Use of the mobile Internet is growing eight times faster than traffic to the PC-based web, with the number of Brits accessing the Internet from their mobile devices soaring by 25% in the third quarter of 2008, according to new research from stat-studying spods Nielsen Online.
Their Mobile Media View study found that usage of the mobile Internet is increasing eight times faster than PC-based Internet growth, zipping up smartly from 5.8 million in the second quarter of 2008 to 7.3 million by the third quarter.
Not surprisingly, the mighty BBC News was found to be the most popular site in the UK, notching up visits by 24% of British mobile Internet users, followed by BBC Weather, Sky Sports and Gmail.
It’s a different story on the desktop, with eBay taking 43% of the market followed by Google Search on 23%.
Kent Ferguson, chief analyst at Nielsen, mused: “The fact that weather, sports, news and e-mail sites make up the majority of leading mobile sites shows that mobile Internet is mainly about functionality and need at the moment, as opposed to the more entertainment and e-commerce-focused make-up of the leading PC-based sites.”
The mobile Internet demographic is younger too, with only 12% aged 55 or older, compared to 23% for PC-based Internet users.
There’s now nearly seven and a half million Brits accessing the web through their handsets, prompting Ferguson to declare that, “the mobile Internet audience is becoming more mainstream and is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups.”
“Growth of 25% between the two quarters this year is significant, and while advertisers and agencies may be reluctant to experiment with the emerging platform in a depressed 2009, I believe it is the right time for forward-thinking clients to be taking risks” he added.
“Those who put their stake in the ground now can win over the desirable young audience before their competitors get out of the starting blocks.”