Mobile social networking expanding epically

Ronny Kerr · June 3, 2010 · Short URL:

After social networking, biggest mobile growers are bank, news, and sports apps

mobile social networkingMobile social networking is exploding.

Nearly 30 million users access social sites through their phone's browser, demonstrating 90% growth from a year ago, according to April 2010 data shared in the latest comScore report. Even more impressive, 14.5 million people use social networking apps on their phones, a 240% increase from the year before.

These numbers themselves speak to another larger truth: more people use their mobile browser than apps, but not by much.

Almost 73 million mobile users accessed their browser in April, versus the 69.6 million who accessed an application on their phone. Browser and app usage have risen 31% and 28% since the previous year, respectively.

"Social networking is by far the fastest-growing mobile activity right now," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. "With 20 percent of mobile users now accessing social networking sites via their phone, we expect to see both application and browser usage continuing to drive future consumption of social media."

In terms of browser usage, the biggest category growth after social networking is seen in bank accounts (up 69% to 13.2 million users) and online retail (up 47% to 7.3 million users).

For apps, growth was steep across the board: after social, the quickest growing categories are news apps (up 124% to 9.3 million users), sports apps (up 113% to 7.7 million users), and bank apps (also up 113% to about 5 million users).

In the end, though, it all comes back to social media. Consider that those news and sports apps probably experience tremendous growth when they add features like the ability to share articles via Facebook or tweet game updates via Twitter. The social experience was already getting big years ago, but now that we can take that experience with us everywhere we go, the thing is now literally blowing up.

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