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Social networking fastest growing app segment in US, Europe

03 июня 2010

Social networking continues to top the U.S. mobile content charts, new research shows, with application-based access showing a phenomenal growth rate over the past 12 months.

14.52 million U.S. smartphone users used a social networking application in April 2010, up a sizeable 240% on the same month in 2009, according to new figures from comScore. The growth rate in Europe was almost identical at 239% (9.52 million users), the analyst firm revealed.

The popularity of social networking drove the application access market as a whole. In total 69.64 million U.S. smartphone users used an application (excluding native games) in April, up 28% from 54.51 million a year earlier.

Other application access categories recording 100%-plus growth over the year included news, which increased by 124%, sports information (113%), banking (113%), and weather (111%).

Despite significant increases in application usage, most Americans still prefer using their browsers, comScore noted. Close to 73 million mobile users accessed their browser in April, up 31% on-year; social networking was once again the fastest growing content segment accessed via mobile browsers, surging by 90% (29.84 million users), but in absolute terms, search (34.91 million users) ranked higher.

"Although growth in application usage on smartphones continues grab the spotlight in the mobile market, the audience using their mobile browser remains larger and is growing just as quickly," said Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile at comScore, in a statement.

"Brands need to remember to take into account the user experience across both channels when building their mobile strategies," he cautioned.

The situation is reversed in Europe though, where mobile users are showing a preference for applications over browser access. While 81.87 million users accessed applications in April 2010, a year-on-year growth rate of 13.4%, just 58.9 million used their browser. However, the browser category recorded stronger growth at 40.5%.

While social networking stole the application show in terms of growth rate, it was beaten by mapping services in terms of users, with 11.13 million people accessing maps thorough apps in April, up 131.3%.

Источник: Total Telecom

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