Mobile Social: Android Growth, iPhone Lust


kiss_smallADOTAS – So we’ve all seen the reports that social networks are dominating the mobile web. But what exactly are we learning from them? And what implications are there for advertising?

Last week, we here at MocoSpace released our first Mobile Social Graph, a quarterly report looking at the changing habits of “generation mobile.” As one of the largest mobile publishers in the U.S., we have a front row seat for viewing the social habits of over 11 million users, and exploring how those habits differ on various devices — PCs, traditional phones, smartphones, iPhone and Android.

We had a bunch of questions — Who chats more? Who buys more virtual currency? Shares more pictures? Logs in the most?

MocoSpace has over the past few years been the dominant social network on traditional feature phones, still the most popular handset category by a wide margin. In the first quarter, Android, iPhone and Blackberry – all high-end feature phones with larger screens and full keyboards – saw usage growth, while traditional feature phone usage dropped significantly.

We also saw a spike in our Android traffic that even we found surprising. This tells us that as more carriers roll out Android phones at various price points, we should continue to see significant growth here.

This growth in smartphones is supported by a survey of 5,000 users, of whom 30% said they were planning on buying either an iPhone or Android phone in 2010. The iPhone was the phone of choice by a 2:1 margin over Android for those users planning on upgrading.

In short, key findings of the report:

  • Android traffic increased by almost 40% in Q1.
  • Traditional feature phone usage dropped by 22% in Q1.
  • Mobile users log in 1.85 times as often as PC users.
  • iPhone and Android sessions are 28% longer than feature phone sessions.
  • iPhone and Android users over-index 72% on purchasing virtual currency.

So what does this mean for advertisers? Certainly, longer engagement times and greater session frequency means more opportunity to start a dialog with consumers. But marketers also need to take advantage of the larger screens and interactivity in ways that matter.

Our best advertisers are diving deeply into the nuances of mobile usage and working with us to understand what specific demographics are interested in, how to target by geography, how gender behavioral differences impact advertising and how to deliver messages in engaging ways.

Digging deeper into our report data shows us a few ways iPhone and Android phones can help brands to better engage with users. A powerful new trend is the use of virtual currency, and brands are starting to create ways to reward behavior and loyalty through the use of games, surveys, quizzes and downloads.

Our data shows that iPhone and Android users over-index by 72% in purchasing virtual currency; this reinforces the opportunities for brands on those two platforms, particularly as applications create deeper, more immersive experiences. The report also highlights the clear messaging preference for mobile users (both chat and IM) — how do brands insert themselves into these personal conversations in a meaningful way?

Considering data from the Mobile Social Graph, we expect to see more advertisers moving to mobile social networks en masse. Where else do you get 5,000 eager survey respondents offering their real-time opinions and purchasing intent?

Brands, keep the mobile ideas coming. We’ll keep the data flowing. Click here for the full Mobile Social Graph report.


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