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Opera takes a closer look at local mobile-surfing habits globally

In the latest Opera State of the Mobile Web report, the browser company took a closer look at what local content users in the ten most active Opera Mini countries prefer. The report was created using anonymous and aggregated data from the Opera Mini servers in November, and the top-ten local domains across 11 categories.

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In November, the top-ten Opera Mini countries, counted in number of unique monthly users were India, Indonesia, Russia, Nigeria, China, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, Mexico and Vietnam.

For all the countries, large international websites such as Facebook and Google dominate the top spaces as the most accessed websites overall, but, just below the international giants, the smaller local websites show strength with usually high places in the lists. Often, they are just beneath the top international sites, indicating that local content is highly relevant for the Opera Mini users.

The usage pattern also differs significantly from country to country. For example, in Southeast Asia, news is very important to the Opera Mini users there:

  • Bangladeshi, Vietnamese and Indonesian Opera Mini users really like to keep up to date with their phones, with their top-five visited websites falling in the News and Entertainment category. Bangladesh has a total of five news sites in the top ten; Vietnam has six. But, the real king is Indonesia, with a total of eight news sites in the top ten.

Facebook is the most mentioned international site in the top-ten lists of nearly all Opera Mini countries, but, in certain countries, local or regional social networks are also strong.

  • Russia is the country with the most visits to social networks, with a total of five in the top ten. However, Nigeria and South Africa are the ones with a social network as the most visited local website.

The Lifestyle category does not rate that high within the top-ten lists in any country examined in this report. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. One possible explanation for this might be that people on the go are in a news-oriented mode, and seek updates of sports, news and social networking more than engaging in the lean-back surfing of lifestyle sites.

  • Only Vietnam has a women’s site in its top-ten list.
  • Only South Africa has a job search website on the top ten.
  • Indians like to shop online and look for products, with a classifieds site in the first position, and a total of three shopping and classifieds sites on the top ten. All top-ten countries have at least one shopping and classifieds website in their top-ten lists.

Sports is a major interest in many countries, but exactly which sport is king differs widely from region to region. The choices of local sites bear this out.

  • It’s no surprise that India and Bangladesh are into cricket, with cricbuzz.com in the 4th and 7th positions, respectively. Mexico has also a local sports site in its 4th place, while South Africa has two sports sites in its top ten.

Music content is more important in some regions than others, according to the report. “Local music sites” may refer to music purchasing sites or to lyric sites that seem to be popular in Latin American countries.

  • Mexicans and Brazilians love music sites. The second-most-visited local site for Opera Mini users in Mexico is a Mexican music site, while Brazil has two local music sites in the top ten.

Websites related to telecom companies and mobile content or services are also popular among Opera Mini users. Only three countries out of ten don’t have a telecom site in their top-ten list: India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

In November 2013, the consumer base of the Opera mobile browsers had more than 262 million unique users. The Opera Mini servers (which do not process pages from the Mobile Classic and Opera for Android browsers) served more than 177 billion pages and compressed over 16 petabytes of data for Opera Mini users. In all, 39% of the total users of the Opera mobile browsers are using smartphones to browse the web. Compared to November 2012, the total number of Opera mobile browsers users grew more than 21%, year over year.

[Report]– Opera State of the Mobile Web November

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy