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Monday, September 15, 2008

Only about 2% of this blog's visitors using mobile devices

I've had Google Analytics installed on my blog for just over a month now, and it's showing up some interesting trends. Some are to be expected - peak usage is on Mon/Tues, most accesses come from US & UK, with a lot from India as well.

Now, obviously this is only the direct web hits I'm measuring - the bulk of readers use some form of RSS or other feed reader. It also misses out sites like Wireless Watch, and SeekingAlpha, that syndicate my posts, as well as assorted other 'unauthorised' aggregation and screen-scraper sites.

But unless someone tells me otherwise, I would have thought that people who access the blog directly on the Web are pretty representative of people who see a link on Google & think it looks interesting. Or who generally just prefer using the browser to read blogs.

So, given that I'm in the mobile industry and so are most of the people reading this, I find it pretty surprising that only about 2% of visits are from browsers on mobile phones. 0.6% from iPhones, 0.3% from Symbian, a handful of Windows users, what looks like about 0.3% of Opera Mini, and a proportion of the 0.4% of non-Firefox Linux users. iPod Touch users were another 0.2%.

And some of the mobile users were in fact me, checking the site looks OK.

Now, I'd hope and imagine that >2% of RSS users are mobile, but overall this really points to the fact that fairly normal, non-demanding web usage is still predominantly PC-based, especially in the B2B domain. It's certainly not a sufficient level for me to seriously devote time to optimising a mobile-specific version of the blog, or even worry whether the occasional graphics I add to the text will render OK on small screens.


Sami said...

I for one access blogs often (including this one) via a mobile device, but it won't show up in Google Analytics as I'm one of those Google Reader folks. It does a decent job of mobile-optimizing things for me.

And I do prefer the browser with the "full" view (directed via Google Reader), but only from a PC - so my PC reads will show up as such.

So yes, the reality might be far more than 2%, but I also agree there is absolutely no point in you wasting time in making a mobile-optimized version.

Ram said...


I have tried to read your blogs couple of times using my Samsung Blackjack (which has a WinMob OS) and it is quite difficult to read it. The page layout is quite bad and I need to keep moving side to side to even read a single sentence.

I am sure it is a little better on Symbian/S60 and iPhone (as they use WebKit) and render the page a little better.

Barbara Ballard said...

Your experience is completely consistent with ours. We have one extra bit of information, thanks to Feedburner: 63% of RSS reading is Google Reader or Bloglines. 86% overall we *know* to be readable in either mobile or desktop. The others are desktop only, mobile only, or unknown.

Anonymous said...

I use RSS reader on a Sony Ericsson K660i

Gabe said...

Hi Dean, I read your blog daily on mobile via Google Reader -- a great app for mobile -- so no need to adapt the page. I'd suspect many others do likewise.

When I wanted to submit a comment the phone browser freaked out and I had to abandon the task. I'm writing this on a full-size computer.

vinnie said...

and even that is probably more than those that access your blog using Vista as their OS :)

Mario said...

Dean, what you are probably missing is that most mobile phones are not detected by Analytics because they do not execute Javascripts by default.

Try looking into raw logs for user agent of page access and you may find more accurate figures.