Facebook Now a Major Mobile Browser in USA

Facebook, known for their dominance in social media, is now beginning to be recognized as a major contributor to mobile web browsing events in the USA.

According to Mixpanel’s new study, involving millions of users and billions of events across its platform, Facebook has grown to become a significant browser on U.S. mobile devices. For example, in some states, it’s even accounting for a sizable number of mobile browser events – like Washington (13.74%), Rhode Island (13.14%), and Montana (12.64%).

While Facebook’s use as a mobile browser was still far outweighed by Safari in most cases, due to the dominance of Apple’s iOS in the U.S., the social networking app has achieved a mobile browser market share of around 10 percent in many states, Mixpanel found.

This includes: Texas (10.12%), Hawaii (10.94%), New Hampshire (10.52%), Indiana (11.93%), Missouri (11.49%), Pennsylvania (10.92%), South Carolina (10.16%), North Carolina (11.8%), Oregon (9.73%), North Dakota (9.9%), West Virginia (9.95%), Minnesota (11.81%), and Delaware (9.94%), in addition to Washington, Rhode Island, and Montana, as noted above.

Why Does This Matter?

This is notable because it means many people in those states are using Facebook as their main point of consuming online content – whether it’s news or entertainment, or anything else.

It’s also indicative of the threat that Google has been facing for some time as users shift their web searches to mobile devices. With more people using Facebook as their portal to the web, Google has had to rely more heavily on partnership deals – like its integration in Apple’s Safari browser where it pays to be the default search engine, creating much heftier traffic acquisition costs.

Facebook’s growth as a mobile browser is also of concern because it means it has an outsized influence on shaping the flow of news and information, without having a news media background or experience – or even, any longer, an editorial staff who curates the way news reaches Facebook users.

Instead, for many years it has over-relied on its algorithms to customize the News Feed, which allowed fake news, hoaxes, and clickbait to spread. Facebook has only recently come to terms with this, and they are responding with punitive measures like downranking fake news, as well as by implementing fact-checking programs.

Those course corrections are long overdue and are increasingly critical to get right, as this new data shows.
Interested in seeing the full article? Check it out over at Tech Crunch.

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