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UK mobile internet use sky rockets

Alex Christie

26 November 2008

Nielsen has published stats that show the UK mobile internet use is growing 8 times faster than  PC internet use and (no surprises here) the average age of mobile users is younger than online. Massive increases in mobile internet use were reported with a 25% quarterly increase from Q2  to Q3 08, compared to just a 3% increase in PC use.

Though growth is increasing there are still only 7 million mobile internet users (approximately 20% of the online audience) in the UK compared to more than 40 million American users.

  • 25% of mobile Internet consumers are aged 15-24 compared to just 16% for PC-based consumers.
  • 23% of the PC-based Internet population is aged 55+, only 12% of over 55s use mobile Internet

The main sites visited from mobiles are BBC News, Google Search (level pegging at 24% and 23% respectively) followed closely by BBC Weather, Facebook and BBC Sport. Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail bring up the rear. Currently the only e-commerce site in the top ten of mobile internet use is eBay.

None of this information is particularly earth shaking in light of the fact that the mobile internet market is still relatively underdeveloped here in the UK. What it does show is that the potential for growth is significant and in these times of a retracting economy businesses need to look at every avenue for increasing their market share.

Mobile search is a route to new and young customers, and to older customers who may be slower adopters but will eventually pick up new ways to search. What are you doing to make sure your site is ranking in the mobile search results? 

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