The future is mobile, and the future for mobile is apps. Advertising, video and image sharing, and mobile retail are all gaining traction with the growing base of mobile data consumers.
Citrix, a company specializing in mobile solutions, just released its fourth-quarter 2013 report providing insights into mobile data subscriber usage patterns and the impact this behavior has on operators’ networks. We studied findings from the report and highlight here some trends shaping the future of mobile.
1. Mobile app data usage
Smartphone owners are using more internet-enabled mobile apps; browsers now account for only 17% of data usage on Android smartphones worldwide. Also, people are now using more data-hungry apps, they are using their phones' media players to stream media, and the mobile app store to download apps.
App usage habits differ for different platforms: iOS users are accessing Facebook more than their Android counterparts (5% of total data traffic compared to 1%).
Also, more users are buying goods and services using mobile apps. Fandango and eBay apps are accessed more than their respective mobile-optimized websites.
2. Social video sharing is on the rise:
In the year 2013, both Facebook and Twitter launched their social video sharing services. Facebook's Instagram Video is the better performer of the two, attracting almost six times more traffic than Twitter's Vine. The video sharing service, launched only six months ago, now accounts for one-third of total data volume generated by Instagram.
3. Mobile video advertising is under-developed territory:
Three out of ten mobile subscribers are served ads, but the ratio of mobile subscribers receiving image-based ads versus video-based ads is 20-to-1. Mobile ads constitute a small fraction of monthly mobile phone data usage (less than 3%).
4. MP4 is the mobile video format of the future:
In Q2 2010, 90% of mobile video data by volume was associated with the FLV video format, which is primarily associated with laptops. Today, the primary mobile video format is MP4, the format most closely associated with smartphones. This MP4 traffic represents 67% of global mobile video volume.
Check back next year to see if these predictions are borne out in new data.