Mostly Mobile – Facebook, Google and others are now predominantly mobile companies

Quick – Is Google a mobile company?

“Sure” you might say, “But mostly web search and web apps.”

Apple?  Sure but they sell Macs too.

We know Instagram, Uber, WhatsApp, SnapChat – all mobile first.

What about Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Pandora?

According to the mobile app statistics, including the latest revenue and usage data – all of the above are generating more revenue, more growth and have more usage as mobile apps and/or mobile platforms.

Some of the biggest names in the internet are now mostly mobile.

And companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo all wish they were too.

Here is a snapshot of the largest social networks – by time spent via mobile or desktop.


And here is what Google web search is looking like:


  • The majority of email in Gmail accounts is opened on mobile devices

Usage only tells part of the story

73% of Facebook’s ad revenues come from mobile – up from 14% 2 years ago.


In 8 quarters, Facebook went from barely addressing the advertising opportunities for their mobile users, to generating 73% of their ad revenues from mobile.

The macro perspective of the mobile advertising space


20% of time spent in Mobile, 4% of ad spend (US only)

Internet Trends 2014 Slide 15 copy



24% of time spent in Mobile, 8% of ad spend

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According to the above chart, mobile advertising spend doubled, and still couldn’t keep up with the increase in time spent in mobile.

The rise of messaging apps

You may be very aware of Whatsapp ($22b) and Snapchat ($19b), if not a daily user.

How about LINE ($10b), KakaoTalk ($2b), Tango ($1b) and WeChat owner Tencent ($100b).



This is all happening fast, and there are leaders and laggards.

It is time to add fuel to your mobile marketing investment!

What to watch for next

It sure looks like the Apple Watch will have its own app store.

Applinks/Deep Linking will continue to expand as Apple tries to increase the value of Spotlight Search and Siri, while Google tries to index the content in the app silo.

The list of mobile first businesses with $1b valuations continues to expand.

Google Play Description

Updated Google Play Description Guidelines

Over the last several months, Google Play has been making several changes to Google Play app promotion, the requirements for app listings and the approval process.

Working with our clients on writing optimized descriptions, we discovered another restriction for the Google Play description:

Your app description should avoid excessive detail and references to your other apps or products.

For example, you should not list all of the details of content included in the app or its various components, as shown in the example below.

Also, the description should not include any references to other apps that you’ve published. –

Breaking this restriction into two parts:

Do not attempt to keyword stuff your description by detailing all of the content

excessive detail

Do not reference other apps in your portfolio

Listing Apps

The focus of the recent changes in Google Play seems to be combatting “keyword stuffing” in app descriptions.

The back and forth between aggressive mobile app publishers and Google continues.

First, Google Play description guidelines were updated to reject descriptions that referred to other apps.

The idea being, if a publisher wanted to show up in Google Play search results for “Candy Crush” – the publisher would add:

If you liked Candy Crush – you will love this game!

Then publishers started “hiding” the references to other apps in reviews for the description:

“If you liked Candy Crush – you will love this game!” – Sally

Google was quick to address this and continues to find and restrict more of these types of hacky description writing.

The approach at Gummicube has always been to write descriptions that position your app for maximum discovery in the app stores, without being spammy or turning potential users away.

Take a look at how Gummicube can position your app portfolio for long term success or contact us at

Mobile Majority

Facebook Enables Deep Linking for new App Installs

Imagine you are sharing your thoughts on a hot topic in one of the groups you are in on Facebook, and you see an ad for a recipe for gluten-free home-bake dog treats.

The recipe is exactly what you have been looking for (Facebook knows!).

The recipe is one of many recipes in the new “Bow Wow Home Bake Dog Recipes” mobile app.

Until recently – you would click the link, which would take you to the app store of your device (Google Play or Apple) to install the app, and wala – nada.

You now have an app but have to go through and “re-search” to find the recipe you wanted from the start.

If you already had the app installed, the link may have taken you right to the recipe – which is what Facebook deep linking, or App Links has supported.

But in the many instances where a user wants access to the content, but does not have the app already installed – they had to go through this crazy process.

Because of the explosion of mobile apps, Facebook and Google specifically are extremely interested in “unlocking” the content in mobile apps that are essentially hidden from web spiders and web cookies.

Facebook deep linking commitments started when App Links was introduced at f814, and doubled-down on App Links at f8 2015 by introducing app to app linkages via the App Links protocol.

Facebook is now enabling deep linking for new app installs as well. 11057196_1623083497928325_834080577_n Facebook is becoming a larger/leading player in not only mobile ads, but mobile ads in mobile apps (not just on Facebook).

