Small sites drive big traffic on the mobile Web

The Long Tail underscores shifting usage trends on mobile Web

Oslo, Norway – September 23, 2008

People use their mobile devices to access a wide range of sites, according to Opera Software’s State of the Mobile Web report published today. While big destinations such as and get significant attention and traffic on the mobile Web, it is the smaller sites that drive most of the visitors. This trend, known as the Long Tail, demonstrates that mobile Web usage increasingly mimics its traditional desktop counterpart, as browsers become more capable and users become more comfortable with the experience. The report in its entirety can be accessed here:

The Long Tail, a phrase coined by Chris Anderson in a Wired article and expanded upon in his book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More”, illustrates the true value of the Web in that more people can access a variety of niche sites pertaining to their interests. Opera has long maintained that Web use on mobile devices would begin to conform to established usage trends as walled gardens fell and more people could access the full Web. Opera’s research shows this trend is well underway.

“In most areas of the world, people are visiting a full range of Web sites,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “The evidence of the Long Tail on the mobile Web proves people will browse the Web on their phone just like they do on their home PCs, where the value of the Long Tail has been shown repeatedly. This is also exactly why the Web beats all manner of other mobile platforms and our vision of One Web is becoming a reality.”

Global highlights from the State of the Mobile Web, August 2008 report:

  • In the month of August, Opera Mini was used by approximately 17.3 million users, a 9.1% month-on-month increase from July and more than 357% compared to August, 2007.
  • Opera Mini users viewed more than 4.1 billion pages in August. Each person using Opera Mini viewed approximately 242 pages on average. Since July, page views have gone up 11.7%. Since August 2007 this number is up 337%.

In August, 17.3 million Opera Mini users generated more than 60.3 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since July, the data consumed went up by 12.1%. Data in Opera Mini is compressed 90% on average. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 603 million MB of data in August.

Data in the report is based on aggregate and anonymous statistics from Opera Mini servers. All percentages are based on a snapshot of the Top 100 sites for each region. Beyond providing a snapshot of worldwide browsing trends, Opera’s “State of the Mobile Web” highlights the browsing trends in the ten countries where Opera Mini is most popular: Russia, Indonesia, India, Ukraine, China, South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, Poland and Germany.