With a still pretty impressive evolution, the tech & online local markets have been generous in figures for the year we’ve just waved goodbye to.

Almost 70% of Romanians between 16-74 years old have used the Internet in 2016, with a 1.2% increase in the number of users as compared to 2015. Specifically, the past year counted for 10.6 million users in Romania, according to the INS (The National Institute of Statistics).

70% is also the percentage of the smartphone penetration rate locally, with an incredible 20% increase YoY. Traditionally, the most popular smartphone brands in Romania are Samsung and iPhone; the Chinese Huawei, which has known a spectacular rise in the recent past both internationally and locally, follows them on the third place. While the leading positions seem to be secured, more dynamism is to be expected on the local market – increasingly fragmented by Far East players.

So now it’s no longer a guess: mobile phones and smartphones have become the main devices for surfing the Internet in Romania; they’re followed closely by desktop, according to Eurostat – laptops and tablets being the less popular choices. It’s not surprising then, that mobile has exceeded desktop as a source of traffic more than once during the past year (over 50% of the visitors that accessed top e-Commerce websites were accounted for by mobile devices).

Loyal to behaviour trends, brands are quick to follow users on what is progressively becoming the new small screen – what better proof than current design & content generation choices? Cristian MIHAI, CEO – STRATEGAD.

The wide adoption of smartphones is the main driver of online video consumption, internationally and in Romania alike: now, more than 70% of the 14-74 year-old urban Internet users in the country access online video content, according to BRAT.

It’s not a coincidence that 2016 turned out to be a landmark year in the Romanian online video realm. We celebrated the 10th birthday of YouTube and witnessed the launch of Facebook Live Video and Instagram Stories. Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr also joined the Live boat – while not as widely adopted locally, the three social networks are important propellers of the engine that’s soon to turn video into the primary content delivery method. Outside Social Media, the entrance of Netflix on the local market at the beginning of 2016 and the one of Amazon, at the year’s end, are also important cues that Romania is becoming a heavy consumer of online video content.

Mobile and Video are not incidentally the 2016 keywords of the year in the Romanian online scenery – they point to important shifts in the behaviour of users, more and more dependent on the device that connects them to the world. From a broader perspective, the adoption of a mobile-first approach in the online infrastructure & content show the local digital marketing industry’s growing flexibility in responding to new behaviour patterns.