Mobile devices are transforming how consumers around the world are engaging with media and staying in touch with one another. And as device and service availability increase, particularly in developing markets, more and more consumers are experiencing the freedom to surf the Web and stay connected wherever their days take them.
In Egypt, Internet adoption grew only 2 percent this year (reaching 44%), but mobile Internet use climbed 7 percent, according to a new Nielsen survey. The proportion of new Internet users increased 6 percent over the past year to 27 percent, up from 21 percent in 2012 and 15 percent in 2011.
The real story, however, is mobile. According to the study, nearly one-fourth (23%) of the Internet users in Egypt are going online via mobile devices, up from 16 percent a year ago.
“Internet on the go is growing among Egyptian consumers due to their busy lifestyles,” said Tamer El Araby, Managing Director, Egypt and Levant at Nielsen. “Smart phones are becoming more accessible and affordable, which is a main driver of the growth in mobile Internet use. So the real opportunity for mobile providers is finding the right offering that appeals to the masses, such as affordable mobile bundles.”
Social networks are the biggest draw for mobile Internet users, as the survey found that 71 percent of consumers use their mobile devices to engage with social media. Other popular activities include browsing for political news (41%, up from 38% in 2012) and searching for general information (40%, down from 36% in 2012). With respect to the top mobile activities, watching videos (including movies) and voice chatting moved into the top five activities this year.
The most-visited websites in 2013 mirrored those in 2012, with the exception of Masrawy.com, which shifted down from last year. Facebook.com was the most-visited website in 2013 (33%), but the site’s popularity dropped 4 percentage points over the year. Google.com (25%) was the second-most visited website, up 2 percentage points from last year, while Youtube.com (19%) recorded the biggest increase—10 percentage points—in 2013. Google.com.eg (7%) and Yahoo.com (3%) were the fourth- and fifth-most visited sites of the year.