Almost half (49%) of women’s online time is now coming from smartphones in the UK. That figures is even higher for those aged 18-24 with 59% of time spent on the internet using smartphones. For men, desktop (48%) usage still outweighs time spent on smartphones (39%).
Women spend more time on smartphones
This holds true for all age ranges – women are going online using their smartphones more than men do.
Women outscore men across all age ranges
The absolute time that women are spending on smartphones is 8% higher than for men.
UKOM also found that some of the gender stereotypes are true when it comes to top usage category. Women tend to spend 39% more minutes on social media compared to men as well as 15% more time in instant messenger apps. Photos are another important category for women with 71% more minutes spent across photo sites than men.
Unsurprisingly, women tend to be more interested in shopping (67%) and finding bargain coupons (79%) compared to their male counterparts. Health is another important category (29%).
Categories that drive female engagement
Julie Forey, Director of Insight, UKOM, says:
“The old cliché that women spend more time on the phone than men turns out to also ring true for internet usage. Understanding how consumers’ online behaviour differs by platform can help agencies and advertisers plan campaigns more effectively, such as knowing men don’t dominate mobile time as they do on computers. This is exactly what BT did in the 1980s after identifying women were actually the heaviest users of its landline service, being more disposed to chat with friends and family. They used this insight to create their hugely successful ‘It’s good to talk’ campaign to encourage those who didn’t use the phone as much – namely men – to use it more to connect with people and improve relationships.”
The research also highlights that smartphones are an important tool for mums with the share of smartphones minutes at least 20% higher for women within directories, family & parenting and toys categories.
Smartphone importance for mothers
“Women, with their more natural desire to connect with friends and family, as well as their predilection for shopping, play a much bigger role in driving internet use on smartphones. Phone conversations as a method for sharing information and catching up are increasingly being usurped by smartphone apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and the like. Men still use these services on their phones, but just not to the same extent.”