Record numbers of football fans will follow the Brazil 2014 World Cup using a smartphone or tablet, according to Ofcom
The 2014 World Cup will be the most mobile yet for UK football fans, due to rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, combined with growing availability of 4G mobile and Wi-Fi hotspots.
Compared to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010, more than double the proportion of adults in the UK will be able to follow the tournament via their smartphones (62 per cent compared to 30 per cent in 2010), according to the communications regulator Ofcom.
Brazil 2014 will also be the first World Cup to see significant use of tablet PCs to follow the action. Nearly a third of adults (30 per cent) now use tablets to go online, while the first Apple iPad had only just launched before the 2010 World Cup.
Ofcom said the scheduling of matches means that new technology will be vital in helping UK football fans to keep up to date on matches.
For games that kick-off at 5pm, mobile devices will allow fans to keep an eye on the score, tweet and even watch live on the commute home. Football fans will also be able to take their tablets to bed to watch the 11pm kick-offs.
Social media will also have a big part to play, with more capacity for live tweeting or posting during matches compared to 2010. More than twice the number of mobile users now access social media sites on a mobile than in 2010, according to Ofcom.
Meanwhile, FIFA announced this week that it had set up its first Instagram account to post photos for international football fans during the World Cup. Ofcom’s research suggests this could engage younger people, as Instagram is particularly popular among 16- to 24-year-olds.