Facebook Stats: Average User Age on the Rise and Females Take the Lead

  • A 2011 study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project discovered some interesting statistics regarding current Facebook users.
  • The average age of the Facebook user rose to 38 in 2010 from 33 in 2008.
  • On an average day, 20 percent of users commented on another’s picture, 22 percent commented on another’s status, 15 percent updated their own status, 10 percent sent a private message and 26 percent selected “like” for another’s content.
  • The average user has 229 friends: 22 percent from high school, 9 percent from college, 10 percent from work, 8 percent are immediate family, and 7 percent are people they’ve never met (see infographic for further breakdown).
  • Daily engagement on Facebook by social networking users accounted for 52 percent compared to Twitter’s 36 percent, Myspace’s 7 percent and LinkedIn’s 6 percent. Another noteworthy figure: “Social media users are ‘disproportionately female,’ notes Pew, with women making up 56 percent of social networking sites, 52 percent of email users, and 55 percent of instant message users,” reports Huffington Post.
  • The complete 85-page Pew report is available online.

Study: 300 Percent Growth in Mobile App Downloads Expected for 2011

  • Mobile analytics firm Flurry has released new estimates based on iOS and Android app-enabled devices.
  • According to the report, 25 billion apps will be downloaded in 2011, marking 300 percent growth from last year’s six billion.
  • Five billion Apple and Android apps are expected to be downloaded in December alone, based on the surge typically associated with mobile shopping and people on break looking for entertainment.
  • Revenue from the U.S. market will reach $2.5 billion, compared with 2010’s $1 billion.
  • The increase in app catalogs has helped the increase. iOS offers about 500,000 apps and Android is around 350,000.
  • ReadWriteWeb also points out that only 43 percent of U.S. consumers currently have smartphones, but the number is expected to reach 50 percent by Q3 2012, which will also fuel app downloads.

2012 Forecast: What Should We Expect of Streaming, Cable and TV?

  • Television’s future remains murky as content providers and cable companies get ready for battle, and streaming services continue to gain momentum.
  • “But change is going to come, and amid news that Google is interested in entering the cable TV business and continued rumors that Apple will be releasing its own branded television set, we also have to wonder what’s going to happen with streaming services like Hulu and Netflix,” reports Digital Trends.
  • The article suggests it is the cable companies that have the most to worry about (those that control the last model). “Forget applications having a say in all this: The real war is going to be fought between cable networks and the content providers that want to move on to a new format.”
  • “Farther off, I think [YouTube] will challenge Hulu first. Netflix is more like a library. Google is a beast and you have to keep an eye on those guys,” TalkPoint CEO Nick Balletta says. “They have the muscle and cash to weather the storm.”
  • Balletta believes adoption of connected TVs will take root by late 2012, and before then we’ll see significant fragmentation before we can truly cut the cord.

Study Reveals One in Five Willing to Friend Strangers on Facebook

  • In a study conducted by the University of British Columbia Vancouver, 102 bots controlled fake Facebook accounts to send friend requests at random, showing that one in five people were willing to accept requests from strangers.
  • “If that complete stranger had a mutual friend in common, the success rate went up to about 60 percent,” reports Ars Technica.
  • Once friends, the bots had access to a large amount of personal information: “…for people directly friended by the bots, availability of e-mail went from 2.4 percent (unfriended) to 71.8 (friended) and postal addresses from 0.9 percent to 19.0 percent.” The bots also gained information about the users’ friends.
  • The study raises interesting points regarding Facebook’s efforts to create privacy and control. “The site has been criticized for making it too hard to secure personal data, and be too liberal with its default policies,” suggest the article. “In response to these criticisms, it has made the privacy and security system easier to use and with more sensible defaults. But these controls are irrelevant if people are willing to add random bots, and hence give away access to their ‘friends-only’ private information.”

Viber Media: Prototypical Case Study for NoSQL and Cloud Computing

  • Viber Media is a provider of iPhone and Android apps that enable free text and talk capabilities over 3G and Wi-Fi networks. GigaOM points out that the apps are “built upon a foundation of the MongoDB NoSQL database running atop the Amazon Web Services cloud.”
  • According to a MongoDB press release issued this week: “Viber enables users to talk and text for free with other Viber users without having to sign up, create a separate account, or log in. Once the app is launched, the user simply enters his or her cell number and is automatically part of the community.”
  • “MongoDB manages the intercommunity data exchange that enables users to call and text one another,” adds the press release. “Each time a Viber user connects a cell phone to the network, MongoDB receives call-related information.”
  • Viber’s 130 nodes handle a reported “11 million minutes of calls daily by Viber’s 18 million active users.” GigaOM suggests Viber can be viewed as the “prototypical case study for both NoSQL and cloud computing.”

All Eyes on Apple: iPhone, iPad Beat Android Devices in Eye-Tracking Study

  • A recent study by EyeTrackshop showed that Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPad 2 “drew more glances and held people’s attention longer than Google Android devices from Amazon, HTC, Motorola and Samsung,” reports Forbes.
  • The study showed participants a picture of six smartphones and five tablets. EyeTrackshop’s software tracked where subjects’ eyes went, in what order and how long, using webcams.
  • “EyeTrackshop said the results equate to respondents dwelling on the iPhone 4S 42 percent longer than the other phones and on the iPad 138 percent longer than the other tablets.”
  • Additionally, a follow-up survey indicated that 40 percent found the iPhone most visually appealing; for tablets, 35 percent for the iPad; and disregarding price, 47 percent said they would buy the iPhone and 48 percent preferred the iPad to other tablets.

