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Americans spend nearly 3 hours online via their mobile devices each day, according to a new study of mobile internet use by Ruder Finn.

The study revealed that people in the U.S. spend 2.7 hours of their day on the mobile internet. Most (91%) go online to socialize, compared to 79% of traditional web users.

Other activities users do on the mobile web:

  • 62% send and receive instant messages
  • 58% forward emails
  • 40% forward content
  • 38% forward photos
  • 45% post comments on social networking sites
  • 43% connect with others on social networking sites
  • 62% manage finances (compared to 39% of traditional web users)
  • 67% rally to support a cause (compared to 47% of traditional web users)

Mobile phone use differs by gender and age:

  • When shopping, men are more likely than women to compare prices (47% vs. 30%), but women are more likely to purchase (40% vs. 30%).
  • Women are much more likely than men to personally express themselves (49% vs. 35%) but men are much more likely to do business (62% vs. 57%)
  • Men (79%) are much more likely than women (61%) to use their mobile phone to simply “escape.”
  • Many more women (70%) than men (58%) go online using their mobile devices to entertain others.
  • Youth (44%) are more likely to shop over their mobile phones than the average mobile user (35%).
  • Seniors (82%) are much more likely than the traditional user (64%) to use their mobile phones to educate themselves.

“Mobile phones have become the way people organize their lives – managing finances, connecting with friends, purchasing products – and this trend will only accelerate,” said Kathy Bloomgarden, Ruder Finn co-CEO. “The mobile phone is becoming the most powerful online device, and the faster businesses can adapt their services to harness consumer mobile intent, the more rapidly they can capitalize on understanding their customers to drive growth.”

A total of 234 million people age 13 and older in the U.S. used mobile devices by the end of Q4 2009.

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