Facebook Leads the Way As Non-Voice Use of Mobile Phones Reaches Record Levels


By: Ian Mansfield
8th Aug 2011

­Facebook is fast becoming the platform of choice for mobile phone users in Europe. Facebook is now one of the top three providers for messaging (email) and is in a prime position to be a major destination for watching video clips, according to a study by CCS Insight. The research firm sees Facebook services transcending offerings from rivals such as Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Their survey shows strong growth for Facebook in all markets, with local social networks coming under pressure. In Spain, Facebook has twice as many mobile users as Tuenti, and in Germany it has three times the number of mobile users compared to local sites. The strongest local player in Western Europe remains Hyves in the Netherlands, but we predict it will also come under pressure.

“Facebook is fast becoming the default destination for all things mobile” commented Paolo Pescatore, Director, Applications and Content, CCS Insight.

The rapid adoption of smartphones by European mobile users has transformed the way people use their phones. More than 45 percent of our survey respondents listen to music, play games and browse the Web on their mobile phones, while e-mail and social networking are also hot areas.

“The mobile phone is now one of the most prolific consumer electronics devices on the planet. The exponential growth in service usage cannot be ignored and is reshaping the mobile market” says Pescatore.

However, sounding a word of caution, Pescatore commented: “The role of the operators continues to diminish, but there are opportunities for the mobile industry. People want to access a range of Web-based services on multiple devices and we expect mobile to play an even greater role in 12 months’ time.”

Mobile industry needs to focus more on Europe’s forgotten age group

24-to-35s are the most attractive target market for mobile services, as they own multiple devices. They are tech-savvy and have more disposable income to spend on the latest services. However, CCS Insight believes the industry should place greater focus on over-35s.

Our survey shows that overall levels of engagement are higher than we have seen before. The industry has placed more focus on the youth segment, but our survey shows that, although 35-to-50 year olds have been slower to adopt the mobile Internet, they are now raising their usage levels.

“For years the industry has been obsessed with 16 to 24 year olds but rapid adoption of smartphones by an older audience means it is time to focus an older demographic for mobile services” concludes Pescatore.

Methodology

CCS Insight conducted its survey of mobile Internet usage in May 2011 with 7,000 respondents in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and the USA.

Click on images to enlarge

European Mobile Engagement by Activity

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