The global tablet user base has grown 282% since Q1 2011. With a number that high, it is no surprise that tablet users now drive online content consumption. It is simply not enough to know that there has been 282% growth in tablet usage over the past two years, however. Developers, publishers and brands alike must understand who these users are in order to develop the most appropriate tablet offerings.

Our Stream Device Report—Q1 2013 did exactly that, at a global level at least, and found some very distinct characteristics of tablet users that separate them from other internet users. Firstly, tablet owners are more likely to be middle aged and male with 67% of tablet owners being between the ages of 25 and 44. They are also more likely to be wealthier than average with 36% sitting inside the top 25% of income earners worldwide; a significant over-representation.

The report didn’t only look at demographic characteristics, but also behavioral characteristics. Tablet users are more likely to not only use their devices to make purchases, but also to advocate products and brands online.

Compared to the average global Internet user, tablet users are 57% more likely to follow the latest fashions. They are also 55% more likely to say that their favourite brand plays an integral role in their online experience. What’s more, tablet users are also 43% more likely to frequently tell friends and family about new products and services.

This leads us to conclude that it is in brands’ best interest to use a multi-device strategy that includes easy social sharing features and experiences tailored to these specific types of users. From Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons to a “Forward to a Friend” link, tablet users are not only the most likely to consume online content—they are also more active online at large via their personal devices. In addition, the more this content is tailored to these users’ beliefs and personas the more they’ll want to engage and share that to their networks.

Given their inclination to be active and engaged on these devices, publishers including The Telegraph Group and Condé Nast have started offering tailored content and experiences in an effort to attract these big-spending, digitally savvy consumers. This also offers great opportunities for brands to work with publishers and integrate their communications into these experiences in order to connect with this key demographic segment.

Moving forward, GlobalWebIndex forecasts that tablet penetration globally will reach nearly 45% by Q1 2016 among internet users. In light of this it is essential for brands to go beyond a multi-platform strategy and know exactly who is engaged across the range of digital devices they offer.

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