5 apps that take up 80% of our mobile time

February 2, 2015

A new report from Forrester finds that on average, smartphone users in the U.S. spend 80 percent of their time in just five apps:

  1. Facebook
  2. YouTube
  3. Maps
  4. Pandora
  5. Gmail

Think about that for a moment. Apple reports there are over 1.2 million apps in the iTunes App Store that have had over 75 billion downloads. Yet on average, we spend 80 percent of our time in just these five.

For utility purposes, there’s no question that a company or organization should have its own app. Think banks, service providers, etc. People don’t spend a lot of time in those apps, but they do like the convenience of being able to interact with that company via their smartphone.

Think tanks and candidates can benefit by having their own smartphone app to make life easier for their core users. Access research, speeches, walklists, volunteer signups, etc.

But for branding purposes, we ought to be focused on how to get our content onto these five apps.

For Facebook, that means an active page with frequent, valuable, engaging content. It also means shelling out for Facebook advertising.

For YouTube, that means good quality videos and, yes, paid YouTube advertising to get those videos in front of new audiences. This is especially useful for mobile video.

For Maps… be sure your location is easy to find on your website. Your mobile-friendly, responsive website that is.

For Pandora, they do ads. Create some great ads and put them out there for a very targeted audience.

For Gmail, well, what hasn’t been written about great email marketing?

The common thread for all of these apps (with the possible exception of Maps) is the consumption of content. We are in an age when we consume content not from a newspaper but via social media, online video, and email.

Instead of trying to get consumers to come to your content, tailor your content to go find them.

Check out the full report here (note: it’s pricey).

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