Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347-percent jump, according to the research by comScore.
“I think the key finding is that there appears to be a natural synergy between social media and the mobile platform,” said Andrew Lipsman, senior director of industry analysis at comScore, Reston, VA.
“That we’re seen such dramatic growth at Facebook and Twitter via mobile browser is testament to this fact,” he said. “Importantly, adoption of social media via mobile seems to be outpacing the adoption of more traditional media on mobile, which should represent a strong signal to marketers that they need to be thinking about social media applications in the mobile environment.
The comScore study confirmed that social networking remains one of the most popular and fastest-growing behaviors on both the PC-based Internet and the mobile Web.
However, it is no surprise since social media is a natural sweet spot for mobile because mobile devices are at the center of how people communicate with their circle of friends.
In January 2010, 11.1 percent of all mobile phone users accessed a social networking site via mobile browser, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year.
Much of this growth has been driven by smartphone owners, 30.8 percent of whom accessed social networking sites on their mobile browsers, up more than 8 percentage points in the year.
Access of leading social networking sites via mobile browser continues to see significant growth.
In January, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook via their mobile browser, up 112 percent from the previous year.
Interestingly, Facebook’s mobile browser audience surpassed MySpace in February 2009, three months earlier than the Facebook audience exceeded that of MySpace on the PC-based Internet in May 2009.
Twitter, which has experienced tremendous growth in both mobile and PC-based visitation, attracted 4.7 million mobile users in January, up 347 percent versus year ago.
These figures do not include access of the social networking services by the nearly 6 million mobile phone owners who do so exclusively through mobile applications.
“We are just at the tip of the iceberg as far as understanding how people will socialize and connect with each other in the mobile environment,” Mr. Lipsman said. “How might mobile media facilitate and complement such interactions as social events, offline shopping, payments and transactions and etcetera?
“The possibilities are limitless, so it will be interesting to see how this space emerges over the next few years,” he said.