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Mobile Web Browsing Trends

July 25th, 2012 · No Comments

Here’s an in-depth look at the Mobile web browsing trends and how are they making an impact in various associated sectors

Internet has been around for quite some times but the medium is constantly evolving. The latest disruptive factor in web surfing is the emergence of mobile internet. Lately, a major chunk of web browsing has been carried out on hand held or mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets and internet ready gaming consoles. This new factor has not only changed the way we use internet but also the way content is generated.

Mobile web has recorded tremendous growth since 2008. The number of mobile ready websites skyrocketed by 2000 percent from 150,000 websites in 2008 to 3.01 million websites in 2010. This growth rate easily surpasses the rate recorded by desktop web during its peak years. According to Web analysts Netcraft, desktop web grew by only 1,333 percent between 1996 and 1998.

However, mobile web browsing is not likely to generate meaningful revenue anytime soon. According to a recent report by Forrester Research, the development of mobile web is also likely to hit location based services negatively. It is also expected to be harbinger of bad news for standalone services as more and more websites would integrate such services, providing wholesome experience to the users.

Emergence of mobile web browsing has made many major companies rethink their strategies. The main example is of Silicon Valley superstar Facebook. The social networking site derives most of its revenue from advertisement. However, recently, it has been facing downward trend in advertising revenue as more and more people are now accessing the social networking website from their mobile devices, diluting the effectiveness of its advertisements. The company is now looking to revamp its mobile website in order to regain its advertising revenue stream.

Mobile web browsing is likely to get boost from the emergence of 4G technology. While 3G services were the main reason behind the emergence of mobile internet, 4G networks are expected to take them to a new level. The companies are also working on mobile internet friendly technologies such as HTML5 to aid the process of content generation for mobile consumption. As in 2010, 40% of the Alexa’s Top 1,000 websites were mobile friendly. The data demonstrates that mobile web phenomenon has been widely adapted by the major companies.

Mobile web is likely to face some roadblocks as well. The main problem is the existence of fragmentation. The way a website is displayed on a mobile phone varies from operating system to operating system. Even within a single operating system, different iterations are likely to give different output. User experience is also likely to differ on different handsets. A Forrester report has suggested that such fragmentation will keep the costs associated with the porting and maintenance of websites on the higher level.

Mobile web browsing will continue its upward trend through 2012 and beyond. Various reports have suggested that the companies would be increasing their budgets for mobile marketing. Mobile web is also expected to evolve beyond mobile phone browsing as more and more people adapt to newer gadget like tablets and other internet enabled handheld devices.

Tags: mobile browsing trends