Category Archives: Mobile

From Selfies to SMS–what UK iPhone users do with their phones

In the UK we tend to use our phones mainly for phone calls and SMS. It looks like we spend all of our time searching at social media activities on our phones.

I found an infographic from UK brand 3 showing what iPhone users across the UK  do with their devices. Interestingly  enough SMS texting just leads the way ahead of phone calls.

When we take photos, we take pictures of our friends and family. and men take selfies more often than women. Users in East Anglia take the most photos and iPhone users in Yorkshire love their weather app.

3 a look at where the UK’s iPhone community are using their devices most. This research revealed that 69 percent of Londoners use their iPhones while on the toilet and, unsurprisingly, this is the region most using their phones while commuting, at 82.3 percent.

The four other regions most using their devices on their journeys to and from work are the North East, at 73.6 percent of residents, Northern Ireland at 71.8 percent, the North West at 60.5 percent, and Scotland at 60.4 percent.

The infographic can be found on Three’s web siteiPhone Users

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Connect with Eileen on Twitter and or contact her to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.


Sex, Tattoos and iPhone accidents

I love this. Following on from my post about people using their smartphones from the shower to the sack, here’s an infographic from SquareTrade the protection plan for mobile devices and laptops showing that people that have sex more than once a week damage their iPhones.

The study also shows that those who have tattoos, ride motorcycles or trade stocks also have a higher chance of a phone fumble.

If you have a tattoo or ride a motorcycle you are 25 percent more likely to have had an iPhone accident.if you live in a household of more than 4 members, or have sex more than once a week you are 15 percent more likely to have an iPhone accident.

And if you are a stock trader beware. You are 40 percent more likely to have had an iPhone accident of you frequently trade stocks.

Ty Shay, SquareTrade’s Chief Marketing Officer. “As our devices become increasingly central to our lives, they’re at the mercy of our lifestyles and sometimes risky behaviour. This research gives us a glimpse into what trends we may see in the future.”


There’s a theme here. iPhones.

I think if you don’t want to have an iPhone accident then don’t do the activities in the infographic – or switch to a different mobile OS such as Android or Windows Phone Smile

Eileen is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Big Brother mobile device in our pockets

File:Nokia Lumia 800.jpgFolks don’t like the idea of having their movements stalked by cameras or tracking devices – and yet we willingly carry round a device that has been tracking everything we do.

And we use that device in preference to other devices such as watches, PC’s and cameras – devices without tracking information embedded into the device.

So why are we so happy to carry around devices that are constantly monitoring us?

Information about our whereabouts can come in useful when we are trying to find our lost phones.  The Find my phone feature on the Nokia Lumia is particularly handy.

Location information can also be very useful to the police or the emergency services who can use the device data for pinpointing the location of someone who may have been injured and called for help.  Location information from mobile phones certainly helped to find the murderer of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman as the device recorded the last cell connecting to the phone.

Information about the cell log on, cell access, and the last location of the cell before the phone is switched off gives vital clues in the hunt for evidence in cases such as these.

Frictionless sharing helps us automatically let our friends and colleagues know what we have been doing.  Now frictionless data from our phones, can help advertisers give us targeted adverts and services that we should want.

Apple users were annoyed to discover that the iPhone tracked their location and that a security flaw could mean that data might get into the wrong hands. The data could be accessed without needing a court order.

And we use our phones data plan a lot:


Minutes per day

Browsing the internet


Checking social networks


Playing games


Listening to music


Making calls


Checking/writing emails


Text messaging


Watching TV/films


Reading books


Taking photographs





According to this survey from 02, we spend over 53 minutes per day either browsing, using social networks or reading and writing emails.  And we use our phones more often than other devices.  The O2 survey also shows us which devices we are turning away from:

  • Over half (54%) say they use their phones in place of an alarm clock
  • Almost half (46%) have dispensed with a watch in favour of using their smartphone
  • Two-in-five (39%) have switched to use their phone instead of a separate camera
  • Over one quarter use their phone instead of a laptop (28%)
  • One in ten have got shot of a games console in favour of their handset (11%)
  • One in twenty smartphone users have switched to use their phone in place of a TV (6%) or reading physical books (6%)

So there are good and bad reasons for having a tracking device monitoring your whereabouts and location.  We blithely accept location access from our devices – yet we complain about invasion of our privacy and intrusion. We want to keep our kids safe – and yet we want to have the privacy we need.

