Published By | Ronan Shields, Tue, 20 Apr 2010

What Car? has launched a site optimised for smartphones to capitalise on the growing number of people accessing the web via their phones. The Haymarket Consumer Media title’s mobile site, developed by YOC Group, counters the move by rival titles including Auto Trader, which has concentrated on launching smartphone apps rather than mobile-optimised sites.

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Andrew Golby, What Car? publishing director, said, “The rapid emergence of smartphones and the improved browsing capabilities of all mobiles means this will be an important platform for us.” Oli Roxburgh, MD of YOC UK, said, “The continued growth of the mobile internet is a validation that it presents publishers with a flexible, interactive platform on which to diversify their revenue streams and broaden their reach.” The news comes as media agency MPG Media Contacts published research indicating that internet use in the home was shifting from PC to mobile. A survey of 100 UK households indicated that 21% of respondents aged between 18 and 65 said they prefer to browse the internet on their phones. Chris Bourke, head of mobile at MPG Media Contacts, said, “Consumers are favouring portability over big screens and are happy to watch videos, browse sites and send emails on compact devices.” The findings are supported by reports from Facebook that more than 100m of its subscribers regularly visit the site on mobile phones. “This represents the beginning of a significant change in consumer behaviour and we’re using our expertise to help clients understand what this means for their brands,” added Bourke.

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