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Mobile Usage Split Between Apps and Web

Mobile Usage Split Between Apps and Web While nobody would dispute the fact that mobile usage has exploded recently, there does seem to be some disagreement (or at least differences in opinion) as to what exactly people do with their time on mobile devices.

Several recent studies have found that the overwhelming majority of time on mobile is focused on using apps. However, at least one major survey of mobile users found that those people estimate that only about half of their mobile time involves apps, with an equivalent time spent on mobile web.

The survey, conducted by IAB Research, found that mobile users seem to have a much stronger preference for mobile web than commonly believed.

Part of the problem seems to be the difficulty in differentiating a clear separation between app and web activities. The survey found that what often appears to be “app time” may in fact technically be web time. That’s because users may initially start out at an app that includes links via which the person is then transitioned over to a website where they will conduct most of their activity. As a result, you might say that the app is serving mostly as the gateway or entrance point to the mobile website.

Mobile users surveyed said they prefer using the mobile web for a number of common activities, including search, shopping and news.

One strong factor that dictates where mobile users will go is ease of experience. It’s probably not surprising to hear that these consumers are swayed by convenience, and will tend to take whichever route seems likely to help them achieve their goal or find the information they are seeking in the shortest time with the least amount of hassle.

For marketers, trying to nail down specific figures regarding the mobile web/app usage split probably isn’t all that important. The main takeaway is that mobile users are dividing their attention between both, so it is critical that marketers have a strategy that encompasses both apps and mobile web. Remember that people don’t use one single entrance point to access your mobile content (or your online content in general), so you must consider all of these avenues to avoid the risk that you will neglect any segment of your mobile audience.

KEO Marketing can create and maintain a mobile marketing strategy for you that will encompass all aspects of mobile activity, including app development and responsive design.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.