It's now official: people are using their mobile devices more than traditional desktop computers to go online.
The trend of growing use of mobile devices has been going strong ever since smartphones started taking over the population, but for the first time in October 2016, StatCounter, one of the largest web statisticians, saw mobile actually become the dominant way of accessing the web.
With StatCounter Global Stats data based on over 15 billion page views per month to over 2.5 million websites, there is substantial evidence behind the claim that mobile has taken over the traditional desktop.
In just 7 years, the balance has changed drastically: from almost no one using their phone to access the web, now 51.3% of all traffic comes from mobile devices (including phones and tablets), while only 48.7% comes from a traditional desktop form factor.
It's especially interesting that this dominance of the mobile phone is largely driven by emerging markets, where people do not have the means for two computers and a mobile device like a phone or a tablet is their main and often only point of web access. In developed markets like the United States, though, desktop is still the prevalent way of accessing the web: 58% use desktop to go online, while the remaining 42% rely on mobile.
Still, those numbers are quickly changing and chances are that those developed markets will soon reach a level, where mobile will account for the majority of devices used to access the Internet.
"This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results."