Mobile Social Networking Grows Dramatically

Mobile Social Networking Grows Dramatically

The number of US mobile phone users performing social networking grew dramatically between April 2009 and April 2010, according to comScore MobiLens data.

Social Networking Fastest Growing Mobile App
While the total number of mobile phone users who accessed an application increased 28%, from 54.4 million to 69.6 million, between April 2009 and April 2010, the number of mobile phone users who accessed a social networking application more than tripled. Social networking led all mobile application categories with 240% growth, as the number of users increased from 4.3 million to 14.5 million.

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Several other application categories experienced triple-digit growth in the past year, emphasizing the increasing popularity of this method as a form of mobile content access. News apps followed, growing 124% from 4.1 million to 9.3 million users, while sports information apps experienced a 113% surge from 3.6 million to 7.7 million users. Bank accounts apps also grew 113%, from 2.3 million to 4.9 million, and weather apps grew 111% from 8.5 million to 18.1 million users.

The total number of mobile application users increased 28%, from 54.4 million to 69.6 million, between April 2009 and April 2010.

Social Networking Browser Access Doubles
Nearly 73 million mobile users accessed their browser in April 2010, an increase of 31% from 55.5 million the previous year. Mirroring application category growth, social networking ranked as the fastest-growing category accessed via browser, growing 90% from 15.7 million the previous year to reach almost 30 million users, followed by bank accounts (up 69% from 7.8 million to 13.2 million users).

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Online retail sites also experienced a significant increase in audience usage via browser, increasing 47% from about 5 million to 7.3 million users, as Americans continued to show adoption of the mobile retail channel.

In total, 72.9 million mobile users accessed their browser in April 2010, up 31% from 55.5 million in April 2009.

Smartphone Users Post Triple-Digit Growth in App and Browser Access
In terms of penetration, 78% of smartphone users accessed their browser in April 2010, while 80% of smartphone users accessed applications. In comparison, just 19% of feature phone users accessed their browser, with 17% accessing applications.

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Smartphone users are driving growth in browser (up 111%, from 17.8 million to 37.6 million in the past year) and application (up 112%, from 18.1 million to 38.4 million) access. Meanwhile, fewer feature phone users are accessing their mobile browser (down 6%, from 3.7 million to 35.3 million) or applications (down 14%, from 36.3 million to 31.2 million). However, feature phone users still make up nearly half of all users accessing mobile browsers and apps.

The total mobile phone audience grew 1%, from 232 million to 234 million users, between April 2009 and April 2010.

28% of Mobile Phone Users Go Online Daily
Twenty-eight percent of US mobile phone users access the mobile internet at least once a day, according to a recent consumer survey conducted by ABI Research. The percentage mobile phone users who access mobile internet sites from their phones dramatically increased from 16% to 28% between December 2008 and February 2010.

In addition, the percentages of mobile phone users who perform mobile internet access more than once a week but less than once a day, about once a week, and more than once a month but less than once a week all rose. The percentages who perform mobile internet access about once a month and less than once a month both fell.