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Nov 25, 2011
Aside from new locations, entrepreneurs are also on the prowl for new marketing platforms. Look no further as the new platform that you are looking for might be in the very gadget that you have in your palms right now -- your mobile phone.
Mobile internet usage in the Philippines is growing rapidly on the back of the rising popularity of smartphones, tablets and other non-computer Web-enabled devices.
The growth in mobile internet usage is most pronounced in the revenues posted by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), which doubled from half a billion last year to P1.1 billion as of September 2011.
“This explosive increase in mobile internet usage among our subscribers indicates that as smartphones become more pervasive, more affordable and easier to use, more Filipinos use it to access the Internet and social media,” said Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea.
The developments here are in line with trends overseas.
A quick check on Asia Pacific trends suggests that global growth is being driven by spikes in the region.
In the Philippines, Vea says the mobile internet is still in its early days. In the case of Smart, for example, about three million subscribers account for the bulk of mobile internet usage.
"We have a lot of headroom for growth. There are around two million more subscribers with 3G feature phones or smartphones who are not yet regularly accessing the web on the go," Vea explained.
"Mobile connectivity has gone beyond being able to just call and text. Filipinos are intensely social. With social media penetration rate at 95 percent, virtually every Filipino that has access to the Web is on Facebook too,” added Vea.
According to the analysis and commentary site 24/7 Wall St. , the Philippines now tops the list of countries where Facebook is the number one most visited website, beating even Google.
The country is also the eighth most popular country for Twitter use on a global scale, with a penetration rate of 16.1 percent. Social networking is so popular among Filipinos, the country has been called "The Social Networking Capital of the World."
However, “the key that will truly unleash mobile Internet in the country is to let social go mobile,” added Vea.
The shift to mobile for social networking is already showing up in the numbers recently disclosed by Facebook and Twitter.
Of Facebook’s more than 800 million active users, about 350 million access the site through their mobile devices while about 55 percent of Twitter’s more than 100 million active monthly users access the microblogging site via mobile.
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