The mobile Web is snagging all sorts of users, but it is the small sites that are driving a lot of the traffic. Those are some of the findings from Opera Software’s recent State of the Mobile Web report, which found that while large established Web sites such as Google.com and Facebook are getting the expected fair share of traffic, it is the smaller sites that are doing surprisingly well.
The report from the cross-platform browser developer credits this trend to the so-called “Long Tail,” which is a phrase coined by Chris Anderson in a Wired article, which was expanded in his book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. This trend, according to Anderson, suggests that mobile Web usage will closely mimic the traditional destktop version.
“In most areas of the world, people are visiting a full range of Web sites,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “The evidence of the Long Tail on the mobile Web proves people will browse the Web on their phone just like they do on their home PCs, where the value of the Long Tail has been shown repeatedly. This is also exactly why the Web beats all manner of other mobile platforms and our vision of One Web is becoming a reality.”
Highlights from the Opera Software State of the Mobile Web included:
- In August, Opera Mini was used by approximately 17.3 million users, a 9.1% month-on-month increase from July and more than 357% compared to August, 2007.
- Opera Mini users viewed more than 4.1 billion pages in August, and each user viewed approximately 242 pages on average.
- Since July of this year, page views have gone up 11.7%. Since August 2007 this number is up 337%.
- In August, 17.3 million Opera Mini users generated more than 60.3 million MB of data for operators worldwide.
Also noteworthy is that for the first time the U.S. market traffic totals of the Long Tail of Web sites (sites not in the Top 100) surpass the traffic totals of the Top 100 sites. This trend was also seen in Germany, South Africa, and Russia. This suggests that people may be getting used to browsing in general on mobile phones and are using it more and more like their desktop.