Women switch to the mobile web

26 Aug 2010

When it comes to accessing the internet from mobile devices the vast majority of these demographic is male but as browser company Opera’s latest survey indicates this is changing rapidly as the number of female users increased by 575pc in the past two years.

With data gathered from the top 10 countries using its Opera Mini mobile browser (Indonesia, Russia, India, China, Ukraine, South Africa, the US, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and Kenya) it was found that over two years the number of women using the mobile web has almost doubled from 12pc to 23pc.

“One of the most interesting observations is that more women than ever are using their mobile phone to get online. Over a two-year period, the number of male mobile web users increased 233pc, while the number of women on the mobile web jumped 575pc,” said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder, Opera Software.

“Interestingly, South Africa leads the way for women using the mobile web. There, four out of every 10 Opera Mini users are female. The US and Russia are not far behind, with more than three in 10,” he added.

Drilling down into data gathered as part of the report it was found that Google and Facebook compete for the top spot in several Southeast Asian countries. Google is the top site accessed by Opera Mini users in Thailand and Laos whereas My Opera is very popular in Vietnam and Facebook does not even make the top 10.

Southeast Asian Opera Mini users have a preference for Nokia handsets while the iPhone is the device of choice for those in Singapore and Myanmar.

Returning to the male/female ratio of mobile web users it was found that South Africa had the most female users (43.5pc) followed by the US (35.6pc), Russia (32.4pc), and the UK (31.5pc).

Meanwhile India has the fewest female users of the mobile web with only 4pc, followed by Nigeria (5.4pc), China (11.6pc) and Vietnam (17.9pc).

“We believe access to the web is a universal right and the mobile web is all about breaking down barriers to access,” said Tetzchner.

“Seeing more women on the mobile web is important to ensuring the mobile web remains the rich tapestry of ideas it is. Further diversity can only improve things for everyone,” he added.