Forty-One Percent of Enterprises Block Access for Employee-Owned Macs

  • Ars Technica reports: “Forty-one percent of enterprises do not allow employee-owned Macs access to any company resources, even Web-based e-mail, according to the results of a new Forrester survey of IT executives at North American and European companies.”
  • Some companies will offer a stipend to employees to buy Macs if they prefer, but the enterprise seems to stay away because of higher prices and ingrained IT Microsoft traditions.
  • Forrester suggests that productivity is linked with the freedom to choose personal computers. Many employees prefer the “uncluttered Macs — especially those with solid-state drives, which are more responsive and boot in seconds,” according to Forrester analyst David Johnson.
  • Problems arise with the need for Mac-specific management software and file sharing, but Johnson points out tech departments that stand in the way “will eventually get run over.”

Real-Time Entertainment Traffic: Have We Entered a Post-PC Era?

  • According to the new “Global Internet Phenomena Report” from broadband solutions provider Sandvine, North Americans have officially embraced the “post-PC” era.
  • The report suggests that for the first time, U.S. consumers are using their gaming consoles, smartphones and tablets more than PCs for entertainment.
  • “[We have] entered a post-PC era, in which the majority of real-time entertainment traffic on North America’s fixed access networks is destined for devices other than a laptop or desktop computer,” Sandvine reports. “Game consoles, settop boxes, smart TVs, tablets, and mobile devices being used within the home combine to receive 55 percent of all real-time entertainment traffic.”
  • Interesting stats from the “Beyond Bytes” infographic: 96 percent of broadband subscribers use real-time entertainment each month, 83 percent of broadband users access YouTube videos each month (compared to 20 percent for Netflix), and real-time entertainment as a percentage of peak period downstream traffic has doubled since 2009.

New Report: 40 Million Mobile Users Access Social Networks Daily

  • The number of Americans who use social networks has grown 37 percent over the past year, according to comScore.
  • In August for example, 72.2 million Americans accessed social sites or blogs via mobile devices.
  • “Nearly 40 million U.S. mobile phone users, which accounts for more than half of the mobile social media audience, use social sites while on the go nearly every day,” reports Computerworld. “As a result, mobile devices are an increasingly important part of the burgeoning social media market.”
  • The new comScore study also indicates the number of mobile users who accessed Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn increased by at least 50 percent for each service in the past year.

TV Viewers Like their Tablets and Phones: Stay Tuned for More Innovation

  • A new study from Nielsen shows that approximately 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners use their devices on a daily basis while simultaneously viewing television. The figures jump to 70 percent for users who do the same several times a week.
  • Most of these viewers are primarily checking email, followed by surfing information and accessing social networks, suggesting strong potential for second-screen applications.
  • The study suggests users are accessing social networks more than websites with information related to the TV program. “Unfortunately, the study doesn’t break down if people are 1) participating or just listening to social conversations and 2) if the conversations are related to the TV program at hand,” reports Lost Remote. “But it’s probably safe to say that more viewers are more inclined to talk about (or listen to) conversations about a TV show than proactively look up expanded content about it.”
  • Successful second-screen apps should bring together “social conversations, expanded content and interactive (even synchronized) advertising,” suggests the article. “Compelling second-screen experiences, in theory, will move the needle more in the ‘related’ direction, making TV viewers more engaged overall.”

New Studies Make Predictions for the Future of Connected Devices

  • The GSMA released research this week that outlines the market opportunity and revenue potential for connected devices.
  • According to the press release: “The research shows that the number of total connected devices is expected to increase from approximately 9 billion today to more than 24 billion in 2020, and within that, mobile connected devices will grow 100 per cent from more than 6 billion today to 12 billion in 2020.”
  • This would create a $1.2 trillion market opportunity for the wireless industry, seven times what is expected for 2011.
  • “We are entering the next phase in the development of the mobile industry, one where we will see mobile connect everything in our lives,” said Michael O’Hara, chief marketing officer for GSMA. “In this new Connected Life, mobile will transform society and will have a profound effect on the way we interact not only with each other, but also with our surroundings.”
  • These opportunities include increased connectivity with appliances, consumer electronic devices, and across sectors such as the health and automotive industries.
  • In a related story, Jon Peddie Research predicts that 300 million tablets will ship in 2016. Also, the firm expects three quarters of a billion smartphones will ship in 2016 and there will be increases in handheld game consoles and e-book readers.
  • “The processors powering these devices will be truly amazing, consuming remarkably little power, built in the latest nanometer technology, and delivering unbelievable performance and functionality,” suggests the Jon Peddie report. “And although all of the devices will share some functionality and capabilities, no single device will kill any of the others…at least immediately. Each device will have a different form, primary function, and price. All will be connected all the time, and most will have 3D displays and cameras.”