Q3 GWI Launch: Huge growth in active behaviours

Chart of the day
3 min. read

Sebastian Hedencrona / October 15, 2013

Since we launched the GlobalWebIndex in 2009 we have been tracking active behaviours online and today we track 38 behaviours covering key actions such as Writing Blogs, Using RSS, Purchasing Online and Streaming Video that users have performed across PC, mobile and tablets.

When we look at this data on a global level the new Q3 data reveals some key insights:

  • Growth of active behaviours: Across the board there are more internet users engaged in active behaviours with every single data point we track, which incredible growth rates across the board in the last 12 months. This demonstrates the continual shift from the passive web to one that is defined by contribution, content and community.
  • Rise of aggregation and portable content: The leading growth behaviours in terms of numbers of users active on all three devices are “used an aggregator” which grew 90% since Q1 2013 on a PC, 83% on mobile and 112% on tablet. This was followed by RSS, again on all 3 devices. If you dig into the data further you can see that the markets driving this growth tend to be in Asia, although the trend is reflected in other markets. For many years it seemed RSS was a defunct technology, but today is proving more relevant than ever.
  • Dominance of Video: Since GWI.1 back in 2009 “Watching a video clip” has lead the rankings on PC behaviour. Now in Q3 73% of internet users say they have watched video in the past month on their PC. What is interesting is how this behaviour is transferring to other devices and today 63% of mobile users and 67% of tablet users have watched a video clip in the past month. There is also a shift from clips and short-form content, to long-form video and live TV. For example “watching a full-length sports programme” grew 40% since Q1 2013 on PC, 49% on mobile and 73% on mobile, while “streaming live TV” grew 33% on PC, 43% on mobile and 67% on tablet. Bearing in mind this is just the change during 2013, we are seeing epic growth that underlines where the future TV is heading.
  • Growth of complex behaviours on mobile: Traditionally we’ve seen mobile as a cut down experience of what you can achieve on a larger device. But rapid evolutions in device, mobile web development and application device are transforming that reality. Today some of the fastest-growing behaviours are the most complex, for example “sold a product online” was the third-fastest growing behaviour with the user base growing 58% since Q1 2013. This was followed by “Edit/manage own website” which grew 53% and “written a news story/article” which grew 58%.

We believe such data is critical to designing effective strategies. The internet is no longer defined by passive consumption of information via a browser. Today users actively contribute, seek out and consume content, share stories and information, build their own presence and communicate online. The modern internet experience is defined by active behaviours and we believe that understanding this activity is more valuable and insightful than simply looking at which websites dominate consumption.