M:Metrics Ranks the Mobile Web

NEW YORK Mobile measurement company M:Metrics has released its first ranking of the top mobile Web sites based on data collected via its new MeterDirect product, which monitors the usage habits of a pool of roughly 500 mobile phone users.

M:Metrics, which is competing with companies like Nielsen and Telephia to become the early leader in third-party metrics for mobile, announced last year that it had begun assembling a panel of users to track their usage of mobile applications, such as the Internet, SMS messaging and video. The company installs a small piece of code on mobile phones to compile such data, which it has been gathering for more than a year.

The most-accessed mobile Web sites not surprisingly mirror the most-visited venues on the Internet. During February, Google, Yahoo and MSN were the most-visited sites, followed by Microsoft’s Live.com and Disney’s Go.com portal.

While the top five list of mobile sites consists of familiar names, M:Metrics executives said they found a surprising depth when it came to mobile Internet usage—as 10,000 different sites recorded traffic during the month.

Besides shedding some light on top mobile Web properties, the new service also provides data on just how mobile media is consumed. For example, according to the February report, the average mobile Web session lasts nearly 10 minutes, and the workday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is the period of heaviest usage, with Friday being the most active day in the U.S.

According to Will Hodgman, CEO of M:Metrics, the company will continue to recruit more panelists, so that MeterDirect will eventually monitor “thousands” of mobile Web users. “Advertisers need to know what people do on the medium instead of a preponderance of theories,” he said. “This gets at true behavioral usage.”