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U.S. Mobile Users Spend The Most Time In Facebook And Instagram, Elsewhere Messaging Apps Dominate

 U.S. Mobile Users Spend The Most Time In Facebook And Instagram, Elsewhere Messaging Apps Dominate

By Sarah Perez

Messaging apps are becoming the most heavily-used type of app in a majority of key markets worldwide, based on both smartphone sessions and time spent in apps. However, according to new data from App Annie, the U.S. is an exception to that trend. Here, Facebook still dominates in terms of smartphone sessions, while both Facebook and Instagram led by time spent in apps.

The data collected was based on Android sessions in the first quarter of this year, so it’s not necessarily a full picture of the mobile application ecosystem or app usage – but it is sourced from one of the industry’s largest datasets on mobile data. In fact, App Annie’s dataset recently grew following its acquisition of  mobile measurement firm Mobidia last week. The firm is able to now detail app usage data from millions of users across 60 countries.

With Mobidia and App Annie’s data combined, the company put out its first-ever report examining usage-level trends regarding mobile applications, which looked, in particular, at countries like the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

Not surprisingly, given that smartphones are primarily communication devices, the report found that within every key market, apps in the Communication and Social categories accounted for at least 40% of smartphone sessions on Android. And that trend was similar to how users spent time in apps, says App Annie.

In the U.S., Social remained the top category based on sessions per active user, thanks to Facebook’s prominent position here. But in the U.K., Germany, Japan, and South Korea, Communication was in the #1 position, referring to their preference for messaging apps.

 U.S. Mobile Users Spend The Most Time In Facebook And Instagram, Elsewhere Messaging Apps Dominate

In many of these countries, the Communication and Social categories dominate app sessions. For example, in South Korea, the two categories accounted for around 60% of smartphone app sessions. And the U.S. and Germany were not far behind. (See chart below.)

That means users are launching these sorts of apps more often than any other category of app on their phones, including mobile games.

 U.S. Mobile Users Spend The Most Time In Facebook And Instagram, Elsewhere Messaging Apps Dominate

Meanwhile, time spent in apps was also ruled by the Social and Communication categories. In both the U.S. and Germany again, the two accounted for approximately 60% of time spent in apps on Android smartphones. In South Korea and Japan, the time spent in the apps was slightly lower, but still accounted for 45% of total time spent in apps during Q1.

There are some differences about which apps are most popular in these countries, however, which speaks to regional differences and preferences for communication. For example, in the U.S., users seem to lean more towards one-to-many communication through social networks, while other countries appear to favor one-to-one communication.

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What Google’s Mobile-First Rules Mean For Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing Land

The news that Google was rolling out a mobile-friendly algorithm should have come as no surprise. As the search giant revealed yesterday, mobile search queries on smartphones now outnumber those on tablets and desktops.

Nonetheless, the announcement was unprecedented in one respect: Google ostensibly manages some 200 algorithms that govern how websites are ranked in its search engine, but changes or adjustments rarely, if ever, trigger public notice. This time, Google announced the change in mobile search months ahead to give companies time to optimize websites for mobile users.

It’s a clear signal. We now live in a world in which mobile increasingly comes first — and that means marketers need to deliver mobile-friendly experiences.

Google Redefines Mobile-Friendly

What’s at stake? Portent, a market-research firm, ran tests based on the new rules and found that, “40% of the leading sites failed Google’s ‘mobile-friendly’ test and may be down-ranked in search.”

Under the new mobile rules, Google will be giving preferential search rankings to sites optimized for mobile. Or, as Google said, “This test will analyze a URL and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.” The change will affect mobile searches in all languages, Google says, and have a “significant impact on search results.”

Google defines “mobile friendly” as sites featuring readable text without zooming, content sized to a smartphone screen (no horizontal scrolling required), easy use of links and the absence of applications not customary in mobile like Flash. Sites not meeting this standard will likely fall in search rankings, although strong content will continue to be rewarded.

At this point, the rules relate to searches on smartphones, but it’s likely only a matter of time until tablets are added.

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Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode In The Next 3 Years

Marketing Land

Social media advertising has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. When Facebook launched its first advertising option in May 2005, no one could have predicted that social media advertising revenue would be estimated to reach $8.4 billion in 2015, just ten years later.

Online advertising is a natural choice for modern businesses, but after the decline of the banner ad, businesses began searching for alternatives. Paid search is a great online advertising medium for driving visitors to your website based on user intent (i.e. their search query). But what if there are no identifiable (or affordable) keywords you can bid on to drive traffic? And what about those businesses that want to create brand awareness rather than capturing user intent?

