Do you reach your customers or your employees with your own app? Do you know how your readers navigate in the mobile Internet? What does your target audience do on the smartphone or tablet?
Every year, Gruner & Jahr publishes its media survey “Mobile 360°”. We took a look at the latest results and have summarized the most important conclusions for you here.
For this year’s survey, around 500 participants answered questions about their internet use. The survey particularly focused on how respondents use mobile internet, i.e. accessing the internet on smartphones and tablets, and which apps they use.
Mobile Internet is Part of Daily Life
The first insight from this year’s results is that users now regard mobile internet as a given. The smartphone, and with it mobile access to the internet, has become our constant companion in daily life. Around 90% of respondents stated that they use a smartphone several times every day. Only half answered that they use a tablet on a daily basis.
A further insight proves that the amount of time spent using smartphones and tablets clearly correlates to the age of the user. Respondents under 40 spend more than 40 minutes on average using apps on a smartphone. The greater the age of the respondents, the less time they spent using a smartphone. Those over the age of 60 spent less than 20 minutes per day using a smartphone.
In addition to the amount of time spent using mobile internet, the study also investigated the occasions on which and locations in which smartphones and tablets are used. Results show that the location in which respondents most frequently use their mobile devices is at home, where smartphones and tablets have replaced the traditional desktop PC. Less surprising is the fact that respondents use their smartphones while traveling, while on public transport, or while waiting in line.
What are users doing on their smartphones?
The survey also looked at people’s reasons for using smartphones. More than 80% of respondents stated that they use smartphones to read the news, check directions, exchange short text messages, or surf in social networks. Two thirds of respondents stated that they fill their time by playing games on their phones. A less frequent and currently less established use is employing smartphones or tablets for learning purposes, with only 30% of survey respondents mentioning that they use their mobile devices for this reason.
According to the survey, WhatsApp and Facebook dominate among the social networks. With its market penetration of 93%, Whatsapp is the uncontested number one, but Facebook achieves an 83% share among users of smartphones and tablets. Other social networks (such as Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest), currently possess less than 25% of the market. Overall, the results shows that all social networks have experienced growth since the previous year.
It takes the right app to retain users
In the study, participants were asked in which form they consume news and information. Over half of respondents (51%) stated that they read even long articles on their smartphones. This means that the majority of readers wants to read more than just a post or an information tidbit of few characters on their smartphones. Facebook has already recognized this trend and therefore introduced “Instant Articles”. These are real news articles from print media or TV broadcasters that are published in a new format within the Facebook app.
Another part of the study looked at video consumption. 28% of respondents stated that they regularly watch videos on a smartphone. Several years ago, videos were not popular among users for mobile consumption due to the low volumes available for data flatrates. Today, videos are firmly established within this field and are regarded by users as valuable mobile media. The same is true of image galleries. One quarter of readers clicks or swipes through a small image gallery and considers this added value.
The results of the study also show that smartphone users are more often willing to use a specialized app rather than a mobile browser. Users know that apps run faster and are better designed for mobile consumption than websites. Particularly when it comes to reading information, users prefer to consume news in purpose-built apps. About a third (29%) of respondents stated that they read magazines or news on tablets and that they download specialized apps rather than using a web browser in order to consume this media.
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Looking to the Future
The study also examined aspects of mobile internet that currently seem marginal. For example, very few people in Germany use what are known as wearables. Only 12% of respondents possess such devices. The most frequently used wearables are fitness armbands that are linked with the user’s smartphone. Smart watches or smart glasses are not widespread.
Mobile payment is a new trend that is destined to grow over the next few years. Today only 12% of users take advantage of the opportunity to pay with a smartphone. However, the willingness to try this method is on the rise, and particularly users under 40 are willing to forego the debit card in order to pay with a smartphone at the till.
What conclusions can we draw from all of these results?
The most exciting new insight from this year’s study was the fact that the majority of users regularly reads longer articles on their smartphones and tablets. This shows that content can definitely be longer than a Facebook post. However, readers don’t necessarily want to read a novel. Our recommendation: Share your information in “bites” (snackable content). This will give readers the chance to find the right information and consume it while on the go. It is important that articles be optimized for mobile use on smartphones and tablets.
For you as a company, this means publishing content on a more frequent basis. Continuous publishing provides the advantage of keeping your app up to date, thereby giving users a reason to return and find new information, which strengthens reader retention.
The study has also shown that video consumption has increased further. This insight leads to our recommendation that, if you have video content, you should use it to enrich your apps. This leads users to spend more time in the app because they will regard the video content as added value.
We can assist you in implementing your sales and marketing strategy in the mobile Internet. We are happy to help, if you need inspiration to transform your content into an inspiring app. With SPRYLAB you found the right partner to talk about continuous publishing in your app. Do not miss the digitization and stay tuned to your customer.