Oct 2, 2018

Americans' digital use reaches tipping point

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Data: eMarketer, April 2018; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

A new Pew Research Center study out Sunday found that the percentage of Americans that do various media activities, like use social media or the internet has plateaued. Those forecasts mimic those of eMarketer (above) which has found a similar pattern.

Why it matters: The reason the percentage growth of usage of technologies like mobile, internet and social media is declining is because those technologies have reached a saturation point in the U.S.

  • 95% of Americans own a cellphone; 77% own a smartphone
  • 89% of Americans use the internet; 69% use social media

Between the lines: As Axios has noted previously, social media use on open networks is also declining as more people transition their social communication online to encrypted messaging networks.

What's next: Virtual reality, augmented reality and 5G. While adoption of all three is growing, AR has the most commercial use and is growing at the fastest rate, due in large part to social media leveraging AR technology to increase user engagement.

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