One day in the middle of March, life changed forever for millions of people in Japan. The most powerful earthquake in recorded history and an abnormally high tsunami created not only an acute humanitarian need, but also changed web surfing habits overnight. It could be argued that the need for information is only surpassed by the need for food, security and shelter, especially in the case of a crisis. Our logs showed a sharp increase in Opera Mini usage as information seekers in Japan sought out both news sources and certain corporate sites in the days following the earthquake. Our findings this month serve to highlight even further the need for ubiquitous access to information, not just for daily living, but in response to the unimaginable. We will redouble our efforts to make sure that people using Opera browsers in Japan to access the Web are well-served, and our thoughts are with all those affected by the disaster.
Jon von Tetzchner,
Co-founder, Opera Software
In March, all eyes were on Japan as the people of that nation sought to overcome the effects of a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. For this month’s report, we wanted to take a quick look at how the Opera Mini browser was used by people in Japan in response to the crisis. To do this, we examined the daily top sites visited by Opera Mini users in Japan, starting on March 10th (the day before the earthquake) through March 15th, making note of the sites that gained a large number of users or showed up suddenly in the daily top 10. Those sites, and how much their user base grew over those few days, are highlighted in the lists below.
Overall, Opera Mini page views in Japan increased by 27.6% between February and March, unique users increased by 15.5%, and data transferred increased by 26.3%.
The top sites in Japan for the month of February were:
The list looked exactly the same in January.
In March, however, we noticed some significant changes. The highlighted sites below went up in the top 10 ranking.
Yahoo and Twitter showed the most impressive growth, with large increases in both unique users and page views. Yahoo, of course, served as an important news source, and Twitter was used by individuals sharing information from multiple sources and communicating with each other in real time, as traditional communications channels may have been disrupted or overloaded.
Finally, we took a look at the top 10 sites in the United States and the United Kingdom immediately following the earthquake. Several of the top sites in those countries had a peak number of users on that day (compared to other days in the same week). While that was not necessarily unexpected, given the international attention and solidarity with the people of Japan, it shows that mobile browsing isn’t just task-oriented (e.g., looking up bus schedules) or location specific (e.g., the weather in your area); people do browse on phones to learn about all kinds of things, including world affairs.
The Opera Mini browser saw significant increases in all three categories of growth in March 2011: unique users, pages viewed and data consumed. In all, 102.4 million people used the Opera Mini browser in March, 59.7 billion pages were served, and 8.8 petabytes of operator data were compressed for Opera Mini users.
In March 2011, there were over 102.4 million Opera Mini users, a 14.1% increase from February 2011. Since March 2010, the number of unique users has increased 85.4%.
Opera Mini users viewed over 59.7 billion pages in March 2011. Since February, page views have gone up 16.0%. Since March 2010, page views have increased 130.8%.
In March 2011, Opera Mini users generated over 946 million MB of data for operators worldwide. Since February, the data consumed went up by 19.7%. Data for the Opera Mini browser is compressed by up to 90%. If this data were uncompressed, Opera Mini users would have viewed over 8.8 petabytes of data in March. Since March 2010, data traffic is up 138.8%.
|Month||Data transfer (MB)|
In the month of March, there was a lot of movement in the rankings for the top 20 countries (in terms of total Opera Mini users). Nigeria jumped to the #5 spot, Mexico shot up to #11, Egypt got to #16 and Bangladesh rose to #19.
For more information about the State of the Mobile Web report, please contact Pål Unanue-Zahl palu[at]opera.com, +47 2369 2400.
Get updated each time we release a report.