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Why I’m Paying More Attention To Mobile (And You Should Too)

I’m regularly asked what I think the next big thing in social media is going to be. The response most people want is something like, “Oh, there’s this crazy new technology that reads your brainwaves and automatically posts your thoughts to Facebook.”

Fortunately there’s nothing like that (yet) and in actuality there really isn’t any mind blowing, new, game changing technology out there right now. Instead, what we’re seeing is a further adoption rate, refinement of use, and embedding into our daily lives of the things people are already doing.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all the rest get a lot of attention but I think mobile technology was the sleeping giant that has fully been awakened. Here’s why:

  • More people have smartphones than ever.
  • Smartphone users are using them more often.
  • Smartphones are becoming the first computing options.

Here are some stats that show these trends to be true:

Mobile users are choosing to browse with their smartphone even when they’re at home and have another computer they could be using.

58 million American mobile users are accessing social networking sites like Facebook every month.

Mobile video viewing is growing by double digits.

Mobile map usage is on a significant rise.

As interesting as this is, the marketing opportunity is huge too:

Mobile ads generate click-thru rates six times higher than standard banner ads.

Mobile search is growing like crazy for Google.

60% of mobile users click an advertisement on their smartphone weekly.

Moms love their smartphones (and 96% of them have the Facebook app).

But QR codes still haven’t taken off. Only 6% of mobile phone users scan them.

The bottom line is this: mobile connectivity has not only changed the way people communicate and get information, it’s also becoming a contender for advertising and getting content. I think this is as close as we can get to “the next big thing” but there’s no doubt that it’s here to stay and changing the way people give and get information. It’s time for your business to be thinking about what these mean to you and the future of your work.

 

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  • Dirk

    If you’re trying to read the tea leaves, you might think that Google may have peaked in its dominance. Bing showing it has some traction, the Microsoft/Yahoo search deal, Twitter search, Facebook buys Friendfeed and now a major outage. Google has stymied its competition for years, but I see real challenges on the horizon. Just a hunch…

  • Bill Seaver

    Thanks Dirk. Yeah, Google will need to continue to offer good service/products that people want to use.

  • Matt

    Agreed.

    On a side note, I wonder how many (if any?) Gmail users felt “unaffected.” I’ve configured Gmail via IMAP/POP for my phone and, had I been out and around rather than sitting at my computer, I might not have noticed at all.

    And, of course, if you use iGoogle to check your Gmail, you might not have noticed a problem either…

    I wonder if there were other popular ways to get around the problem? Or do the overwhelming majority of people who use Gmail access it the “normal” way?

    Regardless, hopefully we won’t have to worry about those in the future. We’ll see…

  • Bill Seaver

    Thanks Matt. I don’t know how many people “didn’t feel it” but there were certainly a lot who did if the Twitter chatter was any indication.