The surging usage of touchscreen devices has given birth to a subset of mobile web sites designed to allow consumers to use their fingers to navigate them, according to Taptu. The UK-based mobile search firm this morning said that more than 81,000 mobile touch web sites for shopping and services now exist for users with iPhones and other touch-enabled gadgets. Which means developers on the mobile web have one more thing they must consider as they build pages.
As a company that directs users to touch-enabled sites, Taptu, of course, has skin in the game. But touch will surely play an increasingly important role as more touchscreen phones enter the market and the mobile web matures over the next few years. Touch is superior to trackballs or keypads when it comes to clicking through screens, and owners of touchscreen devices are disproportionately young, according to comScore — an attractive target for online advertisers. (Notably, the most popular touch sites in Taptu’s study related to business and real estate.) Having to create yet another site may not please mobile developers who already face major challenges when it comes to shrinking traditional Internet content down to a phone and making it accessible on as many types of handsets as possible. But building an optimized mobile touch site is a far better plan than ignoring an increasingly important class of devices — and consumers.
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