Smartphone users hooked on social networking: top ten sites for 2009

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The Independent Online

Mobile web users are addicted to social networking sites. One site in particular is catching mobile users' attention; Facebook has quickly become the fastest growing social network on the mobile web.

According to a new report published by Opera web browser developer Opera Software on January 26, mobile visits to Facebook grew by over 600 percent in 2009. The site became the most visited social networking site across the globe by Opera Mini (Opera Software's propriety mobile web browser) users.

Facebook overtook Russia's social network Vkontakte.ru to become Opera Mini users' most visited social network in 2009.

Microblogging and social networking site Twitter also experienced a phenomenal rate of growth during the year. Twitter broke into Opera's charts for the first time with a growth rate of 2,859 percent in 2009.

The advancement of mobile technology and integration of more sophisticated mobile browsers on handheld portable devices has enabled the mobile browsing to, in many ways, replicate the experience of PC-based surfing.

"Fortunately the divide between the mobile Web and the Web accessed on PCs is now disappearing," said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder, Opera Software. "People want to use the same sites, regardless of whether they use a phone or PC to access those sites. The success of Facebook and Twitter among Opera Mini users shows that consumer habits do not change even though their devices do."

According to Facebook's own statistics, an excess of 65 million active Facebook users access the site via a mobile device. People that stay connected to their Facebook social network via their mobile device are almost 50 percent more active on the site than their PC-based counterparts.

Opera's top ten visited social networking sites for 2009:
1. facebook.com (+1) 619%
2. vkontakte.ru (-1) 107%
3. odnoklassniki.ru (+2) 117%
4. my.opera.com (new) 127%
5. orkut.com (-1) 173%
6. friendster.com (-3) -29%
7. spaces.ru (new) 271%
8. twitter.com (new) 2,859%
9. myspace.com (-1) 84%
10. peperonity.com (-4) 92%

Opera Mini is used by more than 46.3 million people globally. Russia has the most Opera Mini users followed by Indonesia, India, Ukraine and China.

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