Tag Archives: mobile

Maani Safa on the ‘apps v mobile web’ debate

Maani Safa is the Product Director for Somo – Europe’s leading mobile advertising agency.

The mobile web vs Apps discussion has been heating up more and more over the past months – usually with polar arguments supporting each.

There is no doubt that the rise of “apps” was the major force behind smart phone usage becoming as high as it is today with Apple being the spearhead behind the craze with the iTunes app store. The idea of the “app” made it very simple for the mass market to recognise the ease of using a mobile device to achieve the exact same tasks on the go that users had been doing for years on the desktop.

Apps have fundamentally changed user interaction and user journeys online too – as it stands when user x wants to find a Chinese restaurant in the local area they are more inclined to dip into an app, whereas on the web, its nearly always through Google. So what is the answer to the app vs mobile web outcome? There isn’t one really. Both have a place.

As time passes, and the general mobile market leans further towards “smartphone functionality” as the norm the user base will begin to realise that the mobile web, html5 and faster browsers can provide more or less an exact experience as an app, except that the mobile web is multi platform – meaning whether you are on a Nokia N8, an iphone 4, a Blackberry Bold or Samsung Galaxy S, you are simply a click away from the chosen experience. No app store required.

On top of that – the likes of Google, both across the mobile web and Mobile OS’s such as Android are making searches both easier (Google goggles, Voice activation etc) and more useful. Google mobile search for restaurants is fantastic and beats the majority of app experiences.

Great examples of brands using mobile sites are Net-A-Porter.com, ASOS, Autotrader and M&S. M&S in fact made their single biggest web transaction across mobile – a £3000.00 sofa.

So does all this mean that apps will die a slow death? Not at all – for game apps and the like an app is a definite requirement, as the experience simply cannot be replicated on the web (for now). On top of that, the apps store marketing power is a force that is  hard to compete with – here at Somo we have clients that ask us make them an app and ensure it reaches the top 10 download charts. Why? It can ensure downloads of around 100k – 300k a day.

As time passes we will see more and more brands have a presence on the mobile web – it will become a simple hygiene factor for them, which is fantastic for consumers. Apps will always have their place but expect to see more and more mobile sites built first and then simply wrapped in an app shell to also place it on the mobile app stores.



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Mobile video research

Interesting, but not surprising results.

Mobile video is a huge opportunity for brands to connect with consumers, but the network speeds and reliability have to improve considerably before it can be properly utilised.

Until networks can offer this, I think app publishers should look at ways to offer the user the chance to download the video they want to the phones memory, while they have wireless coverage, or overnight when the network is less busy. That way the play back experience will be excellent, as will the advertising opportunity.


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Adobe launch Flash 10.1 for mobile

On pretty much all operating systems apart from, you guessed it,  Apple OS4.


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Mark Challinor to join TMG

From Mediaweek.co.uk:

Telegraph Media Group appoints first director of mobile

Telegraph Media Group (TMG) has appointed former Associated executive Mark Challinor as its first director of mobile.

Mark Challinor: joins TMG as director of mobile
Mark Challinor: joins TMG as director of mobile

From July, Challinor will work across the company and be responsible for delivering a revenue stream for the Telegraph’s mobile offering.

He will focus on reader and advertiser interactions, database opportunities, content distribution and new revenue-generating opportunities.

The mass adoption of smart phones such as the iPhone and BlackBerry is fuelling new opportunities surrounding mobile phones.

In the UK alone, mobile advertising spend is expected to experience near 40% compound growth this year and increase from $111m in 2009 to $524m in 2014, according to the latest PwC forecast.

Challinor will report to Steve McLaughlin, executive director of Consumer Revenues at TMG.

McLaughlin said: “He brings more than 20 years’ newspaper experience to the role, including two years as European president of the Independent Newspaper Marketing Association, between 2004 and 2006.”

McLaughlin called the experienced press marketer “a great asset” and stressed: “TMG’s mobile offering goes from strength to strength. Our World Cup app, for example, has had over 300,000 downloads.”

Prior to starting his own consultancy business in 2006, Challinor was group promotional marketing manager at Associated.

During the 1990s, he also held a number of commercial roles at Trinity Mirror. He has also worked as a consultant with The Times of India, Sydney Morning Herald and the American Marketing Association.


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Video on mobile, social media and the future

Imagine a future when the mobile internet is ten times faster than today, and therefore uploading video messages via the mobile web would be fast. Imagine your phone being equipped with a video camera that allowed you to shoot a 30 second video, while adding your own spoken work to the video file as you record.

Imagine what Facebook and Uber Twitter would look like in that future. Amazing.

Currently you can of course upload videos, but the sound is usually pretty dire unless you record in a quiet place. By adding a mic that allows you to direct your voice straight into your handset, the experience would be massively improved. By allowing people to add a voiceover to video, you enhance the creative possibilities and give birth to a billion film-makers around the world.

Rather than Tweeting or updating a Facebook status with text messages, you could be so much more creative and shoot a little video for your friends and family to see.

It could be angst-filled video showing the sea of orange signs all reading ‘delayed’ with your commentary on the pain your feeling. It could be introducing a new life … hello world, this is my beautiful baby Charlotte who was born at 7am this morning weighing a super-healthy 11lb … it could be a video showing two pairs of shoes in a shop, with your voice explaining your dilemma and asking for advice on which ones to buy.

The functionality could also give rise to citizen journalism, where people all over the world report on events that they witness in real time. Anything from the traffic accident that has brought Tottenham Court Road to a standstill to a bomb threat. Real time news, from real people in Real Player!

The possibilities are endless.

All we need is a fairly simple tweak to the functionality of smart-phones and a quicker mobile internet before this would be mainstream, but surely this functionality will play a significant part in the future of social media and video on mobile?

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