Mar 12

comScore : Mobile Social Networking Picks Up

Mobile social networking is gaining ground. As of January, 17.1% of U.S. mobile subscribers went to a social networking site or blog compared to 13.8% in October, according to new data from comScore MobiLens.

 The Web measurement firm last week reported Facebook and Twitter have both seen triple-digit traffic growth on the mobile Web in the last year, reaching U.S. audiences of 25.1 million and 4.7 million, respectively. (MySpace’s mobile site dropped 7% to 11.4 million.)

Highlighting broader growth, Facebook recently announced cracking 100 million active mobile users worldwide. While social networking was the fastest-growing type of content usage over the last three months, text messaging remains by far the most prevalent. Nearly two-thirds (63.5%) of mobile users texted in January, up from 62% in October.

Web browsing was the next most popular activity, with 28.6% surfing the mobile Internet (up from 26.8% in October), followed by game-playing (roughly flat at 21.7%), using downloaded apps (19.8%, up from 18.3%), social networking (17.1%) and listening to music (12.8% versus 11.6%).

Helping to boost social media on cell phones has been the expansion of high-end devices. Nearly 43 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones as of January, an 18% increase from October. BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion was the dominant handset maker, with 43% market share, followed by Apple with 25.1%.

Google’s Android platform enjoyed the biggest gain — jumping from 2.8% to 7.1% in the last three months — while Microsoft had the biggest drop-off, slipping from a 19.7% share to 15.7%. Palm — whose latest versions of the Pre and Pixi smartphones have not met sales expectations — also lost market share, dropping from 7.8% to 5.7%.

Motorola was the top phone manufacturer overall, with 22.9% share, followed closely by LG, at 21.7%, and Samsung at 21.1%. Rounding out the top were Nokia, 9.1% and RIM, 7.8%. All of the top five either lost share or were flat in the last three months except for RIM, which increased from 6.4%.

 Mobile Content Usage chart


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