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ADI: Mobile Landscape A Moving Target

New analysis by the Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) team reveals some noteworthy shifts in the mobile landscape.

The first: Tablets have failed to make a real comeback, despite strong holiday discounting in the United States. Additionally, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is catching on in the United States, where internet saturation is turning the mobile space into a fearsome battleground.

Ta-Ta Tablets
Though lower prices for these devices made them economically available to many this past holiday season, tablet share of traffic in 2016 decreased in every country around the world, according to ADI.

“What we gleaned from the holiday report is that tablets were some of the top-selling items, and they were some of the most buzzed about as well,” said Becky Tasker, senior managing analyst at ADI. “Our hypothesis was that this surge in tablet sales because of these discounts was going to drive additional tablet traffic. In reality, that hasn’t been the case.”

From a U.S. perspective, tablets accounted for 10% of total web traffic in 2014. Now they’re down to 8%. Marketers need to take note and adjust their strategies.

Google AMP-ed Up
Google implemented AMP last February. AMP is an open source initiative consumers can use on their phones to have pages load quickly when they surf the net. ADI’s analysis has found that consumers have welcomed this technology as a quick and efficient way to access content on mobile devices. In fact, top U.S. publishers now see 7% of all their traffic (across devices) moving through Google AMP. 

Google AMP usage saw a growth of 405% in the period between April and December last year. In November, during the election season, traffic showed an 896% spike.

“We’re seeing rapid adoption in terms of usage,” Tasker said. “If you are a brand and you aren’t on Google AMP, make sure that you’re starting to look towards implementing it. Traffic is definitely flowing there.”

Mobile Battleground
Total website traffic in the United States has stayed relatively flat for the past 36 months, according to ADI. Smartphone device usage continues to grow, but it has been at the expense of other devices. Smartphone visits to the web have grown 69% since 2014, while desktop and tablets have both lost ground, down 23% and 19% since 2014, respectively.

Mobile, according to Tasker, is now a battleground, where companies compete for engagement. It is important to note, however, that the app boom is over. App installs have decreased 38% in the last two years, and app launches are down 28%.

“Brands that have a large mobile audience need to consider retention as well as acquisition strategies on mobile,” Tasker said. “Otherwise they risk losing traffic to the competition.”

ADI also found that consumers in developing countries are bypassing desktops and laptops and are going straight to smartphones to access the internet. These regions have 34% higher smartphone-share growth, compared with affluent nations. Brazil and Argentina are the fastest growing in terms of their country’s share of smartphone traffic.

“We’ve gone through some phases in mobile,” concluded Tasker. “We started with mobile-optimized, then mobile-first, and now we are moving towards mobile-only, as smartphone traffic continues to steal share from other devices.”

View the full report below or click here to view it on Slideshare

Related article: ADI: Is Europe In The Middle Of A Smartphone Divide?

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