by Kevin Anderson, on May 3, 2012
Trendwatch is a regular feature of the Knowledge Bridge Digital Briefing, we’ll bring you the latest statistics and digital trends to help inform your next steps in the digital transition.
When people say digital, often the first thing they think of is a computer, but for much of the world digital and digital content means mobile.
Not only that, but in many parts of the world, mobile is the only way that they access the internet and digital content, according to research by desktop and mobile browser Opera.
Despite the rise of Apple’s iPhone and hundreds of smartphones running Google’s Android mobile operating system, the Opera browser remains quite popular, especially in emerging democracies because it works on a wide range of phones, and Opera has a caching service to speed up mobile downloads.
In Opera’s latest State of the Mobile Web report, the browser-maker claims 169m users worldwide, and of those, 56% only access the web on their mobile phones.
What’s even more interesting is that that number rises dramatically when focusing on countries outside of Europe and the North America. In Egypt, the company found that 72% of its users only accessed the web via their mobile phone, according to the full report (PDF). Opera found that 69% of its users in Bangladesh, 68% of its users in Senegal, 65% of its users in Brazil, and 61% of its users in both Pakistan and South Africa were mobile-only internet users.
What are they doing on the web on their mobile phones? Searching and updating their social networks top the list with more than 60% of Opera users saying they accessed those types of sites on their phones.
The good news for news organisations is that news and information sites made up much of the top 10 types of sites that mobile web users visit. Entertainment news was the top news category with 35% of users saying they visited these sites, with world and local news close behind. Football and other sports sites were also popular, with business news sites rounding out the top 10.
The mobile web is a global story, especially as countries like Angola choose to roll out next generation 4G wireless technology to help position their economies for future growth.
With audiences embracing the mobile revolution around the world, it’s time for news organisations to prioritise mobile in their digital strategies.
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