Opera CEO Lars Boilesen has announced that Opera Mini has hit 50 million users. The app is now the third most popular app in India, beaten only by social media apps Facebook and WhatsApp.
According to Boilesen, the Opera Mini app has seen a 110 per cent increase in use in India over the past year, which sees Opera’s Indian audience account for 50 per cent of users across all its platforms.
Much of Opera’s success lies in its embracing of Indian consumption habits and its heightened device compatibility. The app is currently available in 13 native languages including Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil but uses barely any RAM, allowing it to be used from high-end smartphones to feature phones, the most prominent device type in the Indian market.
This popularity is only set to increase over the coming year, following a a deal between Opera and Microsoft that will see the Opera Mini become the default browser on all Nokia handsets, including the hugely popular Nokia Asha. Boilesen has estimated that this could see a further 100 million users for the brand; there will definitely by an influx in India, where over 25 per cent of all Nokia handsets are owned. The company already has deals with 16 mobile device manufacturers, which means Opera Mini currently comes pre-loaded to over 360 Android devices in India.
A proxy browser that allows users to browse the mobile web at reduced data rates, Opera Mini loads pages for its users on its own servers before distributing the fully loaded page to the user’s mobile device. This means that – while drastically reducing data cost – Opera Mini can compress web page data by up to 90 per cent for its users, allowing faster loading of videos and text. In emerging markets like India, where data usage is critical and telecommunications infrastructure is often under heavy load, proxies are essential to many mobile web users.
However, use of proxy browsers such as Opera Mini can be problematic for advertisers on the mobile web. Loading a page server-side first often leads means that there is no way to obtain tracking results, which can seriously hamper advertising campaigns. Tracking is very important to advertisers as it allows them to see the effectiveness of different campaigns and discover more about their audience demographics. Tracking gives advertisers confidence in the success of a campaign and therefore the benefits in running it. VAST, the most popular tracking type in the industry, fails to see results from proxy-browser users.
AdSpruce, a dedicated mobile video ad network, is the only ad network so far that has worked at length to make their adverts proxy browser compatible. This allows further reach for advertisers on the network and greater integration rates. With proxy browser usage on smartphones becoming more common, their proxy browser solution is useful not just in India but globally.
Another downside to proxy browsing is possible low quality video. Opera has also tackled video performance with its recently released Video Boost which allows their users to optimise videos in browser with minimal data use.
With Opera Mini’s success and the continuing rise of fellow proxy browser UC Browser, digital advertising is going to have to adapt in order to thrive. What do you think about the news? Are you a regular user of Opera Mini? Have you experienced difficulty with proxies when advertising on the mobile web? Let us know by commenting below or contact us via Google+, Facebook or Twitter.
Find out more about advertising with AdSpruce’s dedicated mobile ad network here.