Mobile Internet usage skyrocketed in Russia in the last few years, growing by over 50% each year, which, of course, could not stay unnoticed by both researchers and businesses.
One of the largest market research companies in Russia — TNS Russia — has recently released several interesting studies about Russian mobile Internet, where they not only showed market overall market trends, but dug deeper into mobile app usage.
According to TNS, the number of people accessing the Internet from a smartphone in 2012 increased by 39% comparing to the year before. In 2013 the number have been growing at even faster pace.
The company estimates that 4 out or 10 people in Moscow and 3 out of 10 people in medium-size cities (100 000 inhabitants or more) have a mobile device with internet access.
As Oleg Pavlioutchenko from WapStart told us earlier this year in his interview to Russian Search Tips, Russians mostly use mobile Internet for email, online video and social networking. According to TNS, the most popular apps in the Russian capital are Yandex with its 30 properties (search, email and other utilities), followed by Mail.ru (email, search and other services) and Google (search).
Popularity of some apps, especially in social networking, has clear age-related patterns. While Moscow’s youngsters are on VK, Instagram and WhatsApp, and Viber, the older audiences prefer YouTube, Facebook and Skype.
All age groups use Yandex’s navigational apps. Younger audiences favor Yandex.Metro and Yandex.Maps, while older ones, who likely own a car, use Yandex.Navigator (GPS app).
When it comes to mobile web vs. mobile app preferences, Russians clearly favor the latter. The only two services, where mobile version of the website as popular as their apps are Facebook and Odnoklassniki.
When it comes to search traffic, Yandex reports that about 15% of their users [in Russian] come from mobile devices. Google has a higher percentage of mobile visitors — over 20% — due to being default search engine on majority of Android devices.