Facebook IQ Future of mobile

The World in Their Hands

In this increasingly fast-paced and hyperconnected world, it’s almost hard to remember there was once a time before texting and the Internet. In the past, the landline kept us connected to friends and family. Today, the mobile phone is our lifeline.

As part of our “Coming of Age on Screens,” in which we commissioned culture experts Crowd DNA to do an in-depth study of people ages 13-24 in 13 countries, we examined the relationship between young people around the globe and the screen constantly in their hands: the mobile phone.1

Never losing sight of their mobiles

Teens and young adults around the world own or use at least 5 different devices on average. More than three-quarters of them own or use a smartphone. Some 72% of young people say they can’t leave their house without their mobile phone. The mobile habit is most pronounced in Indonesia (84%) as well as India and Brazil (both 77%).

Mobile phones have just become part of their lives, as Camelia, 16, a research participant from France, explained, “The piece of technology I couldn’t live without would be my mobile. … It’s what I use to reach anyone at any time, it’s with me all the time and the first thing I pick up in the morning.”

Mobile is so captivating that a majority (60%) of young people around the world would rather give up TV than their mobiles.

Moving seamlessly across devices

And when they do watch TV, some 79% of this generation told us they always or mostly use a mobile device while watching TV.

As Luna, 20, a research participant from Germany, explained, “If I am doing something on the Internet, I am mostly doing everything at once. Listening to music, surfing the web, watching TV muted, having the music turned on and surfing any website.”

Multiscreening is most common in the evening for all countries, with the peak time during the hours of 4pm to 7pm. The practice is most popular among people in Italy and Germany (83% say they do it) and in Indonesia (81%).


TV shows have huge social currency among this generation. One of the main reasons this generation multiscreens is because they love being part of live online discussions and the OMG! moments as they happen.

As research participant Morgane, 22, from France, explained, “I’ll talk about what I’m doing if someone else I know is doing the same thing as me at the same time. For example, I know that on Saturday night I watch ‘The Voice’ at the same time as my friends, so we share and talk about it together.”

What this means for marketers

To reach this generation, brands must adopt a mobile-first mentality. This includes creating bite-sized, image-heavy content and videos designed for minds on the move.

As multiscreening becomes the norm, marketers can turn what could be perceived as a distraction into an integrated brand experience. Strong content coupled with an integrated media approach can create “surround sound” where a brand’s message, voice and identity are clear, consistent and recognizable across devices and screens.

Learn more about how people around the world are coming of age in a world of constant connectivity:

To download the white paper click here.


Note 1: Source: “Coming of Age on Screens,” by Crowd DNA (study commissioned by Facebook). Survey of 11,165 people online, age 13-24, across 13 markets, April-May 2014.
Note 2: Unless otherwise stated, statistics are averaged for all survey participants across all countries.