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Mobile, Revolution or Evolution?

Earlier this year we wrote a blog entitled ‘Mobile Madness’ and once again I find myself writing about this current ‘Mobile Revolution’ this time inspired by the Business Insider ‘The State of the Internet’ slide deck.

I don’t need to state the obvious here but I am going to anyway; we are living in a world where technology is changing at an extremely fast pace, to the degree that if you buy a new device, within a month you are faced by the stark reality that it is old news. As a result, we have developed a sense of urgency and hunger for new technology, like never before, rarely satisfied with our own current lifestyle.

Last year smartphones overtook sales of personal computers, which is no surprise. During a recession we turn to cheaper devices that can equally support our needs. Globally we are using our mobile devices in the same types of ways as we would our personal computers. Our mobile social activity nearly doubled in 2012 and mobile overall now accounts for 12% of global internet traffic.

According to the Business Insider ‘The State of the Internet’ we are consuming vast amounts of content through our mobiles, whether that is on social media, subscriptions to online magazines or browsing the internet. Consumption of news is the highest category, followed by social media, gaming information and online retail and auction sites such as eBay. Should we, however, be advertising on it? Mobile advertising hasn’t increased at the same pace as other media in the past. This may be because the time spent developing the ads for such a small screen, compared to the amount of time people spend viewing the ad, is extremely high. Mobile is still a tiny fraction of digital ad spend, however native mobile ads are slowly gaining traction according to Business Insider.

Our mobiles have become a ‘way of life’. Between 2010 and 2011 mobile payments in the US grew from under $1 billion to over $4 billion.  We are integrating mobile into everything we do online and offline.

The stats on the mobile app marketplace make for fascinating reading. ‘Angry birds’ has over one billion downloads and Instagram has generated over 100 million users in just two years. Globally, by the end of 2012, we will have downloaded 45 billion apps from the Apple store. According to comScore we are spending more time on apps than browsing the web. However the revenue to be made in mobile apps is still small. This is because the majority of apps are free and companies create them to provide a useful tool for their consumers, for example banking apps. However, the perennial question of security still hangs over the use of these such apps.

Cyance recently held a Security Think Tank to discuss all matters of IT security, data breaches and the available solutions. I was speaking to Jay Epton from Symantec (Norton for those who don’t know who they are) and he was telling me about a security test they ran throughout the US. They placed fifty iPhones in convenient public places (park benches, outside grocery stores etc.) and installed tracking chips to watch their inevitable fate. Every iPhone also contained a variety of apps including a fake banking app. Out of the fifty phones dropped, every single one was taken and entry into the banking app was attempted almost every time.

However, the aim of this blog was not to damage the reputation of the app world. It was merely to point out that we are using our phones for more than just updating our social status. We pay with them, search with them and even let them help us when we are lost in a new city. We are only going to see mobile development continue to grow, along with the use and consumption of the media they carry.

Do you search for content through your mobile or have an app that you just couldn’t live without? If this is the case, it’s more than likely your customers do too.

One tip for 2013 – it is time to develop a mobile marketing strategy (and make sure it covers security)