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Young use smartphones every other minute

News, 11 August 2015

LONDON: Young people in the UK use their smartphones an average of 387 times each day according to new research which reinforces recent findings that the nation is now a "smartphone society".

Data captured as part of the IPA TouchPoints survey – a sample of 1,159 smartphone users aged 15+ downloaded an app which passively measured their mobile phone behaviour over a four-week period – found that younger consumers typically use their mobile phones every other minute they are awake.

At an average of 387 times each day, that is some 46% more than the figure for all adults (264).

Last week Ofcom, the UK media regulator, reported that two thirds of UK adults now own a smartphone, rising to 90% of 16-24 year-olds, and that it had overtaken the laptop as the most important device for going online.

The TouchPoints survey also revealed several other points of difference between younger and older smartphone users.

For example, those aged over 65 are twice as likely to use Google+, while 41% of the older group were found to be using mobile betting services in comparison to 26% of 15-24 year-olds.

And while the most popular retail brands accessed by smartphones are eBay (45%) and Amazon (43%), the latter is twice as popular for smart phone users aged 65+.

In addition to establishing what consumers are doing on their phones, the survey was able to provide some context around this usage.

Thus, more than two thirds (68%) of usage takes place at home rather than anywhere else, which, the IPA pointed out, emphasised the personal nature of smart phone ownership compared to say tablets, which are more likely to be shared.

Weekends emerged as a significant time for streaming video and using social media. Fully 40% of all streaming of video on a smartphone occurred on a Saturday and Sunday.

And Sunday is also when people are most likely to use Facebook, peaking at lunchtime between 1.30pm and 2pm.

Sue Unerman, chief strategy officer at MediaCom, suggested the findings would enable advertisers to develop sophisticated uses of the second screen.

"Every moment now is a point of sale and an opportunity to earn shares for a brand's content or advertising if they deserve it," she said. "It will also gradually but profoundly change people's expectations of communications from brands."

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff