One in two young adults use mobiles to go online

The mobile internet has finally taken off, research suggests, with a massive increase in the number of young people accessing the Web via their mobile phones.

The latest figures from BMRB’s quarterly Internet Monitor show that 49 per cent of all 20- to 24-year-old internet users are going online via a mobile, an increase of 21 per cent between August, when the latest survey was conducted, and May, when the last wave was done.

Across the board, the percentage of internet users going online via their mobiles grew from 16 per cent in May to 21 per cent.

The number of UK adults who used the internet in the month before the latest survey was conducted was 25.4 million (54 per cent of the UK adult population). Just over 23 million were home users. In the past 12 months the number of internet users grew by 11 per cent.

BMRB found that the internet is increasingly an entertainment medium. More than half (53 per cent) of all internet users said they had used it to look at cinema, theatre or concert listings; a third used it to listen to the radio and the same proportion to download music, play games and research a TV programme. The percentage of people watching video clips has risen from 22 per cent to 26 per cent.

By contrast, about the same percentage of users go on the internet for e-mail (91 per cent), instant messaging (35 per cent), online chat (20 per cent) and “meeting new people” (11 per cent) as a year ago.

Compared with a year ago, more people claim that they find out about websites from search engines and from links e-mailed to them. Fewer claim that word of mouth, favourite lists or banner ads help them find out about sites.

The percentage of home internet users who have controls to block pop-up ads has risen from 60 per cent a year ago to 74 per cent now. Almost half (46 per cent) of home internet users block all online ads.

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