Monday, March 8

Looking Forward: Social Migrates To Mobile

Need another reason to keep your eyes on the mobile market? A new study from comScore, Inc. found that 30.8 percent of smart phone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browsers in January.

The number is not static. It's up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago. And some networks are experiencing even more growth with mobile. Mobile access to Facebook grew 112 percent; Twitter access jumped 347 percent.

"Social media is a natural sweet spot for mobile since mobile devices are at the center of how people communicate with their circle of friends, whether by phone, text, email, or, increasingly, accessing social networking sites via a mobile browser," said Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile for comScore.

More than 25.1 million agree. That is the number of people who accessed Facebook from their phone, which means Facebook mobile users surpass MySpace users. Twitter attracted 4.7 million mobile users in January. These numbers do not include mobile consumers who access social network sites through a mobile application.

When combined with another study released by Euro RSCG Worldwide PR today, it underpins the next migration of social nomads. The study might be specific to a small group of teenage girls (ages 13-18), but the numbers are compelling.

• Seventy-eight percent of teenage girls use social media to keep in touch with friends, while three-quarters report being in "constant contact" with friends through texting, Facebook, iChat, AIM or other social media services.

• They show a clear preference for approaching a brand to find out about sales and promotions rather than having the brand approach them. But when they do approach a brand, 40 percent sign up for e-mails.

• Sixty-five percent say when their favorite brand or store has a sale, they want to share the information with friends and family with a preference toward one-on-one communication (texting) over social networks (Facebook and Twitter).

The original release can be found here. Only 100 girls were included.

The trending toward mobile suggests that most social media programs will have to be revamped within two years to include for a greater emphasis in reaching increasingly mobile consumers. Jokes about the product aside, the release of the iPad will likely stimulate an increased emphasis on mobility over sociability as technology gives consumers more flexibility in communicating publicly (one to many) or privately (one one one). Stay tuned.

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