• Pablo Fernández

The mobile, star device of the web

This article was originally published by Marie-juliette Levin.

Unsurprisingly, the French are consuming more and more Internet every day. Almost 2.5 hours on average according to the latest Médiamétrie barometer. The mobile is becoming part of our habits for information, entertainment, and paying for purchases.

By the end of 2021, 92% of French households will have an Internet connection and the number of Internet users in France will continue to grow, reaching 53.5 million individuals each month. According to the Year of the Internet 2021 published by the Médiamétrie institute, Internet users surf on average 2 hours and 26 minutes per day, mainly on mobile phones, which account for two-thirds of the time spent on the web. "If we take a long-term view, this is five times more than 10 years ago! These intense Internet uses, particularly on mobile phones, meet the new needs of the French to be informed, entertained, exchanged and consumed differently", analyses Bertrand Krug, digital and press director at Médiamétrie. While the 15-24-year-olds remain the most assiduous surfers on the web with 3 hours and 53 minutes of daily surfing, the 50+-year-olds are proving to be more connected than in 2020: 2 hours and 31 minutes per day for the 50-64-year-olds, an increase of 13% in 1 year.

A phenomenon that is exploding due to health constraints, contactless payment via mobile phone has also developed considerably in 2021. With 9 million monthly users, it has grown by 55% since October 2019. In addition, a quarter of French people now use collaborative tools to facilitate remote working, while almost half of them consult training/education sites and applications each month. Finally, with films playing, cultural exhibitions or restaurants open, in December 2021, 16.5 million Internet users looked for information on the web to prepare their next outing, a higher level than in the pre-pandemic period. Another recurring item in 2021 is health. No less than 7 out of 10 French people visited health-related sites and applications each month in 2021, i.e. 15% more than before the health crisis.

The over-50s converted to social networks

On average, the French spend 45 minutes a day on these networks and messaging systems, i.e. a third of their surfing time. While young people are still the main users, with more than half of their surfing time devoted to social media - i.e. 2 hours and 7 minutes per day - the 50+ age group is also taking over social networks. By 2021, the time they spend on this activity has increased by 17% to 31 minutes per day.

Versatile and independent internet users

"Today, 8 out of 10 French people are e-commerce enthusiasts. However, increasingly aware of their choices and their consequences, 4 million Internet users scan and inform themselves about consumer goods each month via dedicated apps and 6.8 million visit anti-food waste sites. Others prefer second-hand clothes or, on the contrary, change their clothes at will thanks to ultra-fast-fashion. Independent, Internet users are even more frequently choosing new online financing models such as cryptocurrencies or crowdfunding," explains Olivia Brunet, Médiamétrie's Internet audience measurement director.

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