More Digital Media is Now Consumed with Mobile Apps

A digital analytics company, comScore, recently published an intriguing report about our technology habits. According to their U.S. Mobile App Report, mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones now account for about 60 percent of digital use, pulling ahead of previous online access points, such as desktop PCs. This has far-reaching implications for a number of organizations, demonstrating the value of mobile optimization, eCommerce, and cogent online media strategies. Their summer 2014 report highlights several data points, which indicate that mobile apps, particularly social media platforms, account for a significant portion of our time spent online.

Mobile Apps Are King

The comScore report illustrates how desktop PC time commitments rose by just 1% between June 2013 and June 2014. Mobile websites fared slightly better, rising about 17% in this time frame. However, mobile apps had the most compelling power to grab users’ attention for long periods of time, rising by a sharp 52% in just a single year. This is significant news for business owners and marketing teams who seek to reach audiences on the platforms they use most. Formatting your online presence for desktop browsers just won’t cut it in this age. People are spending the majority of their online time browsing mobile apps, and this is where organizations are most likely to connect with audiences. And it certainly seems like businesses are catching on. In 2013, app-related sales reached all-time highs of $25 billion in global revenues.

Platform Diversity

It doesn’t seem surprising that an analytics company like comScore is keeping tabs on the types of mobile technologies audiences use to spend time online. Their data reveals that audiences use a diverse range of hardware and operating systems to access mobile apps. Usage in the comScore report is split across five different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including HTC, Motorola, LG, Samsung, and Apple that utilize browsers compatible with Android and iOS. This diversity highlights how important it is for organizations to extensively test their apps across platforms, in order to reach broad audiences. Content that cannot be viewed on a mainstream mobile device can lead to diminishing conversion and engagement rates.

Social Media Drives Connections

Social networking accounts for about 25% of our time spent on mobile devices. Once you dig into the details, you might be astonished by the sheer adoption rates for social networking apps. It’s no surprise that companies scramble to perfect their social media campaigns. Facebook takes the lead amongst all age groups as the #1 app used the most. Several other social media platforms appear in the Top 25 Mobile Apps list, including Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, and Pinterest. Media consumption app, such as YouTube and Google Play are ranked second and third overall. It is extremely important for organizations to keep these metrics in mind, since they indicate the platforms you’re most likely to find an audience.

This recent comScore report just confirms the disjointed trends we’ve been hearing about for the past few years. Mobile use is eclipsing traditional desktop computing when it comes to online access and consumer use. Companies should pay close attention to these platform and app trends to maximize relationship building and conversion opportunities.