Site- and category-level data both show that email represents the largest share of US mobile internet activity, according to analysis from The Nielsen Company.
Email Accounts for Roughly 40% of Mobile Web Use
Examining mobile internet usage at a granular level, Nielsen finds that in May 2010, email accounted for 38.5% of use at individual site level, and 41.5% of use at the broader category level (groupings of websites that offer similar types of content).
The alternative site-level way of slicing the data still shows email to be, by far, the dominant sector in terms of mobile time, although this dominance shrinks by a few delta points to 38.5% from 41.6%.
Search is another mobile web activity that nets out with a smaller share, although by less than a percentage point from 7.1% to 6.3%.
SocNets Similar, News Makes Gains
Comparing site-level to category-level usage, social networks account for a virtually identical share of mobile internet time(10.7% compared to 10.5%). However, news & current events comes out much stronger using the site-level analysis at a 7.2% share of time, compared to 4.4% of time using the category-level analysis.
Share of time on portals shows something more dramatic, with a change from 11.6% to 4.6% share of time comparing category-level to site-level usage. However, Nielsen advises this doesn’t mean that people are spending any less time on portal sites.
Change in Portal Usage Misleading
Nielsen classifies both channels and brands into categories, so a category-level analysis includes both brands (e.g., Google) as well as channels under than brand (e.g., Google News). Therefore, using the initial methodology means that all Google time would be assigned to portals (because Google is a portal), but using the site-level method means the Google News element would be assigned to the news & current events sector. Thus, the portal element is limited to more general and entry pages rather than including content-specific sectors such as news.
Email Tops Mobile Activities in June ’10
US mobile internet users show a different activity pattern from PC-based users, according to other Nielsen data collected and analyzed using different metrics. Email was the top way mobile users spent online time in June 2010, representing 41.6% of mobile online time. Portals remain as the second-heaviest activity on mobile Internet (11.6% share of time), while social networking has risen to account for a 10.5% share.