The rise in prominence of mobile technology has been well-documented – and for good reason. The growth of mobile has resulted in over two billion people connecting via smartphone alone in the year 2014. By 2020, experts predict smartphone connectivity may surge to four billion people. Now that mobile devices have become such a consistent presence in most peoples’ lives, the question begging to be asked is “what’s next?”.
Skeptics may take a perfunctory glance at smartphone penetration in the United States and come to the conclusion that mobile has peaked. With over 72% of America’s mobile population using a smartphone in March 2014 (compared to 18% in January 2010), how much more dominant can mobile tech really become? A tremendous number of users have joined the bandwagon over the past five years since the beginning of the ‘Mobile Revolution’, but is the market nearing saturation and is the so-called ‘revolution’ over? A more in-depth analysis reveals that mobile is not fading out. It is not losing steam. It is actually redefining its boundaries and broadening its scope.
While the emphasis may have previously been on actual the phones and devices, the majority of the buzz now is around the software or apps within the devices. This new wave of mobile momentum has shifted the attention to advertising, social media, music, health management, online shopping, and online banking. All of these popular activities have found a home on mobile. Mobile phones can offer logistical advantages like the ability to deposit a check by taking a picture of it, which is not possible on a PC, but the primary way that mobile devices earn their keep is by providing easy accessibility to what users are seeking.
This shift towards a more diverse mobile landscape has had widespread implications. Mobile-first companies like Facebook or Twitter are becoming more valuable than long-standing giants like Comcast or Viacom. For the first time ever, Americans are spending more time looking at the screen of their mobile devices than the screen of their televisions. Prominent companies like Starbucks are taking note and taking advantage of these trends with over $1 billion in mobile payments being processed in just one quarter in 2014. These astounding developments are just a few examples of how adjusting to this shift has been acknowledged as a necessity to survive and thrive today.
And the mobile app economy is hotter than ever. The average US mobile consumer is spending almost 90% of their time in native apps, a trend that indicates that mobile device users are eager to explore new ways to use their phones and tablets. Profits reflect these trends as well, with the Google Play Android app store and Apple App Stores having brought in about $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively, in the third quarter of 2014. This is a number that has been steadily increasing over the past few years. Mobile trends continue to indicate that apps are the best way to bring users to you.
When one considers a mobile app for their library – they may take into account that smart phones and tablets are a current fixture in any student or patron’s day-to-day life. However, it’s critical to note that the mobile technology industry has not merely ‘arrived’, but is further revolutionizing the way that we live our lives. Learn more about how your library can maximize relevance, boost resource usage, and drive engagement with a library-branded mobile app. Contact Boopsie for more information about how we can help your library adapt to the rapidly changing expectations of library users. Register for one of our academic library webinars here or public library webinars here.