The number of people in the U.S. who visited a social networking site or blog on their mobile device jumped 37 percent in the three months ending in August compared to the same time period in 2010, according to a report from Web metrics firm comScore.

That double-digit jump means nearly 72.3 million people, or about 30 percent of those 13 and up who own mobile devices nationwide, accessed a social media site during that time period. More than half of those people, nearly 40 million, did so almost every day.

The number of people in the U.S. who visited a social networking site or blog on their mobile device jumped 37 percent in the three months ending in August compared to the same time period in 2010, according to a report from Web metrics firm comScore.

That double-digit jump means nearly 72.3 million people, or about 30 percent of those 13 and up who own mobile devices nationwide, accessed a social media site during that time period. More than half of those people, nearly 40 million, did so almost every day.

"Social media is one of the most popular and fastest-growing mobile activities, reaching nearly one-third of all U.S. mobile users," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president for mobile, in a statement.

"This behavior is even more prevalent among smartphone owners with 3 in 5 accessing social media each month, highlighting the importance of apps and the enhanced functionality of smartphones to social media usage on mobile devices."

Smartphone owners make up about 36 percent of those who own mobile devices.

While a slight majority continued to access a social media site through their mobile browser, the number of people using a mobile social networking application for access jumped by 126 percent in the past year, to about 38.5 million.

Frequency of use and method of access for mobile social networking/blog audience:
(3-month avg. ending Aug. 2011 vs. 3-month avg. ending Aug. 2010 for total U.S. mobile subscribers 13 and up — smartphone and non-smartphone)
  Total audience (000)
Aug. ’10 Aug-’11 % change
Accessed social networking site or blog during month 52,733 72,252 37%
Accessed social networking site or blog almost every day 25,272 39,854 58%
Social networking access method:      
Via mobile browser 34,192 42,251 24%
Via application 17,002 38,453 126%

Source: comScore MobiLens.

Three major social networks — Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin — each saw their mobile audience grow by at least 50 percent in the past year. Facebook’s audience, by far the biggest at 57.3 million, grew 50 percent. Twitter’s audience grew 75 percent to about 13.4 million, and LinkedIn’s audience grew 69 percent to about 5.5 million.

Of the total mobile social networking audience, while 80 percent read posts from people they knew personally, nearly 53 percent read posts from organizations, brands or events, comScore said. A third received a coupon, offer or deal on a social media site, and more than 1 in 4 clicked on an advertisement on a social media site.

"Advertisers and marketers should take note — mobile users are not only engaging with their friends through social networking, but a majority are also interacting with brands in these social media environments," Donovan said.

"Knowing that fans and followers engage with branded content on mobile devices opens the door to a world of opportunity for location-based services."

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