Almost one-quarter of mobile users now 'intensive,' most likely to view ads

The fastest growing segment of mobile users is those that InsightExpress research describes as "mobile intensives." Now almost a quarter of all mobile users, up from less than 15 percent in 2008, "mobile intensives" largely own smart phones, like to use all the capabilities of their phones, and believe their phones play a key role in their lives (they check their phones immediately when they wake up). Unsurprisingly, these are the users most likely to view mobile advertising, and make wish lists of products they've viewed on their phones.

This squares with earlier research on active phone users, which showed the heaviest users checked their phones in the bedroom and the bathroom.

Holding steady at another quarter of mobile users are those described as "mobile casuals," who use their phone as a convenience but aren't devoted to them. The majority own feature phones, and use their phones to text and send photos at least once a week.

Still the largest group, at just over half (down from 60 percent in 2008), are the "mobile restrained" users, with almost all owning feature phones, occasionally sending texts and rarely taking or sending photos. They are much less likely to look at mobile ads.

The research highlights the continuing dilemma for publishers -- how we balance serving the largest, but least active, audience with serving the much smaller segment that is far more active on its phones and receptive to advertising.

  • Regina McCombs

    Regina McCombs is a faculty member of The Poynter Institute, teaching multimedia, and social and mobile journalism. She was the senior producer for multimedia at in Minneapolis-St. Paul for 11 years.


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