Bitly: Desktop browsers still default for accessing online content

Summary:Just because most tech-savvy consumers are walking around with smartphones all day long doesn't mean that they are using mobile devices to surf the web as much, based on a new study.

Computer web browsers are still the most frequently used mediums for accessing online content, trailed by smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles, according to new research from Bitly.

Bitly posits that the type and time of device usage for consuming online information "reflects the aggregate behavior patterns with these devices, showing us when the world is sleeping, eating, and taking a mid-afternoon coffee break."

Makes enough sense, but take a look a breakdown on the peak usage times by device:

  • Desktops/laptops: Most heavily used on weekdays before noon (Probably at work)
  • Mobile phones: The same as computer browsers (So probably while in transit on the way to work)
  • Tablets: Picks up and peaks on Tuesdays (of all days) at 5PM
  • Gaming Consoles (specifically the Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation): Thursdays at 5PM

Now, while it's not surprising that tablets and gaming consoles pick up in the evening, it is surprising that it's so early in the evenings -- not to mention Tuesdays and Thursdays?

Here's an extended demonstration of peaks and valleys of browsing in the graph below:

Bitly also examined with operating systems invoke similar behavior patterns, and the results aren't terribly surprising from anything we've heard before: Windows and Linux users have similar usage patterns, while Mac OS X is used "more like a mobile device."

The only one that seems to stand apart is the Kindle, which is typically used much later in the evening -- likely the only time one has to read a book after surfing the web all day from anywhere on every other device.

Graph via Bitly


Topics: Hardware, Amazon, Cloud, Enterprise Software, Mobility


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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