With more than a billion registered users, Facebook can make a useful barometer for measuring the public’s internet use habits. Trends seem to indicate that people are eschewing desktop and laptop computers for the unfettered convenience of mobile devices and tablets. This March, 99 million American Facebook users logged in via a mobile device, up 37 million logins during March 2012. The number of US Facebook users to log in by computer fell to 142 million after peaking at 158 million logins during August 2012.
While these data certainly support the increased ubiquity of mobile computing, there could be natural forces at work here as well. For the last few years, mobile has defied traditional internet use trends and actually increased during the summer. It makes perfect sense: when the weather improves, many people are more likely to head out of doors, either for short excursions or to travel, so they rely more on mobile computing.
According to app data aggregator Flurry, app use peaks between 5 and 9 pm, coincidentally the time when many people might be going out to dinner. There is another smaller peak in the number of users per hour between 11 am and 1 pm.
The stars, the seasons and the hands of the clock are all pointing to increased mobile app use. Major pizza chains have reported a drastic shift toward mobile ordering among their customers. The time is clearly at hand for restaurants to go mobile, yet to this day 45 percent of businesses somehow still lack a mobile presence. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that adapt to the changing seasons. The warm weather will bring hungry mobile users out of hibernation, so be sure your restaurant offers a mobile app they can connect with.
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