THE number of unique users on the Independent.ie website has jumped 51pc year-on-year.
The latest figures are good news for the INM-owned news site -- which is increasingly the source of breaking news and comment for many smartphone users.
The figures for last month show how Independent.ie has increased its presence sharply in the digital space.
Strong performances in 2012 were underlined in October, with page impressions jumping 28pc year-on-year, while unique users of the site jumped 51pc year-on-year.
The most recent audited figures from ABC Electronic reveal that Independent Digital recorded some four million unique browsers of its sites in March this year -- an increase of 25pc on its last audit.
The number of page impressions has also increased sharply to hit 46 million.
This growth has been attributed to "an enhanced user experience" and "significantly more unique [and] relevant content" being published on Independent.ie
While users can access Independent.ie across multiple devices, traffic from mobile devices and tablets in particular has increased sharply in 2012.
The change follows a trend being seen in the wider tech world, and is set to become a key source of traffic in 2013.
The switch to mobile also means that while users are still accessing content throughout the day with peaks in the morning and lunchtime, news consumption has also increased between 9pm and 10pm.
The growth online reflects what Independent Digital described as the "adoption of a number of initiatives focused on driving user engagement across the site" and the "continuous innovation and investment made by INM in its digital operations over the past 18 months".
The recent consolidation of the editorial teams across print and online at the Irish Independent has also helped boost the online business, the company said.
INM is the publisher of this newspaper, which is the sister platform of independent.ie
Independent.ie relaunched the site's commenting facility early last year, added a dedicated video channel and now has more photo galleries that are published in real time.
People aged between 25 and 34 make up the core demographic of Independent.ie visitors, with 77pc of the audience falling into the key ABC1 demographic.