For the tourism industry it is very interesting to monitor how communications and social networking is developing amongst western european countries. Although social networking and communications in general are dominating the Smartphone activities in Europe, there are still tremendous differences with regards to Smartphone usage and internet penetration. However, search, news and entertainment remain to be very popular activities amongst Smartphone users. eMarketer now revisited the internet penetration in Western Europe, in particular in France and Germany with 74% and lower rates in countries such as Italy and Spain with only 58% and 64% respectively (eMarketer 2014).
When looking more closely at the key online activities of consumers in Western Europe, it is clear that social networking are ranked highest with regards to online activities. Many consumers are also increasingly taking advantage of entertainment on their desktop computers but most importantly on their Smartphone when on the go, travelling or even during lunch breaks at work. Mobile is certainly the future with regards to online activities. When looking at the top 10 mobile apps that are used in the EU 5, it is clear that personal email is still leading the way. This is followed by weather, instant messaging services and social networking. Due to the increased connectedness, search is also another very important mobile app that consumers use on a daily basis.
SMARTPHONE USERS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
Interestingly, German smartphone users are actually taking advantage of social networking and messaging apps the most which is very interesting. In addition to that, another 14% of users are also regular game app users. In France, email was most popular with regards to online activities with around 81% of French consumers aged between 15 to 60. Search was also very important as 72% of French consumers see that as an important online activity.
When looking at mobile content that is downloaded by mobile internet users in Italy, games apps are leading the way with around 88% of users having them downloaded. Music is in second rank with around 31% and 27% of videos. Interestingly, games and music which are both entertainment activities that consumers spend more and more time of their online activities on.
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