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How Mobile (And Facebook) Ate the Media World, in Five Charts

The Web = the mobile Web (and Facebook). You knew that, but here's a refresher.

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Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

You are a smart person. So you don’t need a site like this to tell you that when we talk about the Internet, we’re really talking about the Internet we access on our phones.

Web = mobile, and it’s been that way for a while now.

What’s that? You’d like a refresher course? No problem. Here’s a quick glimpse at the rise of the mobile Internet, courtesy of comScore’s recently released 2016 “cross-platform” study:

  • This is as straightforward as it gets: Mobile now accounts for two-thirds of the time people access digital media in the U.S. Phone apps alone account for nearly half the time.

  • And mobile is still booming: Media time spent on phones is up nearly 80 percent in the last two years.

  • For an increasing number of people, it’s mobile or nothing. For one in five millennials, mobile is the only way they get the Internet.

  • The mobile boom has made more media properties available to more people. The biggest media properties in the U.S. now average 16.8 million visitors a month, up from 12.3 million two years ago. That growth is all from mobile.

  • And last, a reminder that when we talk about the mobile Web, we’re often talking about Facebook, which is huge. Add in the other properties the company has built and acquired in the past few years — Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — and Facebook accounts for more than a fifth of the media time spent on phones.

You’re still here? Good for you. Here’s your reward: A trip back to 1983, when David Letterman was a clean-shaven, brilliant, edgy late-night host, and REM was an unknown band.

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