New research from Parks Associates finds that smartphone users are falling in love with video and more than a third of us are utilizing social networking apps more than an hour – every day!

The survey, which was published Thursday, provides evidence as to why so many apps developers are focusing on streaming video, why providers are once again unveiling unlimited data plans, why smartphones are becoming even more sophisticated and how social is becoming more and more mobile.

The demand also is leading to smarter and more versatile devices, Parks says.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • 70 percent of smartphone users now watch at least one short streaming video clip a day
  • More than 40 percent of smartphone users watch long streaming videos at least once a day (such as movies or complete TV shows)
  • A majority of thuse users spend more than 30 minutes per day on this activity.
  • 35 percent of smartphone owners use social networking apps for an hour or more every day
  • Seventy percent of smartphone users watch short video clips daily
  • 80 percent of smartphone owners use social networking apps at least once a day
  • 35 percent spend an hour or more on social apps
  • Data sharing is growing increasingly popular. “Roughly one-half of U.S. smartphone owners with a limited data plan share data between multiple devices, and 87% of them share data among multiple smartphones,” the survey found.

Interestingly, Parks points out that many smartphone customers do not utilize all their data even as video demand grows. That fact could lead to changes in plans.

“Consumer appetite for mobile data is very strong, but currently most subscribers use less than half of their allotted data, while those with high data plans use even less,” said Harry Wang, Director of Health & Mobile Product Research at Parks Associates. “For mobile operators, pushing consumers to sign up for a bigger data plan will have its limits. More and more consumers will start to compare payment to data usage and discover that they are eating a small portion but paying the price of a family-sized meal.”

AT&T announced this week a return of unlimited data as part of an effort to capitalize on its acquisition of DirecTV. Other mobile operators are likely to look for ways to drive data plans as well, Parks said.

“AT&T is looking to leverage its acquisition of DIRECTV to build its mobile data business by re-introducing its offer of unlimited data as a reward to customers who sign up for the satellite TV service,” Wang said.

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