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Android, iPhone users spend more on virtual currency: MocoSpace

Mobile social network MocoSpace found that iPhone/Android users are 72 percent more likely to buy virtual currency than feature-phone users.

That is one key finding from MocoSpace’s first quarterly Mobile Social Graph report, which highlights how consumer behavior is shifting from the Web to the mobile phone and provides data on how user habits differ on various device types.

“Q1 was our first full quarter offering our virtual currency, Moco Gold, and we were very pleased to reach over 1 percent adoption in just a few months,” said Casey Jones, vice president of marketing at MocoSpace, Boston, MA.

“That is consistent with some competitive benchmarks we’ve seen—and with new premium product offerings and social games coming soon to MocoSpace, we expect virtual currency purchases to grow quickly and contribute roughly 15 percent of our top-line revenue for 2010,” he said.

With more than 11 million members, MocoSpace is the fourth-largest mobile Web site in the United States, according to recent research firm Ground Truth.

The mobile social network is made up of young, multicultural demographics who increasingly use their mobile phones to meet people, stay connected and have fun through activities including chat, IM, blogging, sharing photos, posting videos, listening to music and playing games.  

Mobile social data
Key findings of the MocoSpace Mobile Social Graph:

•         Android phone traffic increased 39.9 percent in the first quarter

•         30 percent of traditional feature phone users plan to purchase a smartphone in 2010

•         iPhone is two times more attractive than Android for potential smartphone buyers

•         Traditional feature phone usage decreased by 22 percent

•         iPhone/Android sessions are 27.8 percent longer than feature phone sessions

•         Mobile users log-in almost twice as often as PC users

•         iPhone/Android users are 72 percent more likely to buy virtual currency than feature phone users.

In general, the key takeaway from the report is the sharply over-indexed 40 percent growth in Android phone usage, and the correlating 22 percent drop in traditional feature phone usage, according to MocoSpace.

“Our users are migrating quickly to both Android and iPhone, and also to what we call high-end feature phones, with full keyboards and larger displays,” Mr. Jones said. “All of these phones greatly enhance the browsing experience on the mobile Web, and that is being reflected in our rising engagement numbers across the board. 

“The other key finding is the dramatic over-indexing of virtual currency purchases by iPhone and Android users, reinforcing the greater engagement we are seeing from smartphone users,” he said.

Increased smartphone adoption has major implications for mobile publishers and advertisers.

“Our data shows that smartphones lead to greater engagement, with 28 percent longer session times than traditional phones,” Mr. Jones said. “This means more page views and corresponding ad revenues, both wins for publishers.

“Also, we are in the process of rolling out applications for both iPhone and Android users, which will enable us to introduce a deeper user experience and additional features that will help drive even greater engagement,” he said.

“Advertisers benefit by more immersive ad units that provide multiple options for brand engagement, including multimedia and full-screen messaging.”