Mobile use of Facebook up 600 percent in 2009

Posted on Tuesday, January 26 2010 @ 13:51 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Opera Software claims social networking sites saw big increases in mobile traffic in 2009, Facebook grew more than 600 percent last year, while Twitter skyrocketed 2800 percent.
Facebook® is now the most-visited social network on the mobile Web, according to Opera's State of the Mobile Web report. Unique users of Facebook grew more than 600% during 2009, helping the site surpass VKontakte, formerly the most popular social network among Opera Mini users. Twitter® saw its usage increase more than any other social network, surging more than 2800% in just one year.

Opera's State of the Mobile Web Report, published monthly, provides information on the top global trends affecting the mobile Web. The full report is available from (English only). In addition to the top global trends and country snapshots, this month, the report highlights Southeast Asia and examines social networking on the mobile Web.

Global Trends

- In December 2009, more than 46.3 million people used Opera Mini, an 11% increase from November 2009 and more than 159% compared to December 2008.

- Those 46.3 million people viewed more than 20.7 billion pages in December 2009. Since November, page views have gone up 10.1%. Since December 2008, page views have increased 223%.

- Opera Mini users generated over 315 million megabytes (MB) of data for operators worldwide in December 2009. Since November, the data consumed went up by 10.5%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 2.9 petabytes (PB) of data in December. Since December 2008, data traffic is up 206%.

- The top 10 countries ranked by number of Opera Mini users are (in order): Russia, Indonesia, India, Ukraine, China, South Africa, United States, Vietnam, Nigeria, and United Kingdom. This month Ukraine overtook China, Vietnam continues its ascent (at the expense of the United Kingdom) and Nigeria is back on the list after a 3-month absence, pushing Poland out of the top 10 for the first time.

Social networking on the mobile Web

- Facebook is the top social-networking site, worldwide. Given the popularity of Opera in Russian-speaking countries, VKontakte used to be in the top position (based on unique users), but it was overtaken by Facebook in 2009.

- Twitter was the other big winner in terms of growth in 2009, with the number of unique unique users jumping more than 2800%.

- All of the listed social-networking sites, except for Friendster, showed significant user growth (via Opera Mini) in 2009.

Southeast Asia trends

- The top 10 countries using Opera Mini in Southeast Asia are: Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

- From December 2008 to December 2009, page views in the top 10 countries of Southeast Asia increased by 599%, unique users increased by 385%, and data transferred increased by 587%.

- Since our last spotlight on Southeast Asia, Malaysia jumped from #4 to #3 and Thailand jumped from #5 to #4. For completeness, we included Myanmar in this month's report at #10, even though it has significantly fewer Opera Mini users than Laos at #9.

- Vietnam and Indonesia lead the top 10 Southeast Asian countries in terms of page-view growth (1,316.4% and 641.9%, respectively). Vietnam and Indonesia also lead the top 10 Southeast Asian countries in growth of unique users (846.9% and 419.7%, respectively). Brunei leads the top 10 Southeast Asian countries in page views per user, with each user browsing 987 pages on average each month.

- In Southeast Asia among mobile-Web users, Google is at the top of the rankings for numerous countries, with the very significant exception of Indonesia where Google is only at #6 and Yahoo! is at #2. This is notable because the vast majority of Opera Mini users in Southeast Asia are in Indonesia.

- Facebook is now the dominant social-networking site in Southeast Asia among mobile-Web users.

- By far, Opera Mini users in Southeast Asia prefer Nokia handsets.

What we say

"Four years ago this month we released Opera Mini to the world," said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software. "Fortunately the divide between the mobile Web and the Web accessed on PCs is now disappearing. People want to use the same sites, regardless of whether they use a phone or PC to access those sites. The success of Facebook and Twitter among Opera Mini users shows that consumer habits do not change even though their devices do."

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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