How are the top Web properties performing in the mobile sphere?
Let’s take Facebook as an example. In June, Facebook had 39 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. who accessed the site solely via mobile devices, according to comScore data shared with BI Intelligence.
That’s a huge pool of mobile-only usage, but to really understand how that impacts Facebook’s audience its useful to make sense of that number as a percentage gain over the desktop audience.
This metric leaves out cross-screen users who already visited a website on the desktop and shifted some eyeball time to mobile. Instead, it captures incremental audience growth directly attributable to mobile (smartphones and tablets).
Back in September 2012, Facebook’s audience incremental mobile audience gains as a percentage of its desktop audience was 16%.
By June 2013, the mobile lift was more significant: 26%. Again, this represents per cent incremental audience growth, that arguably would not have been there without the site’s mobile experience. Facebook is fast-becoming a mobile-first company.
In the same month, Amazon’s mobile-only audience of 43 million — the largest of any of the top Web properties measured by comScore — meant that its gain as a percentage of its desktop audience was 40%, second only to Twitter (60%) and Pinterest (65%).
Google-owned sites, including Google search, Google+ and YouTube, on the other hand, are experiencing a decline in the volume of mobile-only users, and are also seeing a dip in incremental mobile audience gains.
In fact, Google has shed mobile-only users since February 2013, according to comScore’s data. It’s not clear why, but one possibility is that Google lost mobile-only users of its Google Maps app as post-holiday new Apple iPhone 5 users stuck with that phone’s native navigation app. Another is that mobile search behaviour is shifting away from one-stop-shop search engines in favour of more specialised searches (i.e., product searches on Amazon).
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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