Social media advertising helps businesses find new potential clients by using users’ own shared information to identify interest. Rather than reactively targeting users who search a certain term, social media advertising proactively targets relevant users before they even begin their search.

Social networks are a good option for advertisers because of the advanced targeting options, reliable conversion tracking, and prevalence on mobile devices.

Advanced Targeting Options

Because social networks gather such a larger amount of user information, social media advertising is able to target your audience in a wider variety of ways than other online platforms. Stretching beyond general demographic and geographic data, social media advertising has opened the door to deeper interest, behavioral and connection-based targeting methods.

These advanced targeting options increase your ad’s relevance to your users and provide a level of personalization that is not achievable on other advertising channels. Here are four such advanced targeting options:

  • Interest targeting: Reach specific audiences by looking at their self-reported interests, activities, skills, pages/users they have engaged with, etc. Interest targeting is often related to keyword targeting, so some platforms will allow you to enter both. Interests can be as general as an industry (e.g. automotive industry) or as specific as a product (e.g. convertibles). Offered by: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (under “Skill”), Pinterest.

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Bloomberg’s Justin Smith: ‘Platforms have done a better job at media.’

DIGIDAY

It has been a year and a half since Justin Smith became the global CEO of the Bloomberg Media Group with the mandate of making the Bloomberg LP media arm a household name with business executives around the world. Since then, Bloomberg Media has made a slew of new hires across sales, marketing and editorial. The unit has introduced Bloomberg Politics, with other verticals to follow, and relaunched its flagship site, Bloomberg.com.

In an interview, Smith talked about how publishers can compete with Facebook, why print still has a place at Bloomberg, and what he admires about Snapchat.

Bloomberg Media just launched a new ad campaign. What’s the message you’re hoping to get out?
The thing that we’ve been doing, and the reason I came to Bloomberg, is that I believe we’re one of the few companies — large, established, global media companies — that’s truly trying to marry the best of traditional with the most cutting-edge approaches and formats that are emerging from startup media. There’s a global road show, and we’re getting positive feedback. So while the brand has been well-known, I think the exciting part of these conversations is some of the new products. We’re already seeing double-digit traffic growth on the unique front as well as on the page view front.

Which startups do you look to for inspiration?
It’s hard not to admire what all the technology platforms have achieved, from Google to Facebook to LinkedIn and Snapchat now. They are at-scale, large organizations; they have figured out modern media in a better way than traditional media has. To look at how those technology platforms have created mobile content interfaces that have become market-leading, or advertising solutions they have developed that are market-leading or beating because of their measurability — they have to be the first stop in any media watcher’s process.

Publishers are approaching them with some wariness, though. Where do you stand?

I think it’s interesting that traditional publishers always complain about the platforms taking away eyeballs and not sharing. This frenemy type of dynamic: Facebook being the latest focus. The reason for their complaint is quite simple: These platforms have done a better job at media than media themselves. They’ve created better media content mousetraps. They are to a large extent wiping the table on digital advertising solutions that are measurable and data-driven.

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The 4 trends the mobile market will focus on in 2015

Venturebeat

2014 was the year that mobile stopped being the next big thing and became THE BIG THING. Investors poured money into any app that showed the slightest signs of traction, new service providers popped up like mushrooms and most importantly, app developers started seeing some serious profits.

Just thinking back to two years ago, everyone and their neighbor had an idea for a new app. Today, these apps have funding, development teams, and slick demos. The success stories like Flappy Bird and 2048 alone were an inspiration to this generation of app developers showing them how far an original idea can take you.

Generally speaking, in 2015 we can identify four types of apps, each with their own characteristics and challenges.

1. Mobile ecommerce — Shifting the focus from market share to engagement

Ecommerce giants have been adapting quite fast to the mobile world. Most of the major players with a significant desktop operation in place spent millions of dollars in 2014 in paid distribution to secure their customer base and to acquire mobile market share. Nevertheless, there is still a large portion of users who use mobile primarily as a ‘discovery channel,’ browsing apps, and mobile web to get inspired — and are then migrating back to desktop to complete the purchase.

