Huge Bump in Surfing the Web By Phone.

Posted by truecreek on April 6, 2009 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

By Heidi Dawley
Mar 19, 2009

Mobile internet may have taken time to find its footing with consumers, but now it is powering along, gaining users at a fast clip.

What’s more it has moved beyond just an occasional toy for a rapidly increasing group of people.

The number of people who access news and information on the internet on a daily basis more than doubled in the last year, rising to 22.4 million in January from 10.8 million in the same month in 2008, according to a new study from ComScore.

“It is now more than a novelty. It is something that is a utility,” says Mark Donovan, senior vice president for mobile at comScore.

The transformation for mobile stems directly from improved web technology and a dramatic improvement in content.

In many ways the change is similar to what happened with internet access via the PC some years ago. In the early days, when dial-up ruled and content was limited, people might surf a bit each month. It was still a novelty. It became a daily habit as more content became available and fast internet connections gained over dial-up.

“You saw how the computer became knitted into the fabric of their lives. That’s now happening with the mobile phone,” says Donovan.

Another factor is handsets that are handier for surfing, but as comScore points out, it’s not just smartphones like Apple’s iPhone. It found that 70 percent of people accessing mobile internet content were using phones with lesser features.

The big draw for mobile surfers is news and information. ComScore found that the number of mobile users who visited such sites on a daily basis has more than doubled, rising 107 percent, to 22.4 million, by January as compared the prior January.

But the fastest-growing category in terms of the number of daily users is social networks and blogs. The number accessing these sites was up 427 percent to 9.2 million.

The third-biggest category was financial services, trading stocks, and accessing bank accounts and the like. That was up 188 percent, to 3.2 million daily users. This is also a category that Donovan believes is likely to continue growing rapidly.

For advertisers the rapid shift to accessing the web via mobile phones makes this area far more appealing, says Donovan.

“We have shown that mobile is sizable audience, it is frequently used by 35 percent daily. Plus a big portion of those people are additive, in that advertiser wouldn’t get them by just advertising on the PC web,” he says.

He is referring to some previous comScore research that showed that light PC internet users are 30 percent more likely to be using the mobile internet. So mobile is a key way to reach them.

What’s more, the people who are surfing from their phones are a nice sweet spot for advertising, believes Donovan. They tend to be men ages 18-35, who are highly connected and highly distracted. The mobile phone is their connection to the digital world.

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