay Social

Social networks are rising in popularity, and texting is so habitual that a majority think it’s OK to do so while on a date.

Slightly more than half of Americans surveyed use a mobile device to go on social networks, research found.

A mobile interaction specialist, tyntec, paired with YouGov, a research group, to study how people in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil and Russia use mobile devices for messaging and social media.

In its second annual Mobile Messaging and Social Networking Survey, tyntec found that Brazil is more socially connected. Slightly more than three-quarters of Brazilian adults (77%) use social networks via their mobile devices—more than any other country, according to the survey of more than 4,000 adults.

Only 14% of Americans were interested in adoption of free or low-cost calling and messaging applications (apps) such as WhatsApp and Viber, compared with 71% of Brazilians, 52% of Russians and a third of adults in the U.K.

In the U.S., favored messaging services are split between Facebook Messenger (32%), Skype (20%) and iMessage (20%). Facebook Messenger is the most-used smartphone messaging service in Brazil, with 75% usage rate.

For the U.S., mobile email is the most-used feature of smartphones (31%), closely followed by apps (28%) and text messaging (24%). Fewer than one in five Americans (17%) check Facebook via a mobile phone more than five times per day.

In addition to looking at mobile/social preferences specific to countries, tyntec’s survey demonstrates the impact of cultural differences on consumer behavior. Some common U.S. attitudes are:

  • Only 15% of respondents claim to go to bed with their mobile phone;
  • Only 8% of respondents said texting while on a date is rude; and
  • Nearly half of Millennials (44%) said they would be willing to give up alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, exercise or a toothbrush for one week rather than lose the ability to text for a year. In 2012, 71% were willing to do so.

In response to the same question, across all age groups, 55% of Americans were least willing to give up the ability to text for an entire year.