The Relationship between Social Networks and Smartphones

If you missed me at Scholar Day, here’s the whirlwind tour of my 3 semester-long research study.

The Lit Review Highlights

Smartphones:

  • From 2007 to 2008 smartphone ownership in the U.S. increased 70%
  • Smartphones have processing power much like computers, run applications and are GPS equipped
  • Smartphones drive a need for real-time information

Social Networks:

  • Facebook usage doubled in 2008, Twitter is the fastest growing website in the U.S.
  • Social networks are culturally valued tools for engagement with the world
  • Social networks are a new method of information distribution

Social Networks Meet Smartphones:

  • Social networks allow for wireless up-to-the second information
  • Smartphones let users upload on social networks without using the website

Smartphone Examples:

–  iPhone

–  BlackBerry

–  Android

–  Windows Mobile

Social Network Examples:

–  Facebook

–  Twitter

– LinkedIn

–  Google Buzz

–  Foursquare

–  MySpace

–  Yelp

Methods

Research was conducted through a survey, distributed on social networks. The survey questions explored social networking habits, smartphone usage, satisfaction and how they relate according to the user.

Findings

240 people were surveyed

Most popular social network: Facebook

Most popular smartphone:  Android

Interesting Results:

–  15.6% of smartphone users check into locations using the GPS

–  98.7% connect with friends

–  78.5% connect with family

–  45.9% follow a brand, company or organization

–  50.8% do not consider every connection to be a friend

Some Discussion

  • Smartphone ownership did not affect the overall user satisfaction
  • Smartphone users would recommend the use of smartphones to others
  • Seeing another user update from a smartphone does not make them look sophisticated
  • No one pays attention to the phone their friends use on social networks

Limitations of this research:

  • Mostly female respondents
  • Timing and the Verizon iPhone release (Verizon iPhone was released half-way through the survey period)
  • Locations are unknown

Recommendations for Further Study:

  • Overall views of smartphone users. Necessity? Luxury?
  • Level of relationship with social network connections
  • Popularity of using social networks on other devices
  • Perception and motivation for using GPS-related applications

If you want more than the bullets, just ask!

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About Probably Rachel

PR professional and social media enthusiast, blogging about life, marriage, coffee and type 1 diabetes. You can follow me on Twitter also @ProbablyRachel

Posted on May 4, 2011, in Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Social Media, Student, Technobabble, Twitter, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. abbymillsaps

    This is all really interesting. I remember being puzzled by the question about what I thought of the phones my friends used to check in on social networks… I don’t think I had ever even noticed until the survey pointed it out!

    I know for me one of the “motivators” for using GPS-related apps is to compete with family and friends. I routinely check in to my parents’ house on FourSquare so I can be the mayor… it drives my mom crazy!

  2. Looks like a fun project! Thanks for sharing!

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