Mobiles used for videos and social media rather than talking, survey finds

Messaging platforms used much more than traditional texting

Young redhead celebrating good news on her mobile phone cheering and raising her fist in exultation

Young redhead celebrating good news on her mobile phone cheering and raising her fist in exultation


Irish mobiles are increasingly being used to stream videos, trawl social media and send memes and messages via WhatsApp at the expense of texting and talking which are rapidly becoming secondary tools to the smart phone generation.

A new survey from telecoms watchdog ComReg suggests that streaming audio and video content has doubled over the last two years while the amount of time Irish people spend on social networks including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has climbed by a third over the same time period.

All told people spend 46 minutes accessing social media and more than 20 minutes streaming video content on their phones each day, the survey says.


Making and receiving voice calls takes up just over 30 minutes a day while the number of text messages received or sent now stands at 11.5 compared almost 30 messages sent via WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat.

The domination of the mobile phone is almost total with 98 per cent of those surveyed indicating that they owned a mobile phone including 91 per cent of those over the age of 65.

The survey shows that 84 per cent of people over the age of 16 own a smartphone, including 100 per cent of those between the ages of 16 and 24.

The survey also highlighted people’s reluctance to switch provider with 71 per cent of mobile users saying they have been with their mobile network for three years or longer and only one out of four saying they had ever switched mobile network provider.

The report also points to a tendency to keep handsets for longer with as 36 per cent of those polled saying they had their phones for three years or longer. People living in more rural areas, people with non-smartphone handsets, and older age cohorts keep their handsets for longer.

Although most consumers are satisfied with their mobile phone service, a range of issues were identified, especially by those living in rural areas. The study found that a higher percentage of those living in rural areas experience issues than those in more urban parts of the country.

The majority of those surveyed indicated that they were satisfied with their mobile phone network coverage at home with 77 per cent saying it was good compared to 23 per cent who were dissatisfied.


The survey found the 20 per cent of those surveyed considered that their mobile phone coverage experience had improved over the previous 12 months, compared to 8 per cent who felt that it had deteriorated.

A range of issues can affect the quality of mobile phone service, including the handset itself and signal coverage. Switching either their handset or provider may improve the experience of some consumers.

“In rural Ireland indoor connectivity remains an issue,” said said ComReg chairman Garrett Blaney.

He expressed the view that problems surrounds rural broadband access would “primarily be solved by the continued adoption of services such as native WiFi calling, availing of Mobile Phone Repeaters and the rollout of the National Broadband Plan,”