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Craigslist, Facebook Popular on Mobile Web

Social networking and Internet commerce are compelling mobile smartphone users to spend more than four hours per month browsing the mobile Web within the U.S. -- and more than two hours in Britain -- according to the latest study by M:Metrics.

According to March data from their metered smartphone panel, active mobile Web users in the United States spent an average of one hour and thirty-nine minutes in the month browsing Craigslist on their smartphone, the longest duration of any site among the top twenty domains visited.

In the United Kingdom, Facebook commanded the most time spent browsing in the month, with visitors dedicating an average of one hour and forty-five minutes using the site, which is also drawing in users in America.

There, Facebook ranks fourth in terms of time spent browsing, after eBay and MySpace, with Disney's Go.com rounding out the top five.

In the UK, the remaining top sites by browsing time are the mobile service provider 3's portal, Sky TV, Microsoft's Live and the BBC.

Among smartphone users in the United States, mobile browsing has increased 89 percent year over year, and page views have increased 127 percent. Consumption is quickly evolving from brief transactions, such as checking the weather or flight status, to time-intensive interaction with mobile Websites.

A primary factor in the discrepancy in the duration of time spent browsing between British and American smartphone users is the relative popularity of flat-rate data plans in the United States, where 10.9 percent of users have an unlimited data plan versus only 2.3 percent in Britain.

Other factors to consider are the popularity of devices with QWERTY keyboards in the United States -- where nine of the ten top smartphones are QWERTY, while the inverse in true in the UK -- and the greater penetration of smartphones in the British market.

This data is derived from actual user behaviors among those with Windows, Symbian and Palm handsets. M:Metrics uses sophisticated on-device metering technologies to capture the mobile browsing and messaging activities among its panel of 3,500 smartphone users in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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