Mobile web use rises in US

17 March 2009

NEW YORK: Some 63.2 million US cellphone users accessed the mobile internet in January, up from 36.9 million in the year-ago period, with social networking sites and blogs the most popular destinations, according to figures from comScore.

Research published last year found that more Americans use the mobile internet to access social networking sites than their counterparts in the UK, France and Germany.

According to comScore, some 22.4 million US consumers used the mobile internet at least once a day in January, up from a total of 10.8 million recorded in the same month in 2008.

In all, 9.3 million users accessed social networking sites or blogs via the mobile internet a day, compared with 1.8 million who did so in the first month of the previous year.

Entertainment news, financial information and business directories also all saw upswings in usage of over 100% year-on-year.

Almost half of 18–34 year old men used the medium during the month as a whole.

Text messages were also utilised by 32.4 million to access news and information, while 14.1 million used SMS to search for information.

A separate survey by Pew Internet among 1,001 Americans has also found that 53% of participants have heard "a lot" about the problems facing newspapers, compared with 31% who have heard "a little," and 15% who have heard "nothing at all."

However, it also found that just 27% of "Generation Y" – that is, people who were born after 1977 – read a newspaper "the previous day", and just 43% of all Americans said losing their local newspaper would "hurt civic life in their community a lot."

Data sourced from Washington Post/Pew Internet; additional content by WARC staff