Facebook mobile usage compounds web trend

Craig Agnew

You do it without noticing.

A stream of social content, so constant that it's become second nature that 12% of your day is spent looking at it, something from it or something to do with it; 29% of that sub-consciously. For some of us it's part of our professional lives now as well. Of course, I'm talking about the now household name, Facebook. And of course those figures are made up.

Tech Radar  reported this week that the social media giant had released its fourth quarter financial statement (figures absolutely not made up) that reveals the number of Facebook users communicating and interacting on a daily basis with a mobile device has surpassed the number doing so on a desktop computer. Let that sink in. oh, you get it already, okay.

Well while this news may not shock many - we all have smartphones, many of us have tablets small and large - you'd be surprised how many websites there are out there that aren't suitably prepared for this shift. Make no mistake about it folks, we are experiencing the biggest change to the web since its inception in the early 1990s.

As consumers, you have nothing to worry about - sit back and enjoy the ride. Continue to Google around the web whatever you need, jumping in and out of websites until one loads quickly enough, looks good enough and works well enough to keep you looking.

Website curators - designers, developers, agency directors - the time is now; if you're not already implementing new processes and/or technologies in reaction to this transition of how people use the internet, you should be.

Most importantly, website owners, you simply cannot afford to ignore this change.

We only need to look at doomed entertainment group HMV. Back at the turn of the millennium, the retail giant chose to invest boldly in their high-street presence as their competition committed to establishing themselves in this new online market. That, by the way, was the last time we experienced a change in web usage of this magnitude.

Their web activity had always been secondary, epitomized by yesterday's  online scandal when the chain, still in administration, was unaware of its in-house social media strategists tweeting their frustrations on the official @hmvtweets account. Perfectly avoidable had they, again, taken their social media seriously and perhaps, like many of their competitors, employed an agency.

Facebook may be the biggest site on the web today, with usage stats that can seem astronomic, but it demonstrates in no uncertain terms the evolution of user interaction; the pattern, the #trend.

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