Mobile’s reach and engagement dichotomy

Posted on October 5, 2015 by


Marketingland surfaces some telling signs that users tend to prefer mobile browsers over mobile apps, with mobile browser audiences being twice larger than app audiences and apparently growing faster.

comScore also just released a report citing “consumers spend the majority of their mobile time with a very few heavily used apps.” Also, Marketingland appears to have been covering the mobile browser vs app phenomenon with some survey findings highlighting reasons why users prefer one experience over the other.

Morgan Stanley points out that only 12 of the top 50 mobile properties have more traffic coming from apps than the browser. The discussion argues for the primacy of the mobile browser for most publishers, brands and marketers.

What caught my attention is Marketingland’s reference to a “reach (browser) vs engagement (apps) dichotomy”. On its own, this seemingly polarized depiction would suggest that the mobile browser experience offers more opportunities to increase new audience, while mobile apps help secure ‘stickiness’ through a more immersive, enaging online experience.

But is the reality that black and white?

In this segment of #smchat, let’s have a close look at these two modes of mobile experience and discuss, based on our own observations and sources, why the mobile browser seems to be gaining more traction than apps:

Q1 What makes a mobile browser better suited for gaining new audiences over apps?

Q2 Why do mobile apps appear to be more engaging than mobile browsers?

Q3 Is the greater tendency for mobile browser adoption over apps indicative of the current appeal of apps? In what way?

Q4 How does this proposed trend affect your mobile marketing efforts?
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