Hugh Durkin, Director of Platform Partner Success Hubspot, has been following mobile habits and writing on shifts that he sees in the space. Way back in 2016, when he was a Senior Product Manager at Intercom, he wrote about how browsers are the future of mobile. Data in support – “ most US smartphone owners ( read 65%+) download zero apps in a typical month,” according to Comscore’s then report on mobile apps ( how many new apps did you download last quarter?) and it goes on to show that the top App takes 50% of use time while the top 3 are responsible for 80% of the mobile usage.
So if you are thinking Chrome, Safari and Firefox – think again. Hugh is talking about the increasing amount of time we are spending within messaging apps and social networks – both personal and professional, which work as browser wrappers for mobile web. The way these score over traditional browsers is by providing social context at the point of consumption, according to Hugh.
Here is how he explains this :
Using push and contextual intelligence we have shared with these apps like Facebook. they are making “it easy for us to discover friends, businesses and content we’re most likely to enjoy”. With built in forward and back buttons, and book marks these apps are leveraging our comfort in established navigation of traditional browsers including the ability to insert urls. Slack and Linkedin is becoming our browser for work while WhatsApp is our browser for close friends and groups. A lot of aggregation is happening inside these apps ( which are themselves native) it is making increasingly no sense to move out of these apps.
The other major change will be specialised bots which will be available within these applications providing search and instant consumption of content like music, and will go so far as curating content for us. Imagine Pocket within your Slack or Pinterest within WhatsApp.
For startups you need to ensure that your web apps render well inside these new wave of messenger browsers. What trends do you see in Mobile? Do you see the browsers becoming more versatile?
Browsers, not apps, are the future of mobile by Hugh Durkin https://bit.ly/2YOEwsW