This is why responsive - mobile - websites are important.

by Tom Davis

Mobile websites gather larger audience than apps.

I figured I was the oddball, but I just never saw the point of having an app for something I could just as easily get in my Web browser - even on my phone. Turns out I may not have been the oddball.

I read this article in The Wall Street Journal today: Websites Attract Bigger Audiences, but Users Spend More Time in Apps and learned that the website vs app argument is a lot more complex than it looks in some ways, but still pretty simple in others. The original report comes from ComScore’s 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report.

Websites that mobile friendly fit into the huge world of smartphones

When I see the list of the Top 25 Apps by Unique Visitors list, I realize that usage patterns would greatly effect how an app might be ranked. I spend many hours a week listening to podcasts using the Podcast app in iOS but only visit Apple's service once a week at most to download a new set of podcasts. I guess that is why the Podcasts did not show up on the top visits. Google Play and Apple music did, so I guess a lot of people stream these.

Then there is the Weather Channel app - number 16 - whose usage pattern  is probably many, many short visits. And Facebook, probably lots of long visits. Like everything else in the world, it comes down to context.

I found this fact very interesting:

Still, comScore found that the audience for mobile websites is about 2½ times larger than mobile apps, and growing twice as fast. The main reason: the ease of linking, and migrating across links, on the Web.

When paired with this:

Mobile users spend more than 70% of their time in smartphone apps, dwarfing time spent on tablet apps and mobile websites.

What does it mean? People spend too much time playing their solitaire app? (or their crossword app)