“We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. – T. S. Eliot
We can agree that much of the world has changed.
But, what has changed and what has stayed the same?
Solid research can tell you what has and has not changed. Now, more than ever, a deep and fresh profile is critical to planning.
If your profession involves creating the future, and you want key decisions supported by solid data and fewer assumptions, you have come to the right place. MetaFacts helps leading technology firms measure their current and future customers with empirical research. We also help public policymakers measure progress across socioeconomic groups. This site describes the many answers that MetaFacts’ market research supports with its TUP/Technology User Profile service.
TUP is the longest-running continuous study of technology users
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, January 14, 2021
Are technology devices in the hands of all American adults equally? How deeply does the digital divide extend concerning ethnicity or Hispanic family of origin? I looked into these questions using the latest wave of TUP/Technology User Profile.
In TUP 2020 and many earlier waves, we asked American respondents which ethnic group they identify with – White/Caucasian, Black or African-American, Asian, and others. We also asked respondents if they were Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino. We combined the responses into five overall categories: White/non-Hispanic, Black/non-Hispanic, Asian/non-Hispanic, Hispanic, and Other/non-Hispanic.
Broad ethnic/Hispanic groups mostly similar in device penetration
The five broad ethnic/Hispanic groups are similar in smartphone, PC, tablet, and feature/basic cell phone penetration. Asian/non-Hispanic Americans have the highest market penetration rates of smartphones, PCs, and tablets. Hispanic Americans have the highest penetration rate of feature/basic cell phones.
Due to wide socioeconomic variations within ethnic/Hispanic groups, I drilled down one level, comparing those who had graduated to those who had had not. The higher smartphone, PC, and tablet use pattern was the same among college-graduated and non-graduated Asian/non-Hispanic adults. However, Asian/non-Hispanic adults have the lowest use of feature phones as compared to other groups.
Feature phone use is at similar levels across most groups. Surprisingly, Hispanic college grads have a higher rate of using feature phones than any other group, including Hispanic non-grads. Asian/non-Hispanic Americans continue their focus on newer technology.
I also probed household income as a way of differentiating ethnic/Hispanic groups. I first split each group by their median household income. Black/non-Hispanic Americans have low PC use levels, whether they have upper or lower income. Upper income Hispanic Americans have much higher PC penetration than those with lower income.
Asian Americans have the highest use of tablets of all the groups regardless of income levels.
Inequalities are merely indicators of inequities. Persistent social issues have been the warp and woof of the United States since before its founding. Although technology has brought about rapid change, there’s no guarantee that it will fix social ills. We’ve seen that the opposite can come about, and not only in the US.
Although coarse definitions such as ethnicity and Hispanic family of origin only minimally explain the many differences in human behavior, they can serve as an initial guidepost. Technology companies that choose to make a difference in either inequalities or inequities can begin with the several segments that are the furthest behind.
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Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts – January 7, 2021
Active tablet use by country and year
Tablets have been declining in widespread active use over the last five years. Among American online adults, the penetration rate for actively using a tablet has dropped from 60% in 2016 to 36% in 2020. Usage rates have similarly dropped among online adults in the UK and Germany.
While US and UK usage rates have been similar, tablet use in Germany has trailed.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 23, 2020
Social networks’ power comes alive with its connections, so people want to be where their friends and contacts are. However, not all networks are the same, and some people choose different ones. How many social networking platforms do Americans actively use? Are they broadly connected to a wide number, or do they only use a few? This MetaFAQs shows the distribution of online American adults by the number of social networks they actively used – having connected in the prior 30 days. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SnapChat, Twitch.tv, Tumblr, Nextdoor, and others.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts – December 17, 2020
During the pandemic and with many employees working from home, much of communicating with coworkers and managers has shifted online. Employees have many options and are using most of them.
Video and online chats by employer size
Employees working for all company sizes are actively using a range of video calling, video conferencing, and group chats. Employees working for larger employers have a higher share who regularly communicate online than among employees with smaller employers.
These communication methods are more entrenched in the US, with most online employees regularly doing at least one of these activities.
Online employees in the UK are almost as actively communicating as Americans are. In Japan, however, the shares among both larger and smaller employers are lower than in the US, UK, or Germany.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 15, 2020
How many gamers are there? Is the market size big or small? Are the people that play games online or with their connected devices a small group of busy, fun-loving people, or is game-playing more widespread? This MetaFAQs answers the baseline question about how many millions of adults in the US, Germany, UK, and Japan use a game console, gaming desktop, gaming notebook, or even smartphones, PCs, tablets, or game consoles to play immersive games or other games. The results are based on TUP/Technology User Profile 2020.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 14, 2020
Who are the first to use smart displays?
The few smart displays used in the marketplace have stronger penetration among younger than older adults. Based on our most recent research results in TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, market penetration is still quite small.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts – December 10, 2020
Wireless Bluetooth headsets get a booster
Wireless Bluetooth headsets have been in the news lately, widely promoted as a year-end gift accessory. As a category, they have been available for decades, so why the latest emphasis, and is there enough demand for them?
Market demand has gotten stronger during 2020 in large part due to changed playing and working conditions. With the pandemic and stay-at-home restrictions worldwide, many people are now nearby a distinct set of people than they might interact with at their workplace or school. While quarantines can be a bonding experience, there can be added pressure when the sounds we make or listen to impinge on others.
Listening widespread, although differs by device type
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or perhaps the ear. The music some may consider beautiful may seem like noise to others. Similarly, the phone call we may think thoughtful may sound to others like distracting chatter.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 8, 2020
Who uses wireless Bluetooth headsets more – iPhone users or Android smartphone users? This MetaFAQs reports on the relative popularity between the two ecosystems and splitting out whether in-ear or over-the-ear designs are used more than the other.
Dan Ness, Principal Analyst, MetaFacts, December 7, 2020
Are smart displays making any headway?
With videoconferencing entering the mainstream and getting a recent boost during pandemic stay-at-home orders, there was a possibility that smart displays would get broad market acceptance. Based on our most recent research results in TUP/Technology User Profile 2020, market penetration is still quite small.
Meanwhile, our other survey results show video calls and group meetings have wide acceptance using smartphones and PCs and platforms such as Zoom and Webex.