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Nighttime is prime-time for the mobile Web

June 28, 2010

New State of the Mobile Web Report answers the question of when people browse

Oslo, Norway - June 28, 2010

Around the world, 8 p.m. to midnight are the day's prime mobile browsing hours, according to Opera's State of the Mobile Web Report. Regardless of differences in economy, culture or location, those four evening hours account for a disproportionate amount of mobile data consumption.

Opera's State of the Mobile Web Report, published monthly, provides information on the top global trends affecting the mobile Web. The full report is available from (English only). In addition to a review of traffic patterns throughout the day, the report highlights the mobile browsing trends in Latin America and also celebrates a new top country for Opera Mini usage, Indonesia, which surpassed longtime rival Russia to claim the number-one spot.

Global trends

  • In May 2010, Opera Mini had over 61.4 million users, a 4.2% increase from April 2010. Since May 2009, the number of unique users has increased 142.0%.
  • Opera Mini users viewed over 28.3 billion pages in May 2010. Since April, page views have gone up 7.7%. Since May 2009, page views have increased 193.8%.
  • In May 2010, Opera Mini users generated over 433 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since April, the data consumed went up by 8.8%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 4.0 petabytes of data in May. Since May 2009, data traffic is up 171.8%.
  • Indonesia passed Russia to claim the top spot for Opera Mini usage, Nigeria jumped ahead of Ukraine, and South Africa leaped ahead of the United States. After the changes, the top 10 countries for Opera Mini usage in May 2010 were: Indonesia, Russia, India, China, Nigeria, Ukraine, South Africa, the United States, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.

A day in the life

We looked at one 24-hour period (Saturday, May 22nd) to see how Opera Mini is used throughout the day in the top 10 countries. In this case, we measured usage according to the amount of data transferred.

Here is what we observed:

  • In all of the top 10 countries, the highest level of Opera Mini use is at the tail end of the day - from 8 p.m. to midnight. That said, users in the United Kingdom are just as likely to browse on their phones between 8 a.m. and noon.
  • There is little difference in data consumption between weekdays and weekends.
  • Unsurprisingly, the least amount of mobile browsing is done in the early morning (when most people are asleep), between midnight and 8 a.m.
  • Compared to users in the other top 10 countries, users in the United States are more likely to be browsing with Opera Mini between midnight and 4 a.m.
  • Compared to users in the other top 10 countries, users in the United Kingdom are more likely to be browsing with Opera Mini between 4 a.m. and noon.
  • Compared to users in the other top 10 countries, users in India are more likely to be browsing with Opera Mini between noon and 4 p.m.
  • Compared to users in the other top 10 countries, users in Ukraine and South Africa are more likely to be browsing with Opera Mini between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Compared to users in the other top 10 countries, users in Nigeria and Vietnam are more likely to be browsing with Opera Mini between 8 p.m. and midnight.
  • In general, evening browsing (between 4 p.m. and midnight) is more common than daytime browsing (between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.), except perhaps in China and the United Kingdom where daytime/evening usage is about even.
  • The difference in Opera Mini usage during peak hours versus off-peak hours varies in each country. The biggest difference is noticeable in Vietnam (27% between 8 p.m. and midnight versus 9% between midnight and 4 a.m.).

Latin America trends

  • The top 10 countries using Opera Mini in the region are Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Honduras.
  • Some numbers: From May 2009 to May 2010, page views in the top 10 countries in Latin America increased by 214%, unique users increased by 195%, and the amount of data transferred increased by 234%
  • Growth rates in Latin America: Peru and Ecuador lead the top 10 countries of the region in terms of page-view growth (1,213.3% and 515.4%, respectively). Colombia and Brazil lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of unique users (322.4% and 303.6%, respectively). Costa Rica leads the top 10 countries of the region in page views per user, with each user browsing 426 pages on average each month.
  • Google, Facebook, Live and YouTube all do well in Latin America. Google is the top ranked site in all ten of the listed countries, and Facebook is ranked #2 in 8 out of the 10 countries. Orkut remains strong in Brazil. Smaller social-networking sites, such as hi5, are popular in several countries on the list. Hotmail, which was popular the last time we looked at this region, was noticeably absent from the top 10 lists in this month's report. Auction site MercadoLibre, eBay's Latin American partner, is popular in 8 of the top 10 countries.
  • Opera Mini users in Latin America typically prefer Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets. However, Apple-iPhone-using Opera Mini users have made an impact in the region. The iPhone shows up in all ten of the top 10 handset lists (for Latin America), and it is among the top 5 handsets in 9 out of the 10 Latin American countries listed in this report.

What we say

"Our servers compress more than four petabytes of data each month, and that number shows no signs of slowing," said Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software. "As more consumers use increasingly vast amounts of mobile data, it looks like we will need more people looking after our servers in the evening hours. The heaviest mobile browsing worldwide occurs between 8 p.m. and midnight, regardless of where people live, their current economic situation, or the availability of broadband."

State of the Mobile Report archive:

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