As smartphones proliferate the expected growth of both apps and views of mobile optimized web sites is expected to grow. However the growth in apps is far outpacing the growth in the mobile web. In March 2012, according to a new study by Nielsen, mobile apps garnered 101 billion minutes in usage. That is double the amount of time spent on them in March 2011. That 100% growth rate is compared to a more modest 44% growth in time spent on mobile web sites.
Within the apps environment there is also divergence in growth. 58% of the time spent on apps is consumed by the top 50 apps. The good news here, however, is that one year ago the percentage was at 74%. The apps ecosystem is open and apps are able to enter and capture time from smartphone users.
This is important for the social media agency because it means its clients need to increasingly be present on apps as the mainstay of its mobile strategy. A mobile web site is important, but that will be less and less important as apps improve and consolidate their user bases. The other task for the social media agency is determining which apps offer the best presence. Most apps take data about businesses for free, so there are few tough decisions to make. However, maintaining the accuracy of those data sets involves effort and time and that needs to be prioritized for maximum efficiency.