I was asked yesterday what I thought of the latest set of mobile usage figures posted on Mashable.
According to the figures, ‘users spent 81 minutes per day using mobile apps, compared to 74 minutes of web surfing’. It’s worth noting at this point that the 81 minutes spent using mobile apps includes games.
I had a brief think and said ‘for the charity sector I can’t imagine it will make that much of a difference yet’.
Time for some justification.
Why this was close:
To an extent, it’s a fair evaluation. The numbers are screaming at us to provide content in the form of an app.
We just need to ask the following:
Can we add value to our existing offerings by making them available though an app rather than our website? If not, can we create value with a new idea?
If not, we face the prospect of developing a dreaded crap app (what I like to call, a ‘crApp’).
Why this was way off the mark:
What these figures do show, is a significant increase in the time people spend using mobile devices every day.
In the past few months, we’ve seen a surge of growth in the mobile device market (almost directly correlated with a decline in PC and netbook markets).
More importantly, there is a shift towards people replacing the humble PC with a mobile device. Take into consideration that Apple’s latest iOS software update will eliminate the need for an iOS device AND a computer to sync it with.
This indicates that more people will be consuming online content on a mobile device.
So at the very least, this means we need to test our websites to make sure they render properly in a mobile browser. This could a relatively small task (perhaps less so if your website is flash based). Look for the quick wins you can make with formatting and ensure that content you are producing now is mobile friendly. A step further would be to create a mobile specific theme to make our content accessible on mobile devices, but this can be more costly.
Well that’s what I reckon anyway. What’s your opinion? Have any of you noticed an increase in mobile traffic to your site in your analytics? Leave your thoughts in the comments below…