If I had to point out on just one prominent trend site owners should pay attention to in the next few years, I would say it is definitely mobile. The mobile web is rapidly growing and it is already constituting as a significant share of all global internet traffic.
Actually, in some regions around the world, mobile generates more web traffic than desktop! Yes, these are mostly undeveloped regions where the local population find it much easier to go online through mobile devices, however, also in more developed parts of the world mobile climbs fast.
Today there are more smart mobile devices being sold worldwide than ever, which enables users to browse the web easily from anywhere. According to Gartner, over 149 million smartphones were sold in the fourth quarter of 2011 all over the world, which represent 47% jump from the fourth quarter of 2010.
Mobile Web Traffic Share
With this kind of increasing growth rate of smart mobile devices consumption, there must be also some great effect on the mobile web usage as well. Pingdom has tried to investigate this issue furthermore and compared between the level of mobile traffic in 2012 to a prior study in October 2010.
The findings are astonishing. Worldwide mobile web traffic in 2012 rose by more than 2.6 times as much as in late 2010 (18 months ago)! Today, mobile traffic all over the world is responsible for about 10% of the total internet traffic.
Amazingly, in Asia about 18% of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, which nearly tripled itself since October 2010. In Africa, mobile generates almost 15% of the total web traffic. In South America however, mobile traffic is still below 3%, the lowest among all other regions.
When breaking it down to countries, we can see that all the top 20 counties by mobile web traffic share considered as undeveloped countries and most of them also from Africa. Here’s the top 20 countries list:
Smartphones Vs Tablets
Since 2010 or so, a new player enter the mobile arena- The tablet. While today most of the mobile web traffic is generated by smartphones, tablets are predicted to take the smartphones place during the next couple of years.
A recent study of Adobe (PDF) is indicating that visits from tablet devices to websites are growing 10 times more than smartphones’ visits to websites. Adobe is projecting that by the beginning of 2013 share of website’s visits from tablet devices will surpass smartphones.
By the end of 2013 tablets alone will generate more than 10% of all website’s visits online.