Smartphones, Social Media Tag Along for Valentine’s Day

More than one quarter of smartphone or tablet owners said they would use social media apps like Facebook and Twitter on Valentine’s Day.

smartphones and mobile apps

Leaving the phone at home during Valentine’s Day dates this year will be hard for Americans, since more than half (52 percent) of smartphone or tablet owners consider online and mobile activities critical to their Valentine plans this year, according to a Harris Poll of 2,057 adults in the U.S.

The study, sponsored by performance analytics specialist SOASTA, found one in five Millennial men say that dating apps like OKCupid and Tinder will be critical to their Valentine’s Day plans.

It underscores our desire to get results quickly so we have information to move to the next important thing," Brad Johnson, vice president of product marketing at SOASTA, told eWEEK. "If you look at 20 percent of Millennial men using dating apps, it’s about quickly and efficiently identifying possible relationships with big data."

More than one in three (35 percent) will use their smartphone or tablet to play music using apps like Spotify and Pandora and nearly a third (32 percent) will use picture sharing apps like Instagram and SnapChat.

Additional online and mobile activities that will be popular with smartphone and tablet users this Valentine’s Day include sending e-cards (13 percent), buying movie tickets (11 percent), playing games (10 percent), dating (6 percent) and booking transportation (5 percent).

"What is interesting is simply the prevalence of mobile technology in the fabric of this typically private and romantic day," Johnson said. "Not only is it making it easier for men to connect, and make the day special, but more than 30 percent of the people surveyed are connected online for their music and to share pictures. It seems that for the holiday designated for becoming and celebrating being personally connected, we’re more technically connected than ever in history."

More than one quarter (26 percent) of smartphone or tablet owners said they would use social media apps like Facebook and Twitter on Valentine’s Day, followed by finding the perfect gift for their Valentine on sites like Amazon, FTD and 1800Flowers (23 percent).

Nearly one in five (19 percent) say they will use apps like Open Table and Urban Spoon to book Valentine’s Day dinner reservations.

Johnson explained that because interfaces and form factors are rapidly evolving, it’s still often more convenient to shop on your computer in a browser and share pictures with your smartphone—a process he says is still clunky and disconnected.

"As services and companies continue to integrate, we’ll continue to see apps that connect people and make logical assumptions about their actions," he predicted. "For instance, in a single transaction via your phone, you'll make a reservation on Valentine’s Day at 7:30 pm at a French Restaurant and a suggestion will pop in to let you purchase flowers from another vendor, to be delivered to the table, by another company, at 8:00pm. The expectation of intelligent, seamless, high performance user experience will continuous to push how we connect as humans with mobile and IoT technology."