 

Read more trends here… 

The Power Of Location Is In Sharpening The Marketing Mix

MediaPost

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker, founder, Wanamaker’s

The 2014 CMO Digital Benchmark Study from Leapfrog Online says CMOs’ lack of experience with emerging mobile technology is keeping their organizations a step behind the modern consumer. While that may be true in some cases, it’s not the intricacies of mobile technology that matter most. CMOs are in a position to know and do more in mobile than they may think. Why? Because the real power of mobile is revealing what to do to sharpen the entire marketing mix and get the right 50% working for them.

This comes from mining location for a deeper understanding of consumers and the dynamics of advertising. Since many marketers haven’t yet established the systems for getting the real value out of the medium, they tend to overlook location as an organizing principle.

This is where CMOs can set up for advantage. With a simple shift in perspective and using readily available mobile data, they can increase intelligence on what’s working, improve performance based on insights (re: when and how to reach people), and stretch resources further.

 

Continue reading here… 

Consumers Spending More time Using Apps

Mobile Marketer

Marketers’ rush to develop branded mobile applications overlooks how consumers are spending a significant portion of their app time with several high-utility apps, according to Forrester Research.
The new Forrester report, “2015 Mobile App Marketing Trends: Orchestrate Your Brand Presence, Beyond Your Own Apps, By Borrowing Mobile Moments,” explores marketers’ decisions to invest significant resources into building their own branded apps because research suggests consumers spend a majority of their mobile time on apps. However, new Forrester data shows that, on average, consumers in the United States and Britain use 24 apps per month but spend more than 80 percent of the time in their five most time-consuming apps.
“Marketers should borrow their way to their customers’ home screens by partnering with the few apps that command the majority of consumers’ mobile prime time,” said Thomas Husson,
 Paris-based vice president and principal analyst for marketing and strategy at Forrester Research, in a blog post about the report.

 

Getting discovered
Popular time consuming apps in the US include Facebook, Youtube, Maps, Pandora and Gmail.

2015 Will See The Rise Of Dark Social

MediaPost

Dark social is the sharing activity that is somewhat invisible to traditional analytics. It’s the culmination of referrals and sharing of content that originates from instant messages, e-mails containing links, and most recently, the rise of ephemeral social communication platforms such as Snapchat, WeChat and WhatsApp.

A majority of focus today is on social broadcast platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. With the tides shifting toward ephemeral social communication applications as a key driver of sharing, the attribution data of the share — and all of the value that comes with it — is essentially untapped and, in some cases, simply unknown.

According to a recent Radium One study, 59% of all online sharing is via dark social. Further, a whopping 91% of Americans regularly share information via dark social methods. This study also showed that 72% of sharing is simply users copying and pasting long URLs and either e-mailing or texting the information.

 

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Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending

The New York Times

A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.

To drum up more attention, the team changed the picture’s background to a holiday theme and added “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” in big lettering. But then, instead of posting the image to BuzzFeed, the team uploaded it to Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.

The image then took on a life of its own. Mr. Johnson quickly embraced the joke, reposting the picture to his own Instagram account. Nearly 390,000 people indicated they liked the post, and the image became the top topic of conversation on the message board site Reddit.

“We didn’t pour gas on it. We didn’t post it to the home page,” said Summer Anne Burton, editorial director of the 10-person BFF team at BuzzFeed that is dedicated to posting photos and videos to photo and messaging apps. “We just stuck it on Instagram and it took off all over the place. That’s the dream.”

Continue Reading…

Why Apps for Messaging Are Trending

The New York Times

A team at BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment site, knew it had struck gold when it came across a decades-old photo of Dwayne Johnson, the musclebound wrestler and film star known as The Rock, wearing a fanny pack and dated bluejeans.

To drum up more attention, the team changed the picture’s background to a holiday theme and added “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree” in big lettering. But then, instead of posting the image to BuzzFeed, the team uploaded it to Instagram, the hugely popular photo-sharing service.

The image then took on a life of its own. Mr. Johnson quickly embraced the joke, reposting the picture to his own Instagram account. Nearly 390,000 people indicated they liked the post, and the image became the top topic of conversation on the message board site Reddit.

“We didn’t pour gas on it. We didn’t post it to the home page,” said Summer Anne Burton, editorial director of the 10-person BFF team at BuzzFeed that is dedicated to posting photos and videos to photo and messaging apps. “We just stuck it on Instagram and it took off all over the place. That’s the dream.”

BuzzFeed’s tactics could also offer a glimpse into how some personal messaging apps like Instagram, WeChat and Snapchat — already used by millions of people sharing text or images among friends — will be used in the future.

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