It’s something we’ve been saying for a while now, but after details were released earlier this week – it’s official, mobile apps are far more popular than the mobile web. The results have been released by mobile analytics firm Flurry who say conclusively that people prefer to use native mobile applications than responsive HTML 5 versions of websites on their mobile devices.
The full set of results show that people now use their mobile devices on average 2h42m per day, in comparison to 2h38m per day this time last year. Within this increase of overall mobile device usage, time spent within native applications has risen from 80% (2h6m) to 86% (2h19m). This means that mobile web use has dropped by almost a quarter from 31m to 22m, a measurement made by another analytics company ComScore.
We can even look at more specific details of what percentage of their time people are spending, doing what on mobile devices. The figures for apps go as follow:
- 32% Gaming
- 17% Facebook
- 1.5% Twitter
- 9.5% Social Messaging (Other)
- 4% YouTube
- 4% Entertainment (Other)
- 8% Utilities
- 4% Productivity
- 3% News
- 3% Other
With the remainging 14% of peoples time being taken up by
- 7% Apple Safari
- 5% Google Browsers
- 2% Other Browsers
These figures (to me anyway) are really interesting. This model of mobile device usage contrasts entirely with desktop internet usage. With your desktop device you will traditionally spend most of your time viewing sites through your browser and very little time in the applications around it. Whereas for mobile devices it’s clear that people are very welcoming to a proprietary application for a specific need.
For example, there’s no Facebook desktop application, no one would use it even if there was one. People expect to view their Facebook news feed through their browser on their desktop. However people will spend more more than twice the amount of time in the Facebook app alone than they will looking at sites through their mobile browser.
These figures then show that if you have a mobile strategy, a mobile app is a key part of that strategy. Having a responsive website is important as well, it’s important to think about people who are using netbooks with small screens or the people who are using their browsers to search for you. However a mobile app is now evidently expected by consumers and very soon saying “we’ve got a responsive website” isn’t going to be good enough.