Home Report: The Mobile Web is the New Hangout

Report: The Mobile Web is the New Hangout

According to Opera’s survey of the more 11.9 million Opera Mini users in March, almost 41% of mobile traffic now goes to social networking — up to 60% in some countries, including the US. Compare that to about 6% of total web traffic for social networks outside of the mobile web. That’s not overly surprising, though, given the recent proliferation of new smartphones aimed at consumers (or at least phones that can view the full web), made ultra-chic over the past year by Apple’s iPhone. Says Opera, 3/4ths of mobile web traffic is now to the full web, rather than WAP or .mobi sites, which are quickly becoming out-moded.

We predicted some big things for the mobile web this year, and analysts are starting to agree. Even with a near 20% year-over-year increase expected in the number of SMS messages sent this year, researchers at Gartner still expect that mobile social networks will be a bigger story.

Mobile social networks have a very desirable demographic for advertisers. Over 60% of the users at MocoSpace, for example, which is one of the largest mobile social networks, are between the ages of 18 and 34. And 25% of US citizens under the age of 25 rely solely on mobile phones as their main means of voice communication.

What’s more, users of mobile phones are more likely to engage with advertising. UK ad-supported mobile service Blyk, for example, saw an amazing 29% average response rate on ad campaigns — with one campaign — for a book, no less — receiving an incredible 67% response rate on the service. M:Metrics found in February that mobile users were more likely to respond to advertising than regular Internet users, and 27% more likely to say they are tempted to buy an advertised product then the average person.

Clearly, there is a huge opportunity for commerce on the mobile platform, and social networking on the mobile seems to be the best way to target consumers. In November of last year, we asked how many of you were using the mobile web. Not surprisingly, a majority of ReadWriteWeb readers were — just over a third loading a mobile site daily. But surprisingly, 30% of you were not mobile web users. A lot can change in 6 months, though, so we’d like to ask again. And if you’re looking for a mobile social network to try out, check out Corvida’s recent look at four promising options.

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