What your Facebook addiction means for investors

There’s a good chance that you’re addicted to using Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) on your phone. In fact, 61% of 7,446 polled iOS and Android users said they use their Facebook mobile application every day, according to a study published last week by IDC and Facebook.

The majority of participants in the study say that they check their News Feed constantly. But the phenomenon isn’t affecting Facebook in isolation — LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD) and Twitter are beneficiaries as well. What does this mean for investors in the social space? Spoiler alert: It’s good news.

The Facebook phenomenon
The increasing amount of social engagement taking place on connected devices is due to two major factors, says IDC:

  1. A universal need to feel connected with others.
  2. The widespread adoption of smartphones.

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have created platforms for people to engage, share, and connect on these pocket-sized computers. The result? “Social engagement via phones has become mainstream,” concludes the report.

Smartphones are very important and critical tools “for connecting with friends, family, and colleagues every day,” the IDC study revealed. Most respondents polled keep their smartphone with them all but two hours a day, on average. One out of every four smartphone owners can’t even recall when the last time was that their smartphone was not close to them.

As smartphones are being adopted in droves, platforms that are effectively connecting people on mobile devices are benefiting. IDC notes that it expects smartphone users in the U.S. to grow from 155 million in 2012 to 181 million and 222 million in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Which companies will benefit?
Facebook will undoubtedly see favorable effects from the growing use of smartphones and tablets. It overwhelmingly receives the most attention from smartphone users, with an average number of daily sessions on Facebook of 13.8 and an average session length of 2:22 minutes. But LinkedIn should benefit, too.

LinkedIn received little attention in the study, and rightly so — its main purpose is to enhance people’s professional network; this is something we just don’t devote daily attention to. But it still managed to notch some impressive stats:

  • 4% of smartphone owners use LinkedIn when they are at a live event.
  • 2% while they are at a meeting or class.
  • 2% when they go out to eat or get drinks.

These stats are impressive when you consider the fact that LinkedIn has only 202 million members, compared to Facebook’s 1.06 billion monthly active users.

Foolish takeaway

There’s a host of reasons for the astounding growth of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But the link between mass adoption of smartphones and a global need for connectivity undoubtedly remains a major driving force. With worldwide smartphone adoption still growing by leaps and bounds, Facebook and LinkedIn should continue to benefit.

Unsure about the future for these social media giants? Two of Australia’s most promising small companies are still flying under the radar. Discover these two exciting ASX investments in our brand-new special FREE report,2 Small Cap Superstars. Click here now, it’s free!

More reading

The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better.  Click here  for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

A version of this article, written by Daniel Sparks, originally appeared on

The 5 mining stocks we’re recommending in 2019…

For decades, Australian mining companies have minted money for individual investors like you and me. But if you believe the pundits and talking heads on TV, those days are long gone. Finito! Behind us forever…

We say nothing could be further from the truth. To earn the really massive returns, you’ve got to fish where others aren’t fishing—and the mining sector could be primed for a resurgence. That’s why top Motley Fool analysts just revealed their exciting new research on 5 ASX miners they believe could help you profit in 2019 and beyond…


The best way we see to play the global zinc shortage… Our #1 favourite large-cap miner (hint: it’s not BHP)… one early-stage gold miner we think could hit the motherlode… Plus two more surprising companies you probably haven’t heard of yet!

For free access to our brand-new research, simply click here or the link below. But be warned, this research is available free for a limited time only, and we reserve the right to withdraw it at any time.

Click here for your FREE report!