RealTime IT News

Smartphone Users Getting More Social Online

BlackBerry
Source: Reuters

Smartphone users are browsing the Web more than ever these days, spending an average of 4 hours and 38 minutes each month, according to a new survey from M:Metrics.

The top Web site for U.S.-based mobile users is classified vendor site Craigslist, where users spent about 1 hour and 39 minutes in March. eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) came in second place with users visiting one hour and 38 minutes, followed by MySpace and Facebook, where users averaged 1 hour and 25 minutes on each site. Walt Disney's Go.com grabbed users' attention for about 1 hour and 7 minutes for the month of March.

"Mobile phones are becoming more central to consumer’s lives, as devices have enhanced computing capabilities and are increasingly running on high-speed networks," Jaimee Minney, a M:Metrics spokesperson, told InternetNews.com.

The data, Minney said, shows that people are spending more time on the mobile Web and are exploring more Web pages, which indicates users are more deeply engaged in the online medium.

"The fact that smartphone users spend the most time on Craigslist also could indicate that localized content is especially valuable to mobile Web users," Minney added.

Personalization and localization are growing trends in mobile device application development. One example is the advancement of global positioning technology software hitting more mobile devices these days.

The M:Metrics results also support the trend that mobile users are no longer focused just on business needs and voice communications when using a smartphone.

The survey indicates that new fixed-rate calling plans offering unlimited Web browsing announced earlier this year by top carriers are fostering more mobile online user activity, according to the research firm.

The London-based research firm reported that mobile browsing is increasing 89 percent per year in the United States, with page views having increased 127 percent in March compared with March 2007.

"Consumption is evolving from brief transactions, such as checking the weather, to time-intensive interactions with mobile Web sites," Mark Donovan, M:Metrics senior analyst, stated in a release.

On a daily basis, U.S.-based users spent 22 spent minutes on Craigslist, 29 minutes on eBay, 16 minutes on MySpace, 14 minutes on Facebook and 18 minutes on Go.com.

The survey support earlier research news that smartphone users are looking for fun activities. According to the M:Metrics report, of the 226 million U.S. mobile subscribers, 23 percent sent and received photos and videos in March.

About 13 percent access news and information online, with 9 percent buying ringtones and downloading games.