October 8th, 2010
By Brokaw Digital Media Strategist, Katie Riley
Adoption and usage of mobile has grown more rapidly than any other personal technology… Ever. eMarketer is currently estimating that about 80% of the U.S. population (246MM people) now use a mobile phone. It’s not just the number of users that are changing, but we have also moved on from our Zack Morris phones to sleek, light, and inexpensive minicomputers. Because of this, users are accustomed to carrying more than an emergency phone; they also have libraries of books, music, and videos in their pockets – along with access to the internets. It is predicted that by 2011, 85% of the population will have access to their email on their mobile phones. What is even more amazing is they are also predicting that 76% of US mobile phone users will be connected to social networking through their devices by 2011 (that is a 185% increase from 2006).
These ever-changing numbers aren’t just altering the way people consume information, they are changing modes of communication. Think about it, how annoyed are you when someone leaves you a voicemail?
Voice is becoming less relevant, so carriers and their marketing and content partners have shifted their focus to data. They aren’t just talking about text messaging either. The use of social applications in 2010 grew 240% from 2009 according to Nielsen, which makes it the fastest growing mobile application category by far. These social networks are quickly becoming the primary way mobile users exchange information. Facebook’s app is at, or near the top, of the list for all major smartphone platforms in the U.S. Twitter is also gaining ground with Edison Research reporting that Twitter users are nearly twice as likely as all social network users to access the networks on their phones (63% vs. 34%).
Instead of texting or calling friends to check out where they are going or what they are doing, consumers are looking to Facebook or Foursquare for this information. Despite privacy concerns, mobile users are sharing their locations, providing marketers with compelling data that can enable us to present relevant offers and rewards right when consumers are at the point of decision.