Mobile Apps Transforming Online Interaction
Is it too soon to claim that 'The Web Is Dead'? Wired magazine trumpeted that headline a few months back, and new data published by Flurry would seem to lend some credence to that. Perhaps it is a bit sensationalistic to say that the web is dead, but for the first reported time, time spent per day on mobile apps has exceeded time spent browsing. Flurry combined their own analytics data on mobile app usage, which is - according to their report - '...now exceeding 500 million aggregated, anonymous use sessions per day across more than 85,000 applications,' and data from comScore and Alexa on Web browsing to come up with the provocative results.
This comes on the heel of a report four months ago by Mary Meeker and Matt Murphy at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers that in 2011, smartphone and tablet shipments exceed those of desktop and notebook shipments. While this does mark a startling trend towards the increasing role of mobile devices in our respective lives, it surely does not indicate the death of anything. Other than that of phones that only do one thing - call people.
In light of these trends, effective online marketing now has taken on several dimensions, and to succeed in all areas and keep one's audience engaged requires both skill and a clear strategy. Social media marketing and optimization is now an essential part of reaching new customers and keep them happy and coming back. Because, while people are now increasingly addicted to their smartphones and tablets, those weren't really built for browsing anyway - they are best used through apps. And furthermore, gaming and social media applications are the driving force behind the aforementioned statistics.
Web design is catching up to being more mobile device friendly, but apps are still clearly the most efficient and user-friendly way for a consumer to shop, game, and interact on their phones and tablets. Effective online marketing must acknowledge and adapt to the more diffuse ways in which the online audience accesses the Web.