Desktop vs Mobile use in 2022

Desktop vs Mobile use in 2022

For years, the big tech war was desktop vs laptop, but those days are in the distant past. Mobile phones have put that debate to bed and are the real challenger. They have shaken up how and where we use the internet. 

As of 2022, about half of all internet traffic is mobile and half is desktop. We might use our devices an equal amount of time, but do we do the same things on our computers as we do on our phones?

This article will compare desktop and mobile internet use in some of the main categories:

Online gambling as a case study

Online casinos are an interesting case study when looking at usage. You can play the best online casino video slots on both desktop and mobile. However, some online casinos have their own apps, while others simply have mobile versions of their desktop website. Many of the mobile versions of desktop sites have limited libraries, so players may not be able to access all their favorite slots.

You would think this would mean that most people prefer to play on their desktop since it gives them the best access to games. In reality, an increasing percentage of players — possibly as high as 70% — prefer to use mobile apps for their online gambling. This could be due to the general popularity of mobile games or the convenience of on-the-go gaming.


Now more than ever, people are choosing to stream movies and television shows to their devices instead of watching them on television or in cinemas. The convenience of being able to watch what we want whenever we want, often without any advertisements, has made streaming incredibly popular. 

All in all, desktop and mobile are used roughly the same for streaming videos. People may be more likely to watch an entire movie or binge a series on their computer but watching videos on social media or while commuting is more commonly done on mobile phones.

Now as for being able to decide what to watch… if only there was help for that!

Social Media

Nowadays, it seems like almost every website has added a social media function. For this article, though, we’re going to focus on sites that are dedicated social networks. This includes the giants of the industry, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter, as well as apps like WhatsApp and Pinterest.  

This is the area where the difference between mobile and desktop use is the most dramatic. Some studies show that nearly 80% of social media browsing is done on mobile devices. Others are more cautious in their estimates and think the total is closer to 60%. Either way, the general trend is towards accessing social networks from mobile devices.

This makes sense, especially since many social media apps were designed for mobile users or are exclusively available on mobile devices. We also tend to check our social networks in our moments of downtime and having our phones on hand makes this incredibly easy.

Time on sites

One of the most interesting bits of data related to how we use the internet concerns how much time we spend on each site. It turns out that visitors using a desktop spend more time on each site than mobile users do. 

That might not be much of a shock, but what is surprising is just how big the difference is. On average, desktop users spend a whopping 40% more time on each site. This raises interesting questions about our attention spans and how mobile phones may be affecting them.

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