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Smartphones

The INQ Cloud Touch smartphone does make phone calls, but its user interface is designed for quick full-screen access to Facebook and other social media.

INQ

Smartphones and social media were made for one another. Most people use their smartphones as a "gap filler," a way to kill a few minutes of time on the subway, in line for coffee, and even — yes — in the bathroom [source: Krawczyk]. (More than a third of social media users ages 18-24 access their favorite sites in the john [source: Nielsen].)

Social media networks serve much the same purpose, providing a quick jolt of information, entertainment and social connection via popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The fact that we can now access social media virtually anywhere through native smartphone apps and mobile Web has been a boon for both the gadgets and the social networks we love.

According to "Nielsen's State of the Media: The Social Media Report 2012," 46 percent of all social media users in America now use their smartphones to access social media networks. In the Asia-Pacific region, that number climbs to 59 percent.

Facebook still rules mobile social media, boasting over 78 million unique American users in 2012. Twitter, FourSquare and Google + were next in line, with U.S. audiences of 22.6 million, 10.3 million and 9.6 million respectively [source: Nielsen].

To capitalize on the trend, the British company INQ markets its Cloud Touch smartphone to confirmed Facebook addicts. The smartphone makes phone calls, technically, but its user interface is designed for quick full-screen access to Facebook friends, your Facebook news feed and Facebook chat [source: INQ].

For lots more information about personal gadgets and entertainment technology, check out the related HowStuffWorks links on the next page.

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