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Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Social Media Brands Experience Heavy Engagement on Smartphones

The time spent accessing social networks via smartphones was increased in March according to comScore, underscoring the significant role of mobile in social networking.

comScore today announced the U.S. launch of Mobile Metrix 2.0, its next generation mobile behavioral measurement service.

Among smartphone users age 18 and older accessing from iOS, Android and RIM smartphones, Google Sites ranked as the top property with nearly 94 million unique visitors, representing 96.9 percent of the mobile audience. Facebook ranked second with 78.0 million visitors (80.4 percent reach), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 66.2 million visitors (68.2 percent reach) and Amazon Sites 44.0 million visitors (45.4 percent reach).

comScore's analysis of the share of time spent across apps and browsers revealed that even though these access methods had similar audience sizes, apps drove the lion?s share of engagement, representing 4 in every 5 mobile media minutes. Analysis of the top properties also revealed widely varying degrees of time spent between app and browser access methods. On Facebook, the top ranked mobile media property by engagement, 80 percent of time spent was represented by app usage compared to 20 percent via browser. Twitter saw an even higher percentage of time spent with apps at 96.5 percent of all minutes. In contrast, Microsoft Sites was among brands that saw browser access driving a majority of usage at 82.1 percent.

Analysis of the top iPhone and Android apps by size of audience found differences in the top apps accessed by the two operating systems. System apps topped the list for both iOS and Android, with Apple iTunes reaching nearly the entire iPhone app audience in March while 93.2 percent of Android users visited the Android app market.

Google Search ranked as the second largest app by Android audience size reaching 44.9 million users (84.1 percent reach). Google Maps led as the top map app on both platforms reaching 91.2 percent of iPhone users and 74.5 percent of Android users. The Facebook mobile app ranked within the top five apps on both platforms, securing the #3 spot among iPhone users (80 percent reach) and the #5 position with Android users (68.9 percent reach).

Social networking proved to be a particularly popular activity on smartphones with several brands demonstrating exceptionally high engagement, in some cases higher than the corresponding time spent by users via traditional web access. Facebook once again led the pack among social networking brands, with the average Facebook mobile user engaging for more than 7 hours via browser or app in March. The 25.6 million Twitter mobile users (excluding usage via third-party apps) had an average engagement of nearly 2 hours during the month. By comparison, people visiting on their computers spent just 20.4 minutes on, highlighting the importance of mobile engagement for mobile-centric brands. Pinterest, which has seen its adoption explode in recent months, reached 7.5 million smartphone visitors who engaged with the brand for nearly an hour. Location-based social network Foursquare attracted 5.5 million mobile visitors at an average of nearly 2.5 hours, while Tumblr reached an audience of nearly 4.5 million who engaged for 68 minutes during the month.

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