Smartphones, Tablets, PCs, The Devices People Use to Discover Information in Social Media (and when)

My friends over at published an interesting graph that reveals the devices as well as the days/times that people use different devices and how and when they consume information. As you can imagine, it’s across the board, but as you can see, there are waves that every device follows, except the desktop.

Desktops are of course the devices that we can assume people use during work hours. As such, they are most heavily used on weekdays before noon. Interestingly enough, phone traffic peaks at about the same times, but not to similar effects. What’s also telling is that tablets are most often used at Tuesday at 5 p.m.And, gaming devices such as Nintendo DS, Wii, and Sony Playstation spike on Thursdays at 5 p.m.

Also, take a look at the double hump (peak with a small valley before another peak) in activity for phones and tablets. The second plateau is nearly at the same level Monday through Thursday but loses momentum through the weekend. Tablets and gaming devices however tend to be the devices that define after hours and weekend activity.

Additionally, the team examined which platforms share similar usage patterns. The chart used to convey these patterns is a bit tricky to navigate. Here are some of the highlights…

1. Windows and Linux users behave similarly in social media.

2. Mac OS X is used more like a mobile device than either Windows or Linux on the desktop. This is of course because iOS devices, iPhones, iPods and iPads drive mobile usage.

3. The Kindle is used in a very different manner to engage with the social web. The majority of Kindle usage occurs later in the evening over any other devices.

So what does this mean?

It means that content, to be shareable to its full capacity, must have shareability (SMO) built-in to convert an object into a social object. As such, it must be introduced at the right time and in the right way for each medium. Here, the medium is very much the message. Additionally, information and social objects should be packaged and optimized for each device to increase engagement and shareability. That’s right. This isn’t a one size fits all approach which many publishers typically design for. Essentially, this means that a one-to-many content syndication strategy across the social web is not scalable nor is it practical across devices. Design for the medium.

I would like to see this data not only for clickthroughs or consumption patterns, but also how and when interesting content is shared and how that plays into resonance – the duration and depth information stays visible in the stream.

Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+ |

Order The End of Business as Usual today…

Image Credit: Shutterstock

  • Pingback: The Devices People Use to Discover Information in Social Media | imSocial

  • Judy Caroll

    This is very helpful Brian. Certainly we all want to have a wide scope exposures of our posts and content.  And knowing what people usually use to search info online is just one side of the coin.  The other one would be knowing when is the best time to share content or the “Social timing.”  We need to identify the time of the day/week when we can have more number of viewership.  And that would also increase the acceptability rate of our content.  Those graphs you included were very helpful.  Thanks for sharing them. All the best.  

  • shinoops


  • Claire Axelrad

    Fascinating.  Love the concept of shareability, and the medium being the message.

  • research papers

    very good article,maybe
    it should help me)

  • Mike Boehler

    Thanks for sharing and keeping everyone up to date.

  • Wouter Kleinsman

    Thanks for the interesting post Brian! Its also interesting to see that the tablet is already more used then the mobile phone devices. 

  • Pingback: Smartphones, Tablets, PCs, The Devices People Use to Discover Information in Social Media (and when) | Jo Shaer Social Media Solutions

  • Pingback: Smartphones, Tablets, PCs, The Devices People Use to Discover Information in Social Media (and when) – Brian Solis | blending the mix

  • Anthony Forte

    Great post. Its amazing to think about all the different way people use to share things. I really think its crazy to think how many different ways in which people use to share information and all the different devices they use. People jump from their blackberrys, to their computers, to their kindles and then in other ways. All using social media. It is crazy to think about.

  • Pingback: 2 Responses to Blog Posts: Week 4 SM379 « Anthony Forte's Eastern Michigan Course Blogs

  • Kathryn Clark

    Brilliant article, great to see that how a social media interactions between people who are engaging their relationships and work from tech apps and using it with positive usability.

  • viewster

    Thanks i like your blog very much , i come back most days to find new posts like this.

  • free movies online

    These articles are fantastic, The information you show us is interesting for everybody and is really good written, very informative. It’s just nice! continue posting. Thanks! 

  • Pingback: 5 Guidelines on Getting the Second Screen Right | Seedwalker

  • Facebook Likes

    Thanks for sharing this. This information gives me an idea on how to have a large amount of viewers. Keep this kind of posts coming..!!!


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

Contact Brian



  • Competing for relevance by Brian Solis
  • The real future of marketing starts with putting your hands up and walking away for a minute.
  • "This isn’t a time to react. It’s a time to lead!” via
  • Brian Solis by @photo