June 16, 2010
/ by Mike Spataro
This latest report from comScore, Inc. not only shows the surging popularity of social networking on mobile devices, it also reinforces the idea that social is becoming more and more intertwined into our daily lives and activities. With the release of Apple’s iPhone 4, and an ever growing list of competing products, these numbers are sure to continue to grow. Continue reading to learn about the top activities these new internet devices are being used for everyday.
comScore, Inc. recently released a report on the fastest-growing mobile application and browser content categories based on data from its MobiLensservice. The report found that social networking led as the top-gaining category for both application and browser access, confirming the surging popularity of this service on mobile devices. The study also found that accessing Bank Accounts was one of the fastest-gaining categories via both app and browser, as the convenience of mobile banking continues to appeal to a growing number of consumers.
“With mobile media consumption on the rise, the discussion of how consumers are accessing content — whether it is via application, browser or both — continues to be an important factor for companies looking to invest further in their mobile brands,” said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “Although application access is clearly on the rise, with several categories more than doubling their audience via this method, content consumption via browser continues to be the most popular method for Americans to access mobile media.”
Smartphone Users Post Triple-Digit Growth in App and Browser Access In terms of penetration, 78 percent of smartphone users accessed their browser in April 2010, while 80 percent of smartphone users accessed applications. In comparison, just 19 percent of feature phone users accessed their browser, with 17 percent accessing applications. Although smartphone users are driving growth in browser (up 111 percent in the past year) and application (up 112 percent) access, feature phone users still make up nearly half of all users accessing mobile browsers and apps.
“Although growth in application usage on smartphones continues to grab the spotlight in the mobile market, the audience using their mobile browser remains larger and is growing just as quickly,” added Donovan. “Brands need to remember to take into consideration the user experience across both channels when building their mobile strategies.”
*comScore defines smartphones as a mobile device with the following operating systems: RIM, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Palm, Symbian
Social Networking App Audience More Than Triples in Past Year In April 2010, 69.6 million mobile users accessed an application on their phone, an increase of 28 percent from the previous year. Several application categories experienced triple-digit growth in the past year, emphasizing the increasing popularity of this method as a form of mobile content access. Social Networking experienced the strongest growth in app access, increasing 240 percent to 14.5 million users. Accessing News apps followed, growing 124 percent to 9.3 million users, while Sports Information apps experienced a 113-percent surge to nearly 7.7 million users. Bank Accounts apps also more than doubled their audience, growing to nearly 5 million users in April.
More Americans Still Use their Browser versus Applications Nearly 73 million mobile users accessed their browser in April, an increase of 31 percent from the previous year. Mirroring application category growth, Social Networking ranked as the fastest-growing category accessed via browser, growing 90 percent from the previous year to reach almost 30 million users, followed by Bank Accounts (69 percent to 13.2 million users). Online Retail sites also experienced a significant increase in audience usage via browser, increasing 47 percent to 7.3 million users, as Americans continued to show adoption of the mobile retail channel.
Donovan continued, “Social networking is by far the fastest-growing mobile activity right now. With 20 percent of mobile users now accessing social networking sites via their phone, we expect to see both application and browser usage continuing to drive future consumption of social media.”
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