Is there a balance?  Can we rely on the police and emergency services to respect that our data is never shared with any third parties – unless we need  to rely on their services?

Or do we accept that in our always on, 24 x 7 state, someone is watching our every move – just in case…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: Kiwi Flickr

Sync your Amex card with Twitter for hashtag offers

This is a nice bit of innovation from American Express.  Now you can sync your American Express card with Twitter and receive offers when you Tweet or check in with Foursquare.

When you use Foursquare to check in to a location where an Offer exists, a message will be sent to your mobile device notifying you of an available offer (such as, by way of example, a statement credit or point of sale discount).

If you would like to take advantage of the offer, you must first activate certain offers by pressing the “Load to Card” or similar button. To redeem an offer, follow the instructions and use your Card for the purchase.

On Twitter you need to look our for special offer hashtags from American Express or the brands that are partnering for the offer. using the hashtags loads the offer onto your synced card. Once the offer is loaded onto your card, use the card to pay for the offer and the offer is applied as a statement credit on your account.

This is a great way for Amex to measure levels of engagement through hashtags and offers. The merchant bears the cost of the discount and pays Amex the transaction fee for each transaction.

Currently the brands offering discounts seem to be US based, but the offer conditions also apply in the UK according to the terms and conditions on the web  site.

How long will it be before other debit and credit cards follow the lead of Amex and connect their social activities together too?

This is a good initiative which ensures that future campaigns will be seen by as wide an audience as possible – for the minimum of investment.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

50 per cent of Facebook users go mobile

imageFacebook is responsible for some staggering usage numbers.  It is due to cross the billion user accounts milestone in summer, just after its IPO.  One billion users.  That is, one in seven of everyone across the world are on Facebook in some form or another.

And lots of us use Facebook from our mobile devices too.  488 million of Facebook users access the social network from our mobile device according to the socialbakers infographic on their blog.  Here are some more jaw dropping stats from the infographic:

  • Over 901 million active users log on to Facebook every month. That is user accounts, not brand pages.
  • 488 million users log on to Facebook from their mobile devices.  That is 54 per cent of the total number of Facebook users.  Of course, some users use Facebook from both a PC and a mobile device
  • Android and iPhone lead the stats for logging on to Facebook with 19 per cent penetration each. Blackberry is at eight per cent and iPad, five per cent, which is lower than i expected
  • Active feature phones get 17 per cent of the active users with ‘Others’ at 32 per cent
  • The US leads the way with mobile users.  It has almost 106 million out of 157 million active users.  This is followed by Indonesia with almost 29 million users out of a potential user base of 42 million, India at 23 million mobile users out of a total Facebook population of 46 million and the UK at almost 21 million mobile users out of 31 million Facebook accounts
  • However, in percentage terms, Nigeria leads the way with over 81 per cent of mobile users.  Singapore and Japan have an impressive 72 per cent each.  The rest of the world trails far behind…

Some impressive numbers, and certainly totals that will grow as Facebook turns into a commercial powerhouse after it floats.  Will be interesting to see the numbers 1 year down the line…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: tlaukkanen

Do our devices stop us from ‘really’ communicating with each other?

It’s odd how we keep some of our SMS messages and discard others.  A text from a loved one, stays in our phone for ages and ages.

And yet we communicate with our friends and family using status messages, tweets and updates. We do this more than we talk to them face to face. 

Social media has the ability to keep us connected to people who we would never normally interact with.  Those casual acquaintances, friends and colleagues who we would forget about if we had to communicate with them face to face.

And yet, with tools like Facebook, we are aware of what our casual friends do on a day by day basis. We become a silent watcher of their lives, a lurker, a stalker.  We don’t usually interact with them, and yet we know so much about them. With the onslaught of mobile, and our utter reliance on the divide in our pocket (remember – we’re addicted to smartphones according to Ofcom).

