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51Degrees launches device detection solution to optimise for data-minimising mobile browsers

IsDataMinimising could enable brands to serve users an optimised version of their website based on their browser's capabilities.

Device detection and data analytics specialist, 51Degrees, has created a solution that enables brands to optimise mobile web experience for users of data-minimising browsers.

51Degrees says the IsDataMinimising solution enables brands to serve users a suitably optimised version of their website based on the capabilities of the browser being used, rather than relying on information about the make and model of the devices or about the browser versions loaded by default.

Data-minimising browsers – such as Opera or the UC Browser owned by the Alibaba Group – include an option to provide a faster-loading mobile web experience, stripped of data-intensive elements (rich media, sophisticated designs, advertising, trackers, and even in some cases images). Data-minimising browsers have become particularly popular in emerging markets such as India, Asia, and Africa, where customers, who are accustomed to unreliable mobile network service and rely on data bundles still measured in MB rather than GB, want a simplified mobile web experience that is lighter on their wallets.

Device detection solutions have until now not easily been able to distinguish between traffic from a high-specification mobile device via the default browser and that from one with a data-minimising browser installed. This results in content being served that the browser is not equipped to handle, damaging the user experience and their relationship with the brand.

James Rosewell, 51Degrees CEO, said: “Brands invest heavily in getting the design, build, and content of their websites spot-on, but let themselves – and, crucially, their customers – down by failing to take into account which browsers visitors are using, and what their expensively-assembled sites will actually look like on them.

51Degrees’ internal research shows that while classic feature phones make up the smaller proportion of the mobile device market across Asia, for instance, around 50 per cent of mobile device users in the region install and use data-minimising browsers.

Rosewell added: “They might be using smartphones, but they may as well be feature phones when it comes to the mobile web experience the data minimising browser delivers. With mobile increasingly a consumer’s first point of contact with a brand, and with data showing that a third of consumers would never buy from a brand again following just one poor mobile experience, it’s clear that this is a trend brands can ill afford to ignore.”

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