Facebook and Bebo most popular for mobile surfers

27 Aug 2009

Mobile operator 3 has revealed that users on the move overwhelmingly opt for social networking services Facebook and Bebo.

The company said this morning that Facebook and Bebo accounted for approximately 43pc of customer usage with a clear division for Facebook as the site of choice for pay monthly customers and Bebo the preference for the younger pre-pay market.

On average 50pc of social networkers via mobile access one of this type of portal per month with a further 25pc accessing two portals and a very social 10%pc accessing four or more sites per month.

The survey, conducted over a four week period focusing on 3 customers accessing the internet via the Planet 3 mobile portal, also highlighted the dominance of search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo! as the destination for over 50pc of traffic.

“These findings are the first in a series from 3 that clearly define the rapidly increasing trend of social networking ‘on the move’ as an important lifestyle choice for both pay monthly and pre-pay customers,” David Kent, head of entertainment at 3 explained.

“With the increased profile of social networking portals such as Twitter we anticipate this percentage to grow significantly by the end of 2009.

“Our consumers’ appetite for internet content via mobile continues to rise providing an increasingly important revenue stream for mobile operators.”

Kent cited a Microsoft report that said the internet will overtake broadcast TV as Europe’s most consumed form of media for the first time in June 2010 if current growth trends continue.

“With consumption moving from PCs – currently 95pc of access – to devices such as mobile phones, TV and games consoles accounting for 50pc access within the next five years.”

The 3 survey found that the top five websites for mobile phone customers overall were Google, YouTube, Bebo, Facebook and RTE.

Among pre-pay users the top websites were Google, YouTube and Bebo while amongst bill paying customers they were Google, Facebook and RTE.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years