Facebook top mobile website in UK

22 June 2010

LONDON: Facebook is the website which is currently receiving the highest number of visitors from the mobile internet in the UK.

According to estimates from comScore, the research firm, a total of 5.9 million people spent two billion minutes on the social network in March 2010, an audience that viewed 2.75 billion pages overall.

Google's stable of sites, which includes its main search engine as well as properties like YouTube, attracted 6.2 million consumers in the same period.

Data for the study was drawn from statistics provided by the four biggest wireless networks in the UK.

Among this group, Vodafone drew 3.7 million netizens to its branded portal in the third month of this year, a figure that fell to 3.1 million for O2 and 2.2 million for Orange.

"We're looking to give day-by-day reporting to agencies on how ad campaigns are performing," said Paul Goode, comScore's head on industry relations.

"Most advertisers on mobile are booking campaigns that rely on direct response as a metric."

Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods giant, is one company that is attempting to heighten its presence on this emerging channel.

"If you don't like change you're going to like irrelevance even less,” Usama Al-Qassab, P&G's head of e-retail and new marketing models," said at the IAB's recent Engage for Mobile Conference.

Perhaps the primary obstacle to this medium playing an integral part in the media mix is a widely-held misperception about its cost effectiveness.

"People believe it takes higher levels of resource time, expertise and money. Mobile is often passed to agencies and specialists, and therefore this makes integration harder," said Al-Qassab.

"You need to be up to speed with mobile and convince those with the purse strings."

The advantage of the advent of devices such as the iPhone is that they are helping to overcome these issues, as the shift in habits being adopted by shoppers becomes more apparent.

"Mobiles are smaller, cheaper and more powerful than ever," said Al-Qassab. "They have now become the retailer of choice, your personally designed shopping mall open 24/7. When you can explain that to a CFO, do they love it!"

More broadly, this medium offers all the functionality of the web in terms of accurately tracking data and campaign results, which is essential at a time when marketing expenditure is under scrutiny.

"Budgets aren't increasing at the same pace as the media vehicles and the cost of these vehicles. But digital and mobile have given us the data necessary to understand the ROI on our activity," Al-Qassab said.

Data sourced from New Media Age/IAB; additional content by Warc staff