Enabling a more streamlined user experience for Facebook users, Facebook’s advertising partners can target and drive ultra-relevant results and deliver ultra-relevant calls-to-action in their Facebook ads – not only for re-engagement but for acquisition.

This was expected, but is great news for mobile as a whole – users, advertisers, publishers and Facebook. You can learn more about Facebook App Links and their deep linking strategy here.

Mobile Ad Revenue

Android Passes iOS in Mobile Ad Revenues

The mobile revenue share continues to trend toward Android.

Last year, Android passed iOS in share of mobile ad impressions, or ad traffic.

According to Opera Software’s latest “State of Mobile Advertising” report – Android now leads in mobile ad revenues as well.

For mobile ad revenues only, iOS monetizes 3 times better than Android.

That is to say, in aggregate, an ad shown on iOS makes 3x that of an ad impression on an Android device.

Ratio of Share of Revenue

Why the huge difference?

There are several explanations – all making a bigger point:

On the whole, users of iOS are very different than users of Android devices.

For starters, Android dominates the <$200 smartphone market (and Apple the >$500/ market), which leads to….


iPhone users pay more for their device, and have essentially self-selected into a more valuable target market.

More disposable income, greater investment in a device = more valuable ad space.

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Android leads in countries where advertising rates are lower

Mobile Advertising Share by OS

Similar to self-selection and directly related to offering <$200 devices, Android leads in countries with smaller GDP’s per capita.

Users with less disposable income – leading to less valuable ad space.

For Android to pass iOS in ad revenues with IOS still taking home 3x more revenue per impression means Android must have more than 3x the impressions.

Traffic and Revenue share by OS

In fact, in 12 months time, Android took over the top spot with 42.8% of the global share of ad impressions in Q114, to 65.17% in Q115.

The mobile story continues to be how fast and how broad mobile has been adopted, across geographies and the socioeconomic  spectrum.

Apple Analytics

Apple Analytics Deeper Dive

After a week of playing around with the data presented in Apple’s new Analytics module – thought it was time to take a deeper dive and share some screenshots.

When you login to Apple App Analytics, you are presented with all of your apps, and their

  • App Store Views
  • Units
  • Sales
  • Sessions

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As best as I can tell, the only unique piece of data Apple provides in their new module is App Store Views – and they show it front and center.

Some data is “Opt-in Only”

Notice that “Sessions” data is for users who have opted into data collection.

For this app – the % of users who opted in was only 19%.

You can see the optin rate for your app by clicking on the question mark at far right of the app details screen.

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apple app analytics

Because Sessions require an opt-in to track, it follows Retention would require opt-in as well since Retention is essentially tracking sessions by day.

Note:  this is not unique to Apple.  All analytics providers require an opt-in for tracking.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.55.53 AM

Data only goes back to when your app was added to Apple Analytics

This app’s data starts April 1st, although I am not sure why.  We didn’t request access to the beta until May.

Apple may have added all apps around this time.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.55.34 AM

What can I do with this data?

If you are not currently using an analytics solution (like Flurry or Google Analytics or Facebook)…

First – shame on you.  Second, all of this may seem pretty cool.

But session data, attribution, retention, units (installs), sales, devices, geographies….  all of this is and has been available through existing and free offerings (see above).

The only thing that is really new is App Store Views

From Apple’s Analytics FAQ page :

What are App Store views? 
 App Store views are the number of times your app’s App Store page has been viewed on a device using iOS 8 or later. Although apps can be purchased or downloaded without visiting the App Store product page, such as directly from search results, only App Store product page views are counted.

The problem with this of course is that without being able to compare “units only from app store views” with “app store views”, there is no real conversion rate to monitor or try to improve.

Units (app installs) could be from the app store view, but could also be from:

  • App Store search
  • direct from Facebook
  • directly from your website/landing page
  • from within another app
  • almost anywhere….

In fact, this data is becoming even more obsolete

As deep-linking becomes more widely adopted, there are many ways to download an app without viewing the app store page first.

The only thing app store views really gives us is measuring ASO effectiveness (and even that is then missing downloads direct from search results.)

Maybe Apple Analytics will get better?

We are accustomed to so much data being available from web assets, that the silos of iOS and Android seemingly starve developers and marketers of data and insights.

Apple’s Analytics module thus far presents little really useful outside of App Store Views.

There are clear missed opportunities. Units from “app store view only” (for example) would enable publishers to get some idea of how our creatives and descriptions are reaching our audience, and help us create a better experience for users.

Something to look forward too – maybe will be addressed during the upcoming WWDC.