Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Facebook Name Largest Mobile Social Network, With Twitter On Its Heels
- Very Few Use Their Mobile To Browse the Internet
- Social Networking Use Up 82%
- The Typical Twitter User Isn't Very Active
Facebook Name Largest Mobile Social Network, With Twitter On Its Heels
Opera is a very widely used browser that is available for almost any mobile phone that is capable of surfing the web. Using this wide base of data collection power, Opera has released the State of The Mobile Web report. The report shows a dramatic rise in the use of social networks on mobile devices.
For example, Facebook's unique users grew by more than 600% during 2009. This is not surprising, as many bought new smartphones that featured Facebook's iPhone and Android application, as well as those visiting Facebook's mobile site.
Twitter saw more astounding growth, growing more than 2800% in the same year. All major social networks saw a rise in mobile use. This makes sense because people who are on the go want to share their experiences and find out what their friends and family are up to.
Very Few Use Their Mobile To Browse the Internet
With the above numbers and figures about the mobile web surfacing, one could think that a good majority of people utilize their mobile handsets to browse or utilize online content. Not so fast, says a recent study by a UK Firm. Essential Research polled 2,000 people over the age of 16 and found that 76% of respondents report that they don't use their mobile device to access the Internet.
In fact, only 10% of those polled use their mobile phones on a daily basis to access online content. Why? According to respondents, 60% report their phones are not capable of accessing the Internet and less than one-third say they'd like to change this to be able to get online.
The study also had some interesting views into who is utilizing the mobile web. Folks who report this are typically between the ages of 16-34, make more than US$ 65,000 per year, and typically live in cities. This makes for an interesting demographic for advertisers who are looking to shift ad dollars to mobile.
Social Networking Use Up 82%
Seems mobile use of social networks isn't the only aspect of social web use that is up. A recent post on ReadWriteWeb shows that conventional web use of social sites is up some 82% year over year. Also up is the amount of time spent on social networks, from 3 hours per month in 2008 to more than 5 and a half hours per month in 2009. Of the social sites, it appears Facebook is where most time is spent by online users.
These statistics were gathered in mostly western European cities and Japan, and they show that amongst these countries, the United States is leading social networking use, with more than 140 million unique visitors in the month of December 2009. However, for time spent on social sites, Australians lead with almost 7 hours per month consumed by sharing details with friends on website.
We'll be on the lookout for other studies that profile social networking use in other parts of the world, stay tuned!
The Typical Twitter User Isn't Very Active
Twitter had quite a year in 2009. The site went from been mainly used by computer and nerdy folks to being a mainstream tool used by soccer moms and people of all stripes. Even Oprah and other celebrities utilized the site, and CNN and other media outlets used it to get instant feedback when news events occurred.
However, new statistics show that the 'average' Twitter user is far from engaged with the service and therefore rarely use the service. In fact, of the 75 million user accounts registered on Twitter.com, only 17% (less than one-fifth!) actually sent a tweet.
Looking at the numbers in more detail, about 80% of Twitter users have tweeted less than 10 times altogether!
It seems growth has started to stagnate and these types of usage figures show that the quality and engagement of existing users is very low. Twitter will need to rally the troops and figure out how to get their users more active on the site in order to be a viable service going forward.