Banking attracts older mobile web users

Silver surfer

The older we become, the more we are likely we are not to bother with social networking and entertainment content on our mobiles, new research suggests.

A survey carried out by comScore found that financial services sites, such as those offering banking and stock trading services, are the most popular among European mobile subscribers older than 55 years old.

Mobile web destinations that are more leisure oriented, and offer social networking, entertainment and even comic content are more likely to attract teenagers more frequently, with sites like Facebook making up the most popular type of content for the under-35s.

Younger users also tend to access any internet content via their mobiles much more frequently than their older counterparts.

Those aged 35 to 44 said search was their most popular activity, while weather was the top site category among those over 55 years of age.

The comScore data broadly indicated that silver surfers also leaned towards visiting practical, utilitarian sites, such as those providing financial services and traffic information, as well as weather.

Younger users, by contrast, used their mobile phones more to access social network sites and entertainment content. Although categories like search, weather and news were universally popular.

The researcher also reported a strong relationship between age, gender and mobile handset ownership. Teenage mobile subscribers aged 13 to 17 were more likely to own an LG or Sony Ericsson device.

Meanwhile, 18 to 24-year-olds were 80 per cent more likely than the average mobile subscriber to own an iPhone.

At the same time, BlackBerry and iPhone users tended to be male, while women more commonly owned a Samsung or LG device.

Alistair Hill, an analyst at comScore, said the research would be of particular benefit to advertisers. "Mobile offers attractive opportunities for advertisers to target audiences based on the type of content consumed and device owned," he observed.

"This targeting ability is extremely valuable for marketers trying to increase their advertising efficiencies in the face of shrinking ad budgets."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.