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THIS ARTICLE IS PROBABLY SAFE FOR WORK

Data show porn is moving to mobile

A woman looks at a phone.
Reuters/Toru Hanai
Eyes wide open.
By Dan Kopf
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

People are truly doing everything on their phones.

Pornography site Pornhub is the 36th most popular website in the world—more popular than Ebay and Craigslist, and not far behind Netflix. Each year since 2014, the site has released an annual year in review (not safe for work) on its users’ behavior. While many of the report’s most provocative findings are not appropriate for this family-friendly website, there is much to learn from it about how people consume… media.

In addition to looking at trends in pornography preferences, Pornhub reports on the device types used by its customers. This year’s report showed that customers are increasingly enjoying their porn on the go—or at least on their phones. In 2013, only 40% of Pornhub’s traffic was on a phone; that number spiked to 67% in 2017.

The rise of mobile is partly due to a change in the geographic composition of Pornhub’s audience: An increasing share of viewers come from mobile-heavy India and fewer from desktop-centric Europe. But mobile use has also risen tremendously across all of Pornhub’s major markets.

The largest increase since 2013, the first year for which the company reports data, was in India. Pornhub notes this is likely because of the increasing popularity of  “inexpensive and unlimited cellular data plans.”

Compared with overall web traffic, Pornhub’s viewership has been a leading indicator of the use of mobile around the world. Quartz examined the share of traffic on mobile in the US, UK, Germany, and India according to the web analytics firm StatCounter, and found that Pornhub users are consistently ahead of the curve in moving to mobile. It seems our pornography-watching habits are a harbinger of things to come.

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