Search & Social Networking The Top Two Uses Of Mobile Internet, Reports Opera Mini 2011

India is the fastest growing market for mobile devices and poised to become the largest market. Internet penetration is also increasing rapidly and the number of people accessing internet on their phones is at an all time high. Smartphone prices are dropping and that promises to make mobile internet more lucrative in the days to come. We have earlier spoken a lot about mobile advertising and how a data usage on phone is fast outstripping the traditional usages, like calling and SMS. Now we will look at what ‘we the people’ actually do when we are connected to the internet through our phones.

Opera Software, the company behind the popular Opera Mini mobile web browser, conducts an annual survey to determine the most visited and popular websites which people visit from the mobile web browser. As was expected search and social networking were two top verticals. User-generated content is another vertical which gained a lot of momentum in 2011. Wikipedia, Spaces and Blogger (the blogging platform owned by Google) experienced significant gains during the year.

The top three sites, in terms of ‘number of unique users’, during 2011 were Google, Facebook and YouTube.

As mentioned earlier, Blogger or gained the maximum number of position in the 2011 list to 12th position, up seven places. Wikipedia gained four places and came up to 7th position. Yahoo! and Twitter completed the top ten in the 9th and 10th positions respectively.

More than 1 million Indians use the Opera Mini browser to access internet on their phones, which puts India among the top two countries in terms of user base. The report reveals that 144.6 million people used Opera Mini in November 2011 (worldwide), which is 3.3% higher than the October 2011 figure. Over 88.5 billion pages were viewed by users in November 2011, which is almost double that of November 2010. For the second year running Latin America has been the fastest growing region, in terms of number of Opera Mini users. There was a 247% increase in user base in Latin America over the past year. Africa was second with a 145% increase and South Asia third with a 138% growth.

One thing to be kept in mind while reading this report is that the Opera Mini browser is not used by iPhone and Android users. So the overall picture might be a different. Russian social networks will not feature in the top ten, that much is for sure.

Which sites do you access on your phone? Besides searching and social networking, what other functions does mobile internet serve for you?

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