Webcredible, a user experience consultancy firm, conducted a mobile Web-usage poll recently to find out what areas of the mobile Web are seeing the most traffic and user interaction these days. Unsurprisingly, email and social network interaction are among the most visited.
The research polled more than 1,100 online users between February and April 2009 on what they used their mobile phone for most, with the exception of calls and text messages. Checking email and social networking came in as the most popular activities with 39 percent of mobile Internet users mostly using email and over 16 percent favoring social networking. Just under 16 percent of mobile Internet users said they mostly downloaded ringtones.
The poll has been conducted in the past, and the new results show a clear indication of the evolution of the mobile Web over short periods of time. Almost two years ago, for example, the same poll was conducted between August and October of 2007 which showed that downloading ringtones came in at the top spot with 43 percent. During that particular poll, only 21 percent of respondents said they checked email regularly, and social network interaction didn’t even register.
“Social networking sites are helping the mobile Internet reach its tipping point,” stated Abid Warsi, Senior Consultant at Webcredible. “We are now seeing an increasing number of people taking a real multi-channel approach to their communications with the growth in the use of email, Facebook and Twitter on the mobile, no doubt assisted by newer, technically advanced handsets like the iPhone.”
Interestingly enough, the 2009 research also revealed that 13 percent of mobile Internet users mainly used it for reading news or sport content, 12 percent used it for maps and directions and 4 percent mainly used it for local or travel news. 48 percent of total respondents said that they performed none of these tasks on their mobile devices- which is the most surprising revelation if you ask me.
Mobile devices have come a long way in two short years, and have everything to do with the mobile Web. Mobile apps have a lot to do with the evolution of the mobile Web as well, by bringing many aspects of the desktop experience to mobile devices. It should be interesting to see what this same poll produces next year and beyond as mobile apps, mobile browsers and mobile broadband continue to evolve.