The folks at Opera have started publishing aggregate numbers for the user behavior they see through their proxy browser, Opera Mini. Interesting to see that their overall growth numbers and pageviews metrics are keeping their symmetric relationship with the numbers from AdMob. When you have just one independent source publishing numbers it’s easy to dismiss them as providing skewed data. When two sources operating very different products publish numbers that indicate the same overall trends it’s much more difficult to dismiss.
The part of the report that has me most interested is the list of top sites per region. In particular the list for the United States:
Most of them not too much of a problem explaining. Social networking is huge, people create their profile, check back as often as they can to see if they have messages. No problem. Makes sense that widget providers ride on that traffic. Google is the default search on the Opera start page, Yahoo continues to have a great consumer brand presence.
How about Mocospace and Itsmy however? Really mobile-specific social networks. Assume that the users of Opera Mini are regular consumers, Yahoo and Facebook should be well ahead of Mocospace. Assume that they’re early adopter mobile geeks and it makes sense to have Mocospace and mobile specific services.
And what’s the deal with Wikipedia in there? Do folks actually use the search options from the start page and do Wikipedia specific searches? Is the “trivia night at the local pub” use-case popular enough that it makes Wikipedia #8 top site even when looking at such a large sample? Or are “mobile searches” no matter what the purpose tending toward Wikipedia entries in organic search results just because of the way mobile searches structure their queries?
Great to see data corroborating other stats. Can’t wait till the next month of stats comes out. My gut feeling here is that Opera Mini “went mainstream” during the final quarter of last year. Assuming the steady growth in users but jagged increase in pageviews was due to a shift going on in the userbase being catered to. So what we see in the top 10 is actually a blend of the existing early adopter user behavior and the new creamy middle consumer.
In the next few months those normal users should vastly outnumber the early users and we should see the brands from online filling up those top 10 lists and the niche behavior sites like Wikipedia falling out. There’s always going to be skew toward those who deliver info usable by folks on the go I would assume. The Yahoo portal has always hit those targets well, timely info about rapidly changing data of interest to large groups of readers. Will EBay remain in there? Does rapidly changing data trump relatively niche usage?