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Mobile web browsing becomes more popular than desktop for the first time

By midian182 ยท 12 replies
Nov 2, 2016
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  1. The number of people across the world who access the internet from smartphones and tablets has been increasing over the last few years, and now, for the first time, mobile devices have overtaken desktops as the most popular method of browsing the web.

    The news comes from monitoring company StatCounter, which found that combined traffic from phones and tablets accounted for 51.3 percent of worldwide internet usage in October, whereas desktop was at 48.7 percent. This marks the first time mobile has been ahead since the company started tracking global browsing habits in October 2009.

    The data shows how important it is for organizations to ensure their websites are optimized for mobile use. "This should be a wake-up call especially for small businesses, sole traders, and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly," said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter CEO.

    Google has been preparing for the shift toward mobile devices for a while. It already prioritizes mobile friendly websites in its mobile search results, while its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project allows articles from certain publications to load almost instantly on smartphones and tablets. The tech giant revealed last May that more Google searches were being performed on mobile than computers.

    Google will put even more focus on its mobile searches over the next few months by creating a separate mobile index that will eventually take priority over the desktop version.

    Emerging markets are primarily responsible for worldwide mobile web browsing surpassing desktop. In India, over 78 percent of internet access is done via mobile devices, while in many Western countries such as the US and the UK, desktop continues to stay ahead - though its lead is shrinking all the time. 58 percent of Americans prefer to use the internet on desktop, and it’s the platform of choice for 55.6 percent of Brits.

    You can see a comparison of every countries’ mobile/desktop internet usage here.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2016
  2. nnguy2

    nnguy2 TS Booster Posts: 27   +28

    And the abuses by ads on mobile has gotten ridiculous. Full screen ad pop up with tiny closing "x". Video autoplaying and killing my music. Web browsing on mobile has gotten annoying.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    I could never get used to surfing the web on a mobile device, for starters I can't install Adblock which doesn't sit well with me. I only use mobile the web when absolutely necessary.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 129   +92

    "58 percent of Americans prefer to use the internet on desktop..."

    That's not what the data say. The data (as presented) say that 58% of internet usage in the USA is done on desktops. It says nothing about preferences!
    thelatestmodel and Reehahs like this.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +806

    Doesn't surprise me.... However I prefer desktop as well. In fact my ratio is more like 15% mobile and 85% desktop. I'm one of the very few people on public transportation and standing in lines that doesn't have my face glued to a mobile device.
  6. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 729   +472

    Sometimes there is no box to be found or the box is off-screen.
  7. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +322

    Bigger Screens.
    Faster Navigation.
    Instant on-and-off.

    Only time I prefer to use the desktop is when I know I'll be typing - like now.
  8. Ascaris

    Ascaris TS Addict Posts: 129   +92

    I can't stand using the web on my tablet, and I don't have a smartphone (and don't want one). I've all but abandoned the tablet. I do not like the dumbed-down web pages served up for mobile devices, and the massive size of desktop pages (with the dozens of trackers and ad scripts) bogs down the mobile horribly. Beyond that, the screen is too small to display all of what I want to see at once, and the touch interface requires ridiculously large controls compared to what would work on a mouse-driven device.

    I don't see how anyone would actually prefer using a mobile if a PC is available. If you're out and about, certainly, but otherwise, it's just bad.
  9. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 526   +138

    Convenience when on the go; otherwise PC.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,882   +1,529

    Q.E.D. What is used IS THE PREFERENCE :sigh:
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,882   +1,529

    Your observation goes to show the importance of the webmaster to learn mobile device presentations - - a very high percentage of site ignore the end-user-device and just throw the same desktop data at it. When done correctly, the webpage deliverers only the salient info for the intent of the page.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,882   +1,529

    YEAH and that really sucks. Ads on mobiles are so disruptive, webmaster need to think THREE times and then abort them IMO.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
    Reehahs likes this.
  13. pencea

    pencea TS Maniac Posts: 171   +127

    A single search in the App Store yields a lot of quality Adblock apps.


    Haven't seen a single ad nor had any pop ups.

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