Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Smartphone Users Access Social Networks

The latest comScore market study found that 30.8 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010 -- up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago.

Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347 percent jump.

"Social networking remains one of the most popular and fastest-growing behaviors on both the PC-based Internet and the mobile Web," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile.

"Social media is a natural sweet spot for mobile since mobile devices are at the center of how people communicate with their circle of friends, whether by phone, text, email, or, increasingly, accessing social networking sites via a mobile browser."

In January 2010, 11.1 percent of all mobile phone users accessed a social networking site via mobile browser, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year. Much of this growth has been driven by smartphone owners, 30.8 percent of whom accessed social networking sites on their mobile browsers -- up more than 8 percentage points on the year.

By comparison, just 6.8 percent of feature phone users accessed social networking sites on their mobile phones.

Access of leading social networking sites via mobile browser continues to see significant growth. In January 2010, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook via their mobile browser, up 112 percent from the previous year. MySpace attracted 11.4 million users, approximately half that of Facebook, in January.

Interestingly, Facebook's mobile browser audience surpassed MySpace in February 2009, three months earlier than the Facebook audience exceeded that of MySpace on the PC-based Internet in May 2009.

Twitter, which has experienced tremendous growth in both mobile and PC-based visitation, attracted 4.7 million mobile users in January -- up 347 percent versus year ago.

These market study results don't include access of the social networking services by the nearly 6 million mobile phone owners who do so exclusively through mobile applications (Apps).