Social networking fastest growing mobile app type in US and Europe
Social networking is the fastest growing application segment in the US and Europe, research by analyst firm ComScore has revealed.
The use of mobile social networking applications in April 2010 increased by 240% in the US and 239% in Europe compared with April 2009, according to US reports.
Other application access categories recording 100%-plus growth over the year included news, sports information, banking and weather.
Despite the increase in application usage, most Americans still prefer using their browsers, with close to 73 million mobile users accessing their browser in April, up 31% year-on-year.
In Europe, the preference is for applications: 81.87 million users accessed applications in April 2010, a year-on-year growth rate of 13.4%, while only 58.9 million used their browsers. However, the browser category recorded stronger growth, at 40.5%.
Like the US, social networking applications recorded the highest growth rate, but mapping services still have the most users, with 11.13 million people accessing maps through apps in April, up 131.3%.
Although growth in application use on smartphones is growing rapidly, the audience using mobile browsers remains larger and is growing just as quickly, said Mark Donovan, senior vice-president of mobile at ComScore.
"Brands need to remember to take into account the user experience across both channels when building their mobile strategies," he said.