Mobile internet use has more than doubled in a year - and that's not including any social-networking traffic.

comScore reports that the number of people using their mobile device to access news and information on the internet more than doubled from January 2008 to January 2009. Among the audience of 63.2 million people who accessed news and information on their mobile devices in January 2009, 22.4 million (35 percent) did so daily; more than double the size of the audience last year.

Daily unique mobile user numbers rose 107 percent from 10,821,000 to 22,369,000.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were, however, in the fastest-growing categories for daily mobile web access - with daily unique user numbers up 427 percent to 9,278,000.

iPhone maps

Financial sites saw unique mobile user numbers rise 188 percent. Movie information rose 185 percent, business directories 161 percent, and entertainment news 160 percent.

"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," observed Mark Donovan, senior vice president, mobile, comScore.

"This underscores the growing importance of the mobile medium as consumers become more reliant on their mobile devices to access time-sensitive and utilitarian information."

"Social networking and blogging have emerged as very popular daily uses of the mobile web and these activities are growing at a torrid pace," observed Donovan.

"We also note that much of the growth in news and information usage is driven by the increased popularity of downloaded applications, such as those offered for the Apple iPhone, and by text-based searches. While smartphones and high-end feature phones, like the Samsung Instinct and LG Dare comprise the Top 10 devices used for news and information access, 70 percent of those accessing mobile internet content are using feature phones."

In January, 22.3 million people accessed news and information via a downloaded application. Maps are the most popular downloaded application with 8.2 million users, while search was the overwhelmingly favoured use for SMS-based news and information access, with 14.1 million users. Overall, 32.4 million people used SMS to access news and information in January.

Young males are the most avid users of mobile news and information, with half of 18 to 34-year-old males engaging in the activity. The mobile Internet is also quite popular among females in the 18 to 24-year-old demographic, with 40 percent accessing it at least once in January.

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