Tag Archives: Social Networking

Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle

Inexorable Device Trends – Beyond the Niche, Fad, and Fizzle – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, March 10, 2017

It can be exciting to see the hockey-stick charts, with everything up and to the right. It’s important to put the numbers into context, though, through a more grounded analysis of the active installed base. Yes, Apple’s long-climb into broader use of their triumvirate is substantial, Smartphones are quickly replacing basic cell phones, and PCs and Printers persist. Their market size confirms their importance.

We humans are wired to notice change. Our very eyes send more information about motion than background. While life-saving should tigers head our way, this capability can be our undoing if we miss gradual changes, like the slithering snake in the grass creeping towards us. Watching an installed base of technology has some parallels. For some, it can seem as if nothing is really changing even while important shifts are taking place.

For over 35 years, I have tracked technology usage trends and profiles, all calibrated by watching customers through surveys such as our Metafacts Technology User Profile. Among other truisms, I’ve seen that true technology trends aren’t sudden. Solid trends are the summation of the habits, preferences, and activities of millions of technology users. They’re inescapable, inexorable, and years in the making. Trends become truly important when they’ve spread beyond being a niche, fad, or fizzle, and reached beyond those first few early adopters.

In this analysis, I’m diving into several key broad dominant trends in technology device usage across American adults. In separate analyses, I’ll drill deeper into the next level of TUP data, revealing which market segments are making the most decisive changes. Continue reading

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Consumer research, Desktops, Devices, Market Sizing, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Operating systems, Printers, Smartphones, Trends, TUP 2016, TUPdate

Tablet-First. Is it a thing? (TUPdate)

Tablet-First. Is it a thing? – a TUPdate by Dan Ness, February 17, 2017

Which comes first – Smartphone? Tablet? Notebook? For a small and steadily growing segment, the tablet comes first as the primary connected device.

Over the last three years, the share of connected adults using a tablet as their primary device has expanded. In our 2014 wave of TUP, we found that 6% of adults were using a tablet as their primary device – before a PC, mobile phone, or game console. In TUP 2015, the Tablet-First rate had grown to 7% and by TUP 2016, reached 9%.MetaFacts-td1702-tablet-first-trend-metafacts-tup-2014-2016-2017-02-16_10-02-19

It’s not as if these Tablet-First users are only using a tablet. Among Tablet-First users, half (50%) use a Smartphone as their secondary device, followed distantly by a Tower Desktop (15%), Basic cell phone (10%), and Notebook PC (9%). Continue reading

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Filed under Consumer research, Entertainment, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Shopping, Tablets, TUP 2016, TUPdate

What is the profile of the most-active communicators? (MetaFAQs)

The generation gap is often attributed to communication differences. Although often chalked up to the choice of words – slang, symbols, or even emoji – there are also differences in the mode of communication.

More than a few frustrated parents have found their voicemail messages ignored and learned that text messaging may be the best way to stay in touch with their children.

Meanwhile, younger adults have continued to expand their repertoire of communication modes – email, text messaging, video calls, clicks on social networks, and more.metafacts-metafaqs-mq0054-2016-10-23_11-19-58

In fact, the most-active communicators are age 18-34. These use the broadest assortment of communication activities across their connected devices. Over half of the top-third in communication activity breadth are age 18-34.

This is based on our most recent research among 7,336 US adults as part of the Technology User Profile (TUP) 2016 survey.

This MetaFAQs research result addresses one of the many questions profiling active technology users.

Many other related answers are part of the full TUP service, available to paid subscribers. The TUP chapter with the most information about activities is the TUP 2016 Activities Chapter.

These MetaFAQs are brought to you by MetaFacts, based on research results from their most-recent wave of Technology User Profile (TUP).

For more information about MetaFacts and subscribing to TUP, please contact MetaFacts.

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Filed under Basic cell phones, Communication, Demographics & Econographics, Desktops, Market Research, MetaFAQs, Mobile Phones, Notebooks, Smartphones, TUP 2016

LinkedIn – what Microsoft gets, doesn’t get, and what’s ahead (TUPdate)

Microsoft recently (June 13, 2016) announced it would be acquiring LinkedIn, the popular professional social network.

New MetaFacts research confirms that LinkedIn’s active members are indeed an attractive demographic, and yet there are headwinds ahead for Microsoft. Our recent Technology User Profile survey of over 10,000 respondents span the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China.

An attractive demographic

Active LinkedIn members stand head and shoulders above the average connected adult professional. In the US, they are 1.4 more likely than average to be employed full-time, and 1.6 times more likely than average to be a college graduate. They are also unique in their employment role, being 1.5 times as likely to be working in Marketing/Communications or in IT/IS, 1.4 times as likely to be a Specialist (e.g., design, engineering), 1.3 times a likely to be a contractor or IT Consultant, and 1.2 as likely to be an Executive or in an HR-related role. A similar pattern holds for the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

Microsoft’s ready access to this important population spells many opportunities for Microsoft, if managed well. With a service relying heavily on user-provided content, and with its members showing a high degree of sophistication, education, and strength, member trust and satisfaction will be especially vital to LinkedIn’s future.

Active Ad Blockers

To the extent Microsoft’s strategy involves increased advertising to LinkedIn members, it faces an existing and growing challenge. LinkedIn members are some of the world’s most advertising-averse. Forty-three percent of active US LinkedIn members use an Ad Blocker on at least one of their connected devices – PCs, Tablets, Smartphones – and in many cases have Ad Blockers on all of them. That is 1.3 times higher than the rate among the average connected adult. This is similar around the world – ranging from 1.1 to 1.5 times higher than average among active LinkedIn members in the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

Microsoft will need to continue to maintain the trust that active LinkedIn members have come to rely on. It’s possible they will whitelist ads on LinkedIn. It’s not as if LinkedIn has been specifically targeted by its members, it’s simply that its members are well above average in the practice of blocking ads across their devices. Adblocking has already been a significant challenge for media giants from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal as technology users increasingly take control over their experiences.

