"Four of Ten Top Mobile Destinations are Social Networks, Says Openwave. ... The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported last month, there has been a one-year increase of 179% in subscribers accessing social networking sites from their mobile devices while those same sites only saw a 10% increase on the PC versions of the sites."
Despite the strange lack of presence of Google in the top mobile destination list, this report echoes findings from other sources that social network visits dominate mobile web use. It suggests that the consumption pattern on mobile devices is quite different from that on computers.
I produced a talk show about cell phones in 2005 for Wisconsin Public Radio. The guest was an anthropologist employed at Intel who studies how people use technology around the world. One thing she said during the interview has stuck with me: In any culture, technologies that help connect people are usually the fastest ones to be adopted by society. Why? Because we human beings have an innate desire to communicate with other human beings.
A mobile phone is a deeply personal device, much more than a computer. It's an extension of one's self to her social network. I'm not surprised at all at Openwave's finding. If mobile use is very different from computer use, content providers need to keep that in mind when providing online content -- they need to have different content strategies for these two different types of users.