According to a new study released by comScore, more European mobile phone users are being drawn into using the mobile web. Many new adopters of mobile Internet usage are utilizing social networking websites.
In fact, almost one third of respondents reported that they exclusively viewed mobile social networking content, showing mobile devices are becoming a very popular way to keeping in touch with one's social connections.
To gather their data, comScore evaluated 12.1 million users in Western Europe including France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. The numbers revealed a 152 percent growth from November 2007 to November 2008 of mobile social networking traffic. Among the countries listed above, the UK showed the most mobile social networking usage.
With more users accessing the mobile web, what trends might emerge for those who administer web sites?
There is no doubt smart phones are starting to take a hold in the mobile phone market. This is especially true in enterprises where mobile network operators are bringing down smartphone device costs at a level where more companies are taking the bait.
Smart phones such as RIM Blackberries, Nokia Symbian devices and Windows Mobile handsets are very capable of utilizing mobile websites. Most mobile operating systems even offer VPN connections so road warriors can access Intranet material that is behind the corporate firewall.
Content managers need to be able to respond to the demand for mobile web customers. This can be a challenge due to the low bandwidth connections and small screens that mobile users view the web upon. Also, mobile web customers often experience drops in connectivity, so offline access might be a requirement web administrators need to anticipate.
I would recommend evaluating your content management system to see what what steps you might need to take to cater to a mobile audience. Necessary steps might include altering your CSS or preparing a separate mobile Intranet or Internet site all together. Some web content management systems such as Microsoft Office SharePoint have mobile friendly views built in.
Has your company or group adopted a mobile strategy yet? What stage are you currently in? We're curious to read about our reader's experiences in the comments!