App stats show social networking is a mobile experience

By: May 9, 2012
There is no reason a senior citizen cannot enjoy the benefits found in a smartphone or tablet computer. The key is to find the right applications There is no reason a senior citizen cannot enjoy the benefits found in a smartphone or tablet computer. The key is to find the right applications

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the ‘death of the app’ and the rise of HTML5 and how pretty soon smartphone users will stop downloading apps and the app gold rush will be over.

Recent figures released by comScore, however, show the opposite is happening. Apps occupy most of a smartphone user’s time. 82% of a smartphone user’s media time is spent engaged with apps.

While games are popular, as are news sites, maps, music and weather apps (see chart below), it is social networking that is probably the most popular activity on US smartphones.

Facebook is the top social networking brand on mobile, with the average Facebook mobile user in the US engaging for more than seven hours via browser or app in March.

25.6 million Twitter mobile users (excluding usage via third-party apps) had an average engagement of nearly two hours during the month. By comparison, people using their PCs spent just 20.4 minutes on Twitter.com.

Pinterest reached 7.5 million smartphone users who engaged with the site for nearly an hour. Foursquare attracted 5.5 million mobile visitors at an average of nearly 2.5 hours, while Tumblr reached a mobile audience of nearly 4.5 million who engaged for 68 minutes during the month.

What this clearly shows is that social networking is a mobile experience for a growing population of users and the brands that will dominate the social space for the next number of years will be the networks that figure out how to make money from mobile audiences. (Now you can see why Facebook is panic buying firms in the mobile space like Instagram).

What the chart below also shows is that the app is not dead and good apps, apps that are useful and designed well, will survive and often thrive.