The percentage of Americans who use the Internet and who can also access it on the run using smart phones and other mobile devices is expected to grow from 39 percent in 2010 to 59 percent in 2014, according to a new Yahoo Inc. white paper.
This year, more than 126 million Americans — or 47 percent of the total online population — are expected to have mobile Internet access, Yahoo said, citing research from IDC Digital Marketplace.
Many real estate portals, brokerages and agents now offer mobile apps. Some of the most popular iPhone apps for real estate among consumers include offerings from Zillow, Realtor.com, Coldwell Banker, Trulia and ZipRealty, according to app-ranking site TopAppCharts.com.
A number of companies offer mobile apps designed for real estate agents or useful to them, including Top Producer, DocuSign and Open Home Pro.
Yahoo’s white paper — aimed at marketers looking to integrate mobile into their advertising campaigns — notes that usage patterns among mobile users mirror the early days of the Internet, when e-mail dominated.
Among U.S. mobile Internet users, e-mail consumes 25 minutes of each hour spent online, followed by portals (7 minutes) social networking sites and blogs (6 minutes), search (4 minutes), and news (3 minutes).
Mobile Internet access tends to complement Web surfing on a personal computer, with six in 10 mobile Internet users saying they sometimes visit a site on their mobile device and then follow-up later from a PC, the paper said.
Some 86 percent of mobile Internet users said they surf the Web while watching TV — Yahoo has documented an increase in mobile Internet usage during large prime-time TV events, such as the Academy Awards and the World Cup soccer finals.
The paper also takes note of projections that tablet sales may outstrip sales of notebooks as soon as next year. The number of tablet users is expected to leap from 10.3 million in 2010 to 82.1 million by 2015, the paper said, citing projections from Forrester Research.
The deeper level of engagement facilitated by the tablet’s larger screen and keyboard may be one reason iPad users spend 2.7 times more time on their online sessions than iPhone users, the paper said.
While 51 percent of iPad users said they use the devices for e-mail, they were also popular for downloading applications like games (39 percent), accessing social network sites (33 percent), reading digital books and magazines (31 percent), playing downloaded or pre-installed games (30 percent), and downloading pictures (29 percent).
More than one in four iPad users said they use the devices for video-streaming, watching full TV shows or mobile TV, downloading music, online game-playing and watching downloaded or recorded videos.
Where iPhone users typically spend five minute or less on "snackable" news sessions, "these expand to lengthier, more immersive newsgathering sessions on the iPad," the paper said.
In integrating mobile into marketing plans, the paper recommends treating mobile as a channel — like TV, print, billboards, transit, radio, and online — not a strategy.
"A basic, yet often overlooked best practice for mobile or any other form of advertising is to define and measure specific campaign goals and success metrics such as click-through rates, brand awareness, brand favorability, ad recall, message recall and purchase intent," the paper concludes.