Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Dogs on Skateboards, on Your Phone: YouTube Dominates Mobile Streaming

Mobile phones are computers you can carry in your pocket.

So no surprise you spend lots of time using them to do the same thing you do on a regular computer: Watch YouTube.

Here, via broadband service company Sandvine, is a breakdown of mobile Web traffic in North America. By Sandvine’s count, Google’s video site accounts for nearly a third of the data piped into your phone from wireless networks.

Bear in mind that Sandvine is tracking data usage, not time spent, so this isn’t an exact mirror of your phone habits. But it is revealing. Also interesting: We spend more data pushing updates, photos, etc., to Facebook than any place else.

If anything, Sandvine’s data likely undercounts the amount of use these sites get from your phone, because a lot of your phone’s use, particularly for stuff like streaming video, is probably happening at home, on a Wi-Fi network.

But it certainly syncs up nicely with the emphasis YouTube has put on overhauling its mobile apps — the company says it gets a billion mobile views a day — and why it was important for the company to reclaim its app on Apple’s iOS devices.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik