Mobile application usage has boomed in the last few years, thanks mostly to the rise in the number of people who own smartphones. Smartphones outsell personal computers by approximately four to one, with approximately 2.5 billion mobile phone internet users. It has been predicted that by 2020, 80% of adults will own a smartphone. Impressive statistics, but does it mean anything? Actually yes, with smartphone ownership on the rise, app usage has also risen at a similar pace. In fact, 80% of mobile device time is spent on apps, and so any company or brand which wants to expand into this ever growing market needs to develop their own apps.
Facebook is actually ahead of the game on this. The social networking giant developed its own messaging app in August 2014, which users were forced to download. While this was met with backlash, clearly Facebook feels like the future is in mobile applications, hence why the company forced the public to download it. The reason behind this particular change was that the original app lost its messaging capabilities, so if anyone tried to access it, they would be immediately booted to the app store to download the new messaging app. 1.3 billion people use Facebook on their mobile monthly, so a messaging app was clearly seen as integral, despite the way Facebook handled the situation.
Besides a huge audience, what are the other benefits of using Facebook mobile apps? Quite a few, as it turns out. Facebook mobile apps are relatively easy to use, and allow flexibility in both creation and maintenance. This means that one app can be developed to fulfill different roles when it needs to, for example the app can be adapted so as to better fit with an upcoming holiday, or trending theme. Furthermore, Facebook offers numerous apps which cater to different aspects of marketing and social networking, such as scheduling content apps and app suites for managing your Facebook presence.
It’s not necessarily all good however. Different apps work differently, and while the basic principle is the same, they all take time to master, and must be monitored and maintained. It should also be remembered that these apps are still under the jurisdiction of Facebook, and thus if the rules of the app are not followed, they do have the power to shut them down. Overall though, apps are the future, and since Facebook is the biggest social media site at the moment, and will stay that way for the foreseeable future, it stands to reason that mastering these apps is good advice for any new, or old, developing business.