Friday Grok: comScore’s latest Web insights

Nokia's troubles, and some Friday charts

Web measurement company comScore held its annual Internet Report for the US yesterday. Technically, it was a private briefing which the rest of us only get to see in a week or so. So of course it’s already been extensively leaked. And while the US these days only represents about 13 per cent of online usage, the old maxim ‘as goes California’, so goes the world that still seems to hold true for the internet.

Techcrunch provides a good overview. Among the nuggets of data extracted in the story, there’s the ‘shouldn’t-be-surprising’ revelation that the internet is an Asia-Pacific game these days. Some 41 per cent of internet users are coming from this part of the world compared to just about 26 per cent from Europe and only about 15 per cent for North America. It’s those statistics, btw, which are also driving the ascent of mobility, with many in the East leapfrogging the desktop altogether.

Pinterest comes out as the big winner among the social networking set and not simply because its growth numbers are so much larger than everyone else’s — indeed that’s just a function of growth off a small base. Instead, here’s the real clincher, “Pinterest users were found to spend more, buy more items and conduct more transactions online than other social media buyers.” Though, as the Techcrunch story pointed out, nobody has yet quite figured out how to take advantage of this.

On the e-commerce front, Amazon not only continues to dominate, but critically for the most established of incumbents, its audience growth remains very strong. Unique browsers (UBs) were up 30 per cent. Apple has emerged as the second biggest retailer in UB terms, although it has a while to go to match some of the others in revenue. Surely, that’s just a matter of time.

Finally, for those of us who suckle at the teat of online advertising there’s good news. Growth is expected to remain robust with online ad revenues expected to increase by 18 per cent in the US. The top online advertisers in March were AT&T, Microsoft, Experian, State Farm and Weight Watchers.

Nokia’s troubles

Nokia made all the wrong kinds of headlines this week when it announced it will cut 10,000 jobs over the next 18 months. ReadWriteWeb said the announcement is hardly surprising given Nokia’s myriad problems, and also one specific issue — Android.

“Google’s proxy army has encircled the Finnish cell phone giant and is slowing killing it with a thousand — make that a million — cuts. Can Nokia stave off the robot army to reclaim leadership in mobile handsets?” writer Dan Rowinski asked.

Nokia was late to the smartphone market, experienced misadventures with its own operating system, and when that didn’t pan out it backed the wrong pony — Microsoft — while manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola and HTC aligned with Google.

Not all hope is lost though, according to the story, which outlines what the company can and is doing currently. “In short, Nokia needs to copy everything that Samsung has done with the Galaxy series and do it quickly,” the author suggested.

Some charts to finish the week

Finally, a couple of charts sourced from Business Insider’s website to finish of the week. The first demonstrates in fairly blunt terms just how far Google has moved away over the last few years from delivering what you want from a search to delivering what they want you to see from a search. The second is another comScore reference, mapping the likely point in the future (2014 to be precise) when mobile internet users will overtake desktop users.

Vive la Révolution!

Andrew Birmingham is the CEO of Silicon Gully Investments. Follow him on Twitter @ag_birmingham.

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