Things that we might have found disturbing a few years ago, we do freely.  We advertise our presence to the world when we check in to a location.  Are we expecting that other, similarly connected people will join us at our location?

We use social tools when we’re in meetings, tweeting about how bored we are with the meeting.  Sometimes, we’re encouraged to do this, so that the live Twitter feed can be displayed for others to read. 

We check our emails as soon as we wake, through our meals.  We take photographs of our food as a permanent record of what we have consumed. Our phones, designed to facilitate communication with others become the barrier to our human communication and interaction.

We are so busy being productive that we ignore our families.  They are plugged in, online, listening to music and updating their friends on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and BlackBerry Messaging.

Sherry Turkle talks about being the new way of being ‘Alone Together’ at TED this year.  She talks about us hiding from each other, whilst being connected to each other.  Laptops in meetings provide a barrier to the rest of the group.  They might not want to interrupt that busy person from their emails.  The laptop is a safe place to hide behind.

But are we killing the art of human interaction and face to face conversation?

The video talks about our presenting ourselves as we want to be.  We are not the same person online and offline.  We get to ‘retouch’ the parts of us, until they are just right.

We use the conversations with each other to learn how to have conversations with ourselves.

And technology is enabling this chasm between human interaction and interacting with devices.  We are developing sociable robots that offer companionship. such as the Unified communications robots help patients get better, the Mask bot- The robot with the human face and Argumentative Chatbots.

Sherry nails in one sentence how this is changing the way we interact with each other:

We expect more from technology and less from each other

Does technology appeal more when we are vulnerable?  Do we pour out our heart and soul through blogs, status updates, emails and texts.  Is it just because we are lonely that we reach for that connected device?

Can we bear to be alone?  Does social technology truly define who we are?

   Without connections will we be more alone?  Is solitude the thing that we should be aiming for – to get us used to being us. 

Then and only then, can we be truly authentic online.

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Our smartphone addiction–according to Ofcom

Do you get separation anxiety when you can’ not find your phone?  If so, you are not along.  According to the annual report from Ofcom smartphones are taking over our lives.  Over 27 per cent of adults in the UK now own a smartphone.  The annual report from Offcom highlights some interesting facts about our smartphone use in the UK amongst other things.

We are using our mobile devices more and more. We even use them instead of our landlines and our broadband connections. Mobile voice calls are up 350% and SMS messages are up 2000%.  This has been accompanied by a corresponding decline in fixed line voice calls.  We use mainly contract based plans, with pay as you go usage decreasing to 16%. Getting a contract with a smartphone included in the deal may have facilitated this growth..

Here are some callouts from the report:

Smartphone usage:

We still make more calls from landlines than we do from mobile phones but 81% of us make and receive calls on our mobile every day

59% of our smartphones are less than a year old

37% of adults claim to be addicted to their smartphone

60% of teenagers claim to be addicted to their smartphone – especially teenage girls.  They also send more texts than make calls

Where do we use our phones:

51% say they use it whilst socialising and are not too bothered when asked to turn the device off.  0ver 10% ignore the turn off  demands and continue to use the device anyway

23% use it during a meal with others.  Teenagers use their phones at meal times more than adults

81% of us never turn their phones off

22% use their smartphone in the bathroom and 47% of teenagers claim to use smartphones in the bathroom

Work lives:

30% use their phones at work for personal calls

25% use their phone for work calls when not on duty

24% use their phone for work when on holiday

Internet use:

25% of all UK advertising spend is on the internet, ahead of TV advertising. 

Mobile advertising grew by 121% to reach £83 million

28% of UK adults access internet services on their mobile devices – up from 22%

57% of mobile users access social networking sites. Facebook comes out top at with 97% of users accessing it.  Twitter comes second at 26%, MySpace (13%) and Bebo (10%)

53% send and receive emails

42% use mobile search

Teens use their smartphone for social networking (62%, listening to music (62%) and playing games(50%)

And in the UK, the iPhone is still the dominant device – followed by the BlackBerry..

Smartphone brand choice amongst users: Ofcom report


Some great statistics for marketers to chew over – warning the document runs to 341 pages. There are sections on TV, Radio and internet usage in addition for financial figures and growth.  Well worth a scan through…


Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.