For this week’s final Chart we conclude our brief series on the importance of smartphones, exploring which online activities are now occurring primarily on mobile.

Of the 34 online activities we track, 22 are now mobile-first, with consumers more likely to reach for a mobile than desktop device. What is apparent here is the ubiquity of this device in a broad range of behaviors, with the top 10 including on-the-go activities alongside those more purposeful in nature.

While mobile has the greatest lead over desktop for using instant messaging apps, map or direction services/apps, and uploading/sharing photos, mobile is now also top for product research, online purchasing and online banking.

Focusing in on the smartphone natives of Gen Z, they are more likely to be choosing mobile for all tracked activities. And where this generation over-index is indicative of where mobiles are likely to be more pervasive online in the future. Compared to their older counterparts, Gen Z demonstrate a greater preference for mobile when watching video online, and for commerce-related behavior.

Top 10 Mobile-First Online ActivitiesExplore data in PRO PlatformDownload The Beginners Guide to Audience Profiling


Written by

Olivia is a Senior Insights Analyst at GlobalWebIndex. Moving to the company over 2 years ago after completing a degree in Psychology, Olivia works as part of the Strategic Insights team producing bespoke assets for clients. Olivia also writes on GlobalWebIndex’s blog, with a particular interest in social media and behavioral economics.

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