Apple-endearedApples and Apples

If part of Microsoft’s strategy is to encourage LinkedIn’s active members into (or back into) the Windows ecosystem, then it has a trend to reverse. LinkedIn’s active members are well-endeared and engaged with Apple’s devices and ecosystem. In the US, they are 1.8 times as likely as the average connected adult to be using four Apple OS devices, 1.5 times as likely to be using three, and 1.3 times as likely to be using two. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s members are 1.6 times as likely to be using an Apple mobile PC, 1.4 times as likely to be using an iPad, and 1.3 times as likely to be using an iPhone. This similar pattern holds true in the UK, France, Brazil, and China.

The Microsoft Graph

Major workplace activities used by active LinkedIn members per MetaFacts

Major workplace activities used by active LinkedIn members per MetaFacts

There’s another climb ahead for Microsoft – LinkedIn’s active members are already well on board with many of Microsoft’s types of professionally-oriented offerings, whether from Microsoft or competitors. So, growth ahead will be incremental, and less about mass introduction into new ways of working. With respect to these key workforce activities, this acquisition might be seen as a defensive retrenchment to hold off further encroachment by the likes of Google. At present, LinkedIn’s active US members are 1.8 times as likely as the average connected adult to already be using one of their connected devices to participate in a web-based group meeting, collaborate on work files, or create work graphics/presentations.

Other risks

Microsoft faces other risks. Imagine how a Google, Apple, or other leading-tech HR executive might consider Microsoft’s unprecedented access to their employees and projects. Any of Microsoft’s direct competitors are likely to have concerns about the depth and details Microsoft will have access to with the richness already in LinkedIn. Although Microsoft will undoubtedly take steps to reassure companies that their data is being held secure and not used directly for its own gain, trust will be a key concern for competitors. Some will likely step up their policies to prohibit or discourage user participation on LinkedIn.

The view ahead

At MetaFacts, where we directly measure active market demand, we contend that people matter first. If the members of LinkedIn feel their trust might be compromised, they may flee. Worldwide, there isn’t a single professional social network anywhere near the size or scope of LinkedIn. Rival xing has solid footing in German-speaking countries, while Viadeo is especially strong in France. Potentially, country-specific or language-specific competitors could grow, offering an independent haven for professional social networking. Instead of switching, members may trim their profiles, limit their participation, or simply cancel and close their profile.

Microsoft will need to reactivate the membership. In disclosures shared in the acquisition announcements, LinkedIn shared that of their reported 433 million members, 104 million were active within the prior month. This means less than one-fourth (24%) of its members are currently active. This low activity rate is the lowest of nine major US sites: Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Also, membership growth has increased faster than the share of members which are active, further highlighting the decline in member activity. Microsoft’s resources and support may help reverse those trends.

Source

This TUPdate includes a complimentary brief summary from the Technology User Profile survey of adults throughout the US, UK, France, Brazil, and China. The results are based on a multi-country survey of over 10,000 representative respondents conducted by MetaFacts. Current TUP subscribers can obtain additional analysis and supporting datasets at a substantial discount. Technology companies who want to know more about their current or future customers can contact MetaFacts to learn how to subscribe to the rich resources of Technology User Profile.

 

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Filed under Cloud Storage, Communication, Demographics & Econographics, Market Research, Market Sizing, Social Networking, TUP 2015, TUPdate, Usage Patterns, Video calling

What are the primary devices used for each category of activity? (MetaFAQs)

Smartphones are now the dominant device, although only slightly. In active use by 65% of Connected Adults, Tower Desktop PCs have effectively equal penetration at 64%. Notebook PCs aren’t far behind at 53%.

Interestingly, Smartphones are only the primary device for one type of activity – Communication. Even though Communication activities of one kind or another are being use by effectively all (99%) Connected Adults, it’s the only category of activities for which the Smartphone is the preferred device. For nearly every other type of activity, Tower Desktop PCs are the preferred device.

Among adults that use any Connected Device for Communication activities, 31% prefer to use a Smartphone, 12% prefer to use a Tower Desktop PC, and 6% prefer to use a Notebook PC. Communication activities includes voice calls, video calls, emails, chats and other forms.

Activities by Device - from Technology User Profile

Activities by Device – from Technology User Profile

Source

These results are based on the most recent wave of Technology User Profile, the TUP 2014 edition. More can be found in the Activities chapter. The large-scale survey is in its 32nd continuous year, documenting and detailing the full scope of technology adoption and use.
For this MetaFAQs analysis, MetaFacts is sharing a portion of the answers to selected survey questions: specifically the Connected Devices in active use, and the types of activities each one is used for. The full TUP service includes further related details on the types and brands of devices, profiles of those who use Smartphones more than PCs and vice versa, detailed activities within each category and mapped to each device, and much more. The TUP survey gathers comprehensive details about the active usage of many consumer electronics products, including Printers, PC, Smartphones, Basic cell phones, and many other connected devices.

In addition to tracking activities, Technology User Profile details the many devices which online adults use to regularly connect to the Internet. The survey-based research details what people do with their devices, where they spend their technology dollars, and how often they update (or don’t update) their technology products.

Technology companies who want to know more about technology adoption, wireless technology, or about their current or future customers can contact MetaFacts to learn how to subscribe to the rich resources of Technology User Profile.

MetaFAQs – Frequently Asked Questions with answers supported by the facts: the MetaFacts.

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Filed under Behaviors and Activities, Consumer research, MetaFAQs, TUP 2014