Speed of mobile internet draws younger audience

The number of British mobile internet users has grown by 25 per cent to more than seven million, according to a Nielsen survey.

From the second to the third quarter of 2008, the number of Britons using mobile internet increased from 5.8 to 7.3 million. This was a big contrast with the number of people who were taking up PC-based internet, which showed only a three per cent increase.

The Mobile Media View survey also indicated that the mobile internet audience was generally younger than those using PC-based internet. It showed that 25 per cent of the mobile internet users were 15-24, which fell to 16 per cent for PC-based users.

While 23 per cent of the PC-based internet audience was over 55, this fell to only 12 per cent of the mobile internet population.

Nielsen senior analyst Kent Ferguson said that the survey confirmed that huge growth was coming through the mobile platform, and that mobile internet was a great way to contact the younger audience.

He said: "The fact almost seven and a half million Britons now access the web through their phone shows that mobile internet is fast becoming a viable way for advertisers and publishers to reach important demographic groups."

Google Search was the most popular PC-based internet site, while on mobile internet it was BBC News. BBC Weather, Sky Sports and Gmail were some of the few sites which had a greater reach on mobile internet than PC-based internet.

Ferguson said that this was because mobile internet had the advantage when it to came to immediacy and need, while PC-based internet sites were more about entertainment and e-commerce.