A digital hierarchy of needs

Mobile is the primary tool for the digital omnivore.

The report Mobile's Hierarchy of Needs features some eye-popping statistics and some fascinating findings.  For example, almost a third of Americans would rather give up sex for a year than give up their mobile devices!

From basic necessities to self-actualisation

The report takes the human necessities from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and aligns them with mobile usage behaviour to argue that mobile users have a hierarchy of digital needs that drives their behaviour. 

The report begins by exploring how consumers are using mobile to access some of the most basic of human needs (physiological and safety/security on the Maslow Hierarchy) e.g. the growth of food shopping, access to real estate and information on the weather.  

It then goes on to look at the impact of mobile access on the need for love and belonging.  (The use of personals and dating apps by the over-35s is catching up with usage by younger people.)  The use of apps that support ‘self-actualisation’, including travel and creative apps, is also growing.

Mobile dominates online time

Across the globe, mobile devices dominate total minutes spent online, passing 90% in Indonesia:

  • 72% Brazil
  • 71% China
  • 71% USA
  • 67% Spain
  • 61% UK

Mobile only audiences (those who no longer use desktop in a month) skew younger in Latin America and Asia, while in North America and Europe they are comparatively evenly comprised of users from across age demographics.  Time spent on mobile correlates inversely with age. Younger users spend more time per user on mobile devices.

The global growth of messaging apps

Channels such as video calling and instant messaging are replacing the standard SMS function.  The share of total mobile minutes among the five leading messaging apps (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, QQ messenger) has exploded, particularly in continental Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The White Paper is available to download from com.Score.