State of the mobile web – a report from Opera

Opera has long been an advocate of standards based browsing and One Web. In a report published today, State of the Mobile Web: First Quarter 2008, CEO of Opera, Jon S. von Tetzchner, looks at what the current trends are in terms of what we’re browsing and what countries we are browsing from.

Having started shipping the Opera Mini, their free downloadable web browser, in 2006 Opera reports it as being the world leader with more than 44 million people having downloaded it and more than 11.9 million people using it in March 2008. It’s easy to see why. I made the transition from my clunky web and walk over to Opera Mini a while ago and haven’t look back. Power scrolling shortcuts, zoom features, custom searches and mouse behaviour built in have made browsing on my mobile a faster, less expensive and less painful experience.

From data gathered from their users, Tetzchner has pulled out some interesting findings such as:

  • Almost 40% of traffic worldwide is to social networks.
  • Consumers desire a rich web experience regardless of the device they use to access the web which marks a serious break from WAP.
  • Russia, Indonesia then China are the top three highest users of Opera Mini. I wonder if, from this, we can assume they are the top three countries for browsing the web using mobiles?

Particularly interesting in the report are the snippets of analysis given over to mobile browsing habits in each of the countries listed.

I’ll be interested to read follow up reports to see how mobile usage is progressing. With many people in developing countries not having any access to desktop PC’s or laptops and users in developed countries becoming more comfortable using hand-helds to access goods and services online the importance of the mobile web can only be set to grow and grow.