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If you cry wolf too many times, people are apt to dismiss you. The mobile internet is the boy who cried wolf.
For years, many have predicted its rapid rise, and massive revenues. Yet by in large we've all been disappointed. Year after year new developments have been made but a mobile internet that's as important as many believed it would be hasn't shown up.
But things are changing and the most important foundation for a vibrant mobile internet is being laid: actual users.
Thanks to affordable smartphones and useful applications, according to comScore, the number of people who used their mobile devices to access the internet doubled from January 2008 to January 2009. In January 2009, 63.2m people accessed the mobile internet, with 22.4m of them doing so daily.
According to comScore's senior vice president of mobile, Mark Donovan, "Over the course of the past year, we have seen use of mobile Internet evolve from an occasional activity to being a daily part of people’s lives."
The most popular use of the mobile internet is to access news and information. But the use of the mobile internet to access social networks and the blogosphere is rapidly growing. That category of use jumped a whopping 427% from 2008 to 2009.
Finance, movie information, business directories and entertainment information were categories also experiencing year-over-year growth of more than 100%.
As might be expected, younger users are leading the way. The mobile internet is proving extremely popular with males 18-34 and females 18-24.
The key takeaway from comScore's date is that while the mobile internet still has a long way to go before it reaches the epic proportions that have been predicted, it's now building the userbase that's required to get there.
Photo credit: whatleydude via Flickr.