Mobile now accounts for one third (33.4%) of global web traffic, but this number is significantly higher in ‘newer’ internet populations.

The findings from magazine media association FIPP’s ‘Special Insights’ report show mobile taking the biggest share of web page views in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Nigeria spikes mobile web traffic with 76%, running a fair stride ahead of India (65%) and South Africa (57%), while Poland also sneaks in with 52%.

Global results are balanced out by a lag in the Americas and Western Europe, with the UK and US seeing only a 23% and 22% share of mobile traffic.

Poles apart

It may be futile, however, to try and draw comparisons between early adoption markets such as US or Western Europe and the ‘new users’, argues FIPP president & CEO Chris Llewellyn.

“We talk a lot in media about the shift towards mobile, but in many of these emerging markets this trend has largely skipped the fixed internet stage.”

This is because it’s taken longer for internet, particularly broadband infrastructure, to filter into these markets – during which 3G/4G technology has erupted globally.

“For many consumers across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, their first contact with a digital magazine title may well have been on a mobile screen,” adds Llewellyn.


This natural proclivity towards mobile means there’s huge opportunity for brands to target emerging markets on the smaller screen.

In Africa for example, the majority of people have little access to PCs and internet penetration sits at just 18% – compared to 80% in Western Europe and the US

This has lead to people finding other ways to connect, which has driven a huge uptake in smartphone use.

Nkiru Balonwu, CEO of Spinlet, Africa’s largest music-streaming service, says: “If you think about the potential audience size, the population of Africa alone hit one billion a few years ago. That represents a huge opportunity for both brands and publishers.

“The key is creating content that is valuable for the mobile medium, and recognising with the advent of social, the importance of more conversational messaging as well as traditional content.”