The US mobile Internet population is increasing rapidly. eMarketer estimates that 29.2% of mobile phone users log on to the mobile Web at least once per month in 2009, up from 22.3% last year. And according to BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, many of those qualify as “heavy” users—those who go online via mobile more than 10 times per week.
BIA/Kelsey and ConStat put heavy mobile Internet users at 21% of the total US mobile population in October 2009, up from less than 15% a year earlier. And the overall average number of monthly mobile Web sessions has doubled in that time period.
Heavy users of text messaging and mobile e-mail have also increased over the past year; nearly one-half of mobile users text more than 10 times weekly, while one-fifth send and receive more than 10 mobile e-mails per week.
Overall, users have become more active across many mobile activities—except in nonlocal searches for products and services. Almost one-fifth of users, however, had performed a local search.
Other content activities, such as sending and receiving video and watching or purchasing online videos or TV shows, had also increased among overall mobile users.
“Between waves one and three of Mobile Market View, consumers have basically doubled their use of the mobile platform for non-voice communications,” said Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer, BIA/Kelsey, in a statement. “This represents a fundamental and rapid shift in media use, which needs to be considered in determining the appropriate mix and spending levels among local platforms. Media companies that do not currently offer a differentiated mobile advertising option had better get there quickly.”
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