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Mobile Web browsing volume greatest during evening hours: Opera

Marketers in the mobile space should pay special attention to the four-hour block from 8 p.m. to midnight, according to a new report released by Opera Software ASA.

Opera?s State of the Mobile Web Report for May 2010 detailed usage statistics for a number of worldwide mobile Web browsing trends. Among key findings was the discovery that the hours from 8 p.m. to midnight see a disproportionate amount of the mobile traffic over the course of a day on the Opera Mini mobile Web browser.

?The top time for mobile browsing worldwide seems to be from 8 p.m. to midnight, regardless of location,? said Thomas Ford, senior communications manager at Opera, Oslo, Norway. ?The mobile browsing prime-time did not fluctuate, regardless of location or, more importantly, broadband penetration.

?Both developed and developing countries showed the same key time,? he said.

Opera Software is the developer of the Opera mobile Web browser. The company claims to have the largest market share of any mobile Web browser.

Opera releases a State of the Mobile Web Report each month.

Key findings
Mobile Web browsing appears to be on the rise, if the Opera report is any indication.

In May 2010, 61.4 million consumers used the Opera mobile web browser, an increase of 4.2 percent from the previous month, and 142 percent from the same time period last year.

Notably, a large volume of this usage occurs after business hours.

?It certainly appears that most mobile Web browsing is a recreational activity that takes place outside of the office,? Mr. Ford said. ?Perhaps people keep their mobile device handy, for instance, on the couch while watching television.?

While results varied by country, the data indicate that the majority of all mobile Web surfing occurs between 8 p.m. and midnight.

Evening browsing ? defined as mobile Web usage occurring between 4 p.m. and midnight ? is more common than daytime browsing (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.), with the exception of China and Britain, where the two time slots enjoy comparable usage volume.

Mobile users in the United States also space out their mobile browsing more evenly over the course of the day.

?The U.S. usage was interesting, in part because the 8 p.m. to midnight time slot barely beat out the noon to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. slots,? Mr. Ford said. ?We believe that mobile web access complements traditional forms of Web access wherever they may be available.

?Just because your PC is in your office, does not mean it precludes browsing on your mobile device,? he said.

In May 2010, users accessed 28.3 billion mobile pages on the Opera Mini platform ? a 7.7 percent increase from the prior month and a 194 percent increase from the same time last year.

?The overall growth is considerable,? Mr. Ford said. ?Processing more than 28 billion pages and growing every month shows just how much content people consume on a mobile device.?

Data consumption also increased in May.

Opera Mini users consumed 8.8 percent more data than in April ? accumulating 433 million MB of data usage ? up 171.8 percent from the same time last year.

May was also a pivotal month for Indonesia, who passed Russia to become the country with the greatest number of mobile users.

This is the first time Russia has not placed first in mobile users since Opera began releasing its State of the Mobile Web Reports two years ago.

The report also paid significant attention to the Latin America, finding that the region is a growing force in the mobile space.

Marketers need to be careful to account for the variety of handsets their marketing strategies will reach, per Opera.

?Take into consideration the broad range of handsets ? and their screen sizes and resolutions ? when creating mobile campaigns,? Mr. Ford said. ?People might view your ads on a 2-inch screen, rather than some of the larger displays on other smartphones.?