According to Pew Internet, just under half (45%) of all U.S. adults own smartphones, said Pew. Aside from younger adults, these devices are also most popular with people from households earning at least $75,000 per year (68%), college graduates (61%) and adults aged 30-49 (59%)
Nearly half (49%) of all U.S. Hispanic adults own smartphones -- continuing their slight lead over whites (42%) and blacks (47%).
Who's on the lagging side of the mobile digital divide? According to Pew, the demographic segments least likely to currently own a smartphone include seniors (11%), people who did not finish high school (21%), and rural dwellers (29%).
The digital audience is going mobile faster than most community publishers are probably prepared for. Mary Meeker, one of the most noted analysts of mobile and internet trends, has predicted that by 2014 mobile users will comprise the majority of internet traffic.
If your community news outlet doesn't yet have a mobile strategy, the most logical place to start is by making sure your website loads quickly, displays well, and is easy to use on a smartphone screen. Check out your site on a number of smartphones, and in different parts of town to see how performance varies under different network conditions. Also, watch how people interact with your site on their phones.
Finally, opt-in text alerts and e-mail newsletters are effective tools for engaging more mobile users.
The News and Tools for Digital Innovators blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.