Smartphones, coupled with rich applications and mobile data services, allow us to connect with our families, friends and community from the moment we wake up until the end of our day, and it seems as though social networking site Facebook is one of the most popular places to spend time, as a Facebook-sponsored report by IT research firm IDC found.
The report revealed smartphone users check into Facebook an average of 14 times a day, whether from home, on the go, in class or out with friends. This adds up to an average of just over half an hour (32 minutes) of time spent on Facebook daily, according to IDC, which conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 18- to 44-year-old iOS and Android smartphone owners in the U.S. each day for one week in March 2013, for a total number of respondents of 7,446.
Facebook is used by 70 percent of Android phone and iPhone owners, dominates time spent communicating on the phone and drives the greatest levels of connectedness among the popular social networks, the report found. Reading one's news feed is the top activity, at 77 percent.
The report found 18- to 24-year-olds use more services on Facebook, especially directly messaging with individuals and groups and sharing pictures and videos. With the exception of reading one's news feed, every other Facebook service has higher usage levels over the weekend (Friday to Sunday).
Survey results also indicated how critical smartphones have become to society, with 63 percent of smartphone owners admitting they keep their phones with them for all but an hour of their waking day. Just under 80 percent said they keep it with them for all but two hours of their day. A quarter of all respondents couldn't recall a time in their day when their phones were not within reach or in the same room.
"Smartphones have revolutionized how we communicate, socialize, share and connect. The immediacy and intimacy we have with our phones enables much more fluid and near-constant social interactions, whether these are short snacking sessions where we read our news feeds or more engaged private messaging conversations between two people or among a group," the report concluded. "These exchanges are driving very high levels of connectedness among smartphone users and with those they care most about. This increased sense of connectedness is the primary reason we use these technologies with the frequency and duration that we do."
In January, digital analytics firm ComScore reported that Google Maps was the most popular mobile app in the United States in early 2012, but by the end of the year, it fell to second place behind Facebook's mobile app. This was due largely to Google Maps being dropped from Apple's iOS 6 operating system in September, according to ComScore.