Mobile social networking audience grows

24 October 2011

NEW YORK: Over 70m consumers in the US now access social networking sites through their mobile phones, a study from comScore, the research firm, has revealed.

According to the company's estimates, 72.2m people - a third of the entire mobile audience - logged on to these platforms via a handset in August 2011, a 37% increase on an annual basis.

More specifically, 39.9m individuals engaged in this pastime "almost every day", a total which had expanded by 58% during the last 12 months.

Facebook led the field in terms of usage, reflecting its dominant position in the market as a whole. Some 57.3m of its members signed in from a wireless handset in August, a 50% lift year on year.

Twitter was in second place having attracted 13.4m mobile subscribers across August 2010, equating to 75% growth on August 2010. LinkedIn attracted 5.5m visitors in the same way, a 69% surge.

At present, the most popular activities undertaken by the mobile social networking audience are viewing comments from their friends on 80.3%, and posting status updates, on 69.5%.

Elsewhere, 53.2% of people had followed links to websites, and 52.9% read posts from brands and organisations.

This was ahead of the 44.8% that looked at material from celebrities and other public figures. Another 34.8% of netizens posted links to websites.

Turning to more commercial matters, 33.3% of consumers had received coupons and offers on these web properties, and 27.7% clicked on ads.

When considering the means via which mobile subscribers access social networks, comScore reported 42.3m did so through a browser, up 24% year on year, and 38.5m utilised an app, a 126% annual improvement.

Some 60% of smartphone owners logged on to social networks on these gadgets, nearly double the overall average, Mark Donovan, comScore's senior vice president for mobile, said.

"Knowing that fans and followers engage with branded content on mobile devices opens the door to a world of opportunity for location-based services," he added.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff