Home State of the Mobile Web: Long Tail Sites Increase Their Presence

State of the Mobile Web: Long Tail Sites Increase Their Presence

Browser vendor Opera, which is a stronger player in the mobile browser market than it is on the desktop, has just released more data on of the state of the Mobile Web. The latest report tells us that usage of the mobile Web continues to grow in terms of unique users and page views. What’s more, ‘long tail’ sites are showing up well in the data too, which is a sure sign the Mobile Web is gaining traction in key growth markets like the U.S. and China.

The company states that in August, their mobile browser Opera Mini (our coverage) was used by approximately 17.3 million users, who viewed more than 4.1 billion pages – about 242 pages per user, per month.

The user numbers represent a 9.1% month-on-month increase from July and more than 357% compared to August 2007. Over 12 million sites were accessed in August. As with the PC web, there is a Long Tail effect – 87 sites generating more than half of the 4.1 billion global page views. Opera concludes that “mobile Web users spend a significant amount of time browsing the Long Tail of the Web in addition to the most popular online destinations.”

Looking at the U.S. market, the report states that the top 100 sites (in terms of page views) generated 48% of that country’s total page views via Opera Mini. However that figure varies quite a lot internationally – it is 57% in the U.K., 52% in India, 38% in South Africa and 76% in both Indonesia and China. Indeed in China the top 11 sites generated over half of Opera Mini’s page views. In Indonesia it’s pretty much a one-site show, with Friendster “generating over half of that country’s Opera Mini traffic all by itself in the month of August.”

The top 10 sites in the U.S. (in terms of number of unique users) has stayed fairly stable. Here is the top 10 U.S. list for August:

1. google.com

2. myspace.com

3. facebook.com

4. wikipedia.org

5. yahoo.com

6. nytimes.com

7. gamejump.com

8. accuweather.com (up from 9)

9. youtube.com (down from 8)

10. my.opera.com

As a point of comparison, the top 10 english language websites ranked by Alexa at time of writing is:

1. Yahoo!

2. Google

3. YouTube

4. Windows Live

5. Microsoft Network (MSN)

6. Myspace

7. Facebook

8. Blogger.com

9. Orkut

10. RapidShare

It’s a little surprising to us that Yahoo is only ranked number 5 in the Mobile Web in the US. Although with MySpace and Facebook number 2 and 3 respectively, that shows that social networking on your mobile is one of the top use cases for using the Mobile Web (after searching on Google).

See also our earlier analysis of Opera’s demographic data about Mobile Web.

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