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It’s Clear: Apps are Winning the Smartphone Engagement War

Posted Jun 27, 2014

Consider your smartphone. Not only is it your fifth and most treasured limb, but also the primary place where you search the Internet—you, me and the majority of Americans.

Interestingly enough, when people hop on their smartphones they aren’t simply searching, cruising or texting – their their screens are regularly dominated by mobile applications. In fact, the latest research from comScore estimates that the majority of digital media time, or roughly 51%,  is spent within mobile apps.

Let’s say that again … The majority of digital media time is spent in mobile apps. Not on the mobile Web. And while this may be news to some, at AdColony, we’ve known that this was the reality for quite some time.

If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. comScore estimates that overall mobile engagement, specifically for social media, has skyrocketed by 55% over the past year. And the majority of those social platforms – from Facebook and Instagram, to Snapchat and Vine – offer the best mobile experience via apps. (It’s worth noting that Facebook accounted for roughly a quarter of all that time spent engaging with social media on smartphones).

Well played, Facebook.

Of course, these statistics not only have huge implications for mobile users but also for how brands and publishers should be thinking about reaching them.  In this case, the message is clear:

  • Brands: Make sure your messages are seen in mobile apps – whether that’s with a crystal-clear video ad or some sort of native sponsorship.
  • Publishers: Go with a mobile app!
  • Brands & Publishers: Include social engagement features in your apps and your ads.

There have been good arguments in favor of marketers and publishers focusing on the the mobile Web vs. the enclosed ecosystem of an app, but comScore’s newest data makes one thing quite clear: The war for the hearts and minds of smartphone users (including you and me) has a clear winner, and it’s definitely the mobile app.

Image source: TRUSTe

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