Use of Internet on Desktops Is Declining
If you find yourself spending a ton of time on your desktop PC throughout the week, congratulations -- you're rare. According to new figures from comScore, people are using their desktop systems to browse the Internet less and less.
Over the past four months, desktop use for Internet browsing has been consistently below the recorded amounts for the same time period last year. And just how much lower can vary wildly. In December of 2015, desktop browsing was 9.5 percent below December 2014's figures. It improved a little to just a 7.6 percent decline in January of 2016, almost reached even at a two percent decline in February, then dropped back down to a six percent decline for March.
ComScore's previous research pointed to a strong growth in mobile Internet browsing, but noted that desktop-based Internet browsing was expected to stay relatively similar, if not grow slightly. In other words, mobile browsing was simply increasing the amount of time that people spend online. It wasn't cannibalizing the amount of time people spend on their desktops browsing the Internet.
"Although desktop is relatively flat in total engagement, it is losing share to mobile -- which now accounts for 65 percent of digital media time spent. Mobile apps now drive the majority of digital time spent at 56 percent, and smartphone apps alone look to account for a majority of digital media consumption in 2016," comScore described in a recent white paper. Now, it seems, that might not be the case. According to The Wall Street Journal, desktop Internet use had its highest active month over the past three years back in March of 2015 with 567 billion total minutes of measured Web activity in the U.S. Not only have we not seen that figure go up over the past year or so, but the amount of time people are spending browsing the Web on their mobile devices is trouncing desktops: more than one trillion minutes in March of this year.
ComScore also noted that within the "millennials" age bracket -- those between the ages of 18 and 34 -- one-fifth don't even use a desktop PC at all. In contrast, 97 percent are mobile users, whether they use their mobile devices exclusively or consider themselves multi-platform users.