Thanks to the proliferation of smart phones, mobile has seemingly taken over the web, forcing companies to build mobile-friendly experiences, or else.
But that doesn’t mean that the desktop is dead.
In fact, according to data released by comScore, despite the rapid rise in mobile usage, desktop usage has remained relatively constant over the past two years. Perhaps surprisingly, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, desktop usage might even be growing.
“The key thing to remember is that percentages are not zero-sum,” Tony Haile, chief of analytics provider Chartbeat, told the Journal. “You can have mobile growing to 50% of your traffic and desktop traffic remaining healthy.”
A growing pie
Indeed, comScore’s data indicates that mobile usage has largely been additive to minutes spent online. In February 2013, Americans spent slightly more than 400bn minutes accessing the web via mobile.
By April of this year, that figure had grown to more than 800 billion minutes. But over that period of time desktop usage has remained consistent at around 500bn minutes per month, making it clear that instead of trading one type of device for another, Americans are spending more time than ever online using a combination of mobile and desktop devices.
According to Chartbeat’s Haile, mobile usage is most prominent during morning and evening hours, while desktops still account for a large portion of activity during weekdays.
The implication for companies looking to reach consumers online: by all means continue to focus on creating great mobile experiences, but don’t lose sight of the fact that many consumers continue to use their desktops.
This is especially prudent advice for companies that have shifted large portions of their digital budgets to mobile and invested heavily in native mobile apps.
While mobile is certainly worthy of dollars, few businesses can afford to turn away or turn off their desktop users.