In 2010, when sports fans tuned into the World Cup, they were so glued to their TV screens that online searches, which tended to take place on desktop, plummeted.
Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, we drew on data from the Union of European Football Associations Champions League to make a prediction: “Second screening,” where fans tune into an event on a big screen while following along on mobile, was going mainstream. That prediction held up. In 2018, research revealed that 70% of adults looked at a second screen while watching TV.
By 2015, long gone were the days where shoppers had to write a list before heading to the store. Instead, people were turning to their smartphones the second they wanted to do something, discover something or buy something.
We called these “micro-moments,” and they were becoming increasingly widespread. That year, 82% of smartphone users consulted their phone while in a store.
In 2017, it took, on average, 22 seconds for a mobile webpage to load.
That might not sound like much, but according to Google research that year, it was enough to sink an online business. The research, which analyzed the landing pages of 900,000 mobile ads, found that as page load time went from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile visitor bouncing increased 123%.
We’ve all seen people with their heads buried in their phones, unaware of what’s happening around them. Maybe that’s why the internet has long had an unfair reputation as an isolating experience.
But YouTube data from 2018 revealed an emerging trend that would explode just a few years later: the rise of video as an interactive, social experience. For example, we saw a huge interest in videos that encouraged viewers to do something — study, clean, read — at the same time as a YouTube creator and their followers.