Apps Overtake Mobile Web in Time Spent Online

comscore online consumption graphMobile is increasingly the first device for consumers when it comes to going online, and that trend is demonstrated by the latest data from ComScore, which has found that more than half of all time Americans spend online (across mobile, desktop and other channels) is now spent in apps.

ComScores figures for July 2016 show that desktop web makes up just 32 per cent of all online time now, with smartphones accounting for 57 per cent (50 per cent within apps) and tablets for 11 per cent (nine per cent in app).

“In the near term, smartphone apps are likely to grow their share of digital beyond the 50 per cent mark, but desktop and tablets will maintain critical roles in consumers online consumption for the foreseeable future,” said Adam Lella, senior marketing insights analyst at ComScore.

“Its important, however, that publishers and advertisers understand the outsized influence that smartphone apps have and will continue to have, and that they plan their digital strategies with this information in mind.”

While these stats are likely to encourage mobile-first services, app publishers and other mobile stake holders, they will be treated with mixed feelings by companies like Google that have built their operating model around the traditional web.

A huge part of Googles advertising revenues still rely on search, and as more and more content is siloed away in un-indexable apps, Googles search tools, the cornerstone of its online empire, become less useful.

While Google is making efforts to fight back, pioneering deep-linking technology and creating tools that make the internal contents of apps searchable, it isnt guaranteed to be in first place when it comes to this new form of search, despite the time it has sunk into web search.