Here’s how much people love sharing video and photos on their phones

Canadian internet company Sandvine releases its latest survey of Internet use, and uploading with mobile is blowing up

 
Mobile phone filming speakers at an OPEC press conference.
Uploading video and photos is one of the biggest uses for mobile devices, according to a new survey of Internet use by Sandvine. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty)

Broadband tool company Sandvine has released its latest internet usage statistics and it looks like video streaming’s dominance continues to grow with no real end in sight.

“Real-time entertainment,” as Sandvine calls it, now accounts for about two-thirds of prime time traffic. The category includes streaming music, but the lion’s share of the stat goes to video, which requires considerably more bandwidth than audio.

The result is nearly double what video accounted for just five years ago. Netflix alone is responsible for 34% of evening traffic, with YouTube coming in second at about 17%. The number is sure to grow as more streaming services come online and as more people ditch cable.

The other interesting numbers centre on social networking usage. The category accounts for only 5% of fixed internet traffic, otherwise known as home connections, versus 22% on mobile. Clearly, people are using their phones for Facebook, Twitter and so on:

Graph showing how people use the internet on fixed access internet devices Graph showing how people use the internet on mobile access internet devices

The difference in upstream traffic is even more noticeable. About a quarter of all uploading on mobile is social media-related, but the category doesn’t even warrant its own mention on fixed connections.

That seems to indicate that a disproportionate number of the photos and videos that people are creating is being uploaded and shared on their phones rather than through their computers.

It’s not hard to see why. For one thing, the interesting things that happen to all of us on a daily basis don’t tend to occur when we’re sitting on our butts but rather when we’re out and about in the world.

Having upload speeds that are generally faster on wireless networks also helps.

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