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The symbiotic relationship of social media and apps


Symbiosis is a time period utilized in biology to explain a relationship that’s (on a regular basis) collectively really useful to 1 some other. The 2 events within the relationship rely upon every different’s distinctive items so as to continue to exist and flourish; that is considered within the partnership between clownfish and sea anemone:

“In a symbiotic mutualistic relationship, the clownfish feeds on small invertebrates that in any other case have possible to hurt the sea anemone, and the fecal matter from the clownfish provides nutrients to the sea anemone. The clownfish is additionally protected from predators by the anemone’s stinging cells, to which the clownfish is immune.” – Symbiosis, Wikipedia

The unique relationship between social media and apps is much like the biological phenomenon of symbiosis, in that while one can survive without the other, it becomes much more beneficial to both if they are included. A recent study from Pew Internet Research Center released figures on the percentage of adults using Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, and the results demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that apps and social media go hand in hand. Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind.
  • Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms.
  • Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites.
  • Some 71% of online adults are now Facebook users, a slight increase from the 67% of online adults who used Facebook as of late 2012.
  • Pinterest holds particular appeal to female users (women are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users), and LinkedIn is especially popular among college graduates and internet users in higher income households.
  • Twitter and Instagram have particular appeal to younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites.
  • 63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, with 40% doing so multiple times throughout the day.
  • Instagram and Twitter have a significantly smaller number of users than Facebook does, but users of these sites also tend to visit them frequently. Some 57% of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day (with 35% doing so multiple times per day), and 46% of Twitter users are daily visitors (with 29% visiting multiple times per day).
  • 42% of online adults use multiple social networking platforms. For those who use only one social networking site, Facebook is typically—though not always—the platform of choice.

More people are visiting social media sites on their mobile devices via apps than at any time before in history, and this number only is forecasted to increase as the world becomes more interconnected, aka as “the Internet of Things”.  Several social networking properties gained their viral following in 2013 purely from the infiltration of mobile app use; this includes Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat, three social platforms that are especially popular with people ages 13 to 25:

“Instagram in 2013 comfortably cruised from 80 million to 150 million monthly active users, half of whom check their feeds daily. The app has become a mainstay of the social routine because it continues to be interesting….. The ephemeral messaging app Snapchat has captivated your teenage relatives, and for good reason: They just tap out a message or snap a photo with a funny caption, and set a timer. When the seconds tick down, the message disappears. It’s fun, simple, and, most important, private. Snapchat began growing its fanbase last year, but in 2013 the service was inescapable.” – “From Twitter to Tinder: Social media hits and misses of 2013”, ComputerWorld.com

Increased global connectivity grew greatly in 2013, thereby increasing the use of engagement via apps. A Nielsen study on mobile usage tracked the growth of smartphone penetration, showing growth in overall smartphone penetration in the US from 56% at the beginning of 2013 to 65% of U.S. mobile subscribers by October, with the majority of users using Android and iOS platforms to increase activity in apps, specifically, social networking apps. Facebook won the day with over 103 million unique users every month, and Instagram was in the top ten lists of apps used for the year.

It’s clear that apps that are either purely focused on social media or apps that offer some sort of social media activity are the clear winners when it comes to app engagement with users. This goes for games and social media as well; another prime example of a symbiotic relationship, as seen in a recent article from Gigaom:

“More than 250 million people are playing Facebook games every month, and roughly 100 developers generated more than $1 million in revenue in 2012. But one statistic that Facebook mentioned is particularly loaded: 55 percent of the top 400 iOS apps are integrated with Facebook. Far and away, the most popular game on Facebook is King’s Candy Crush Saga, which, according to Facebook, has roughly 100 million monthly players. While Candy Crush Saga is a behemoth on Facebook, its dwarfed compared to King’s internal data — a representative told the New York Times this summer that the game receives 600 million active game sessions from mobile devices each day. Given its ubiquitousness on iPhone and Android, it’s likely that mobile gaming is influencing social gaming, not the other way around.” – “Zynga may be coming back but social gaming is not what it was”, gigaom.com

We’re just starting the early stages of what the relationship between social media and gaming could really look like; regardless, developers who integrate these now expected features into the apps that they release are more likely than not to see greater engagement from their user base.  This is especially true of Facebook, as seen in an article from Appcelerator:

  • More app developers integrate with Facebook than any other major social media provider (66% – Twitter is a distant second at 52.7%);
  • This lead can’t be chalked up solely to Facebook’s authentication service. When asked how they were managing user authentication inside their apps, most developers reported relying on traditional web protocols (38.7%) or specific methods such as SAML or OAuth (21%). Social media services such as Facebook were third at 19.1%.
  • Facebook’s switch from HTML5 to native apps and their investment in mobile-friendly APIs such as Open Graph were ranked one and two respectively by developers when asked to judge the company’s smartest mobile bets.

The study from Pew Research gives us an interesting insight into how the genders use apps, which coincide nicely with data from analytics firm Apsalar, which bargains insights on how girls use apps versus males (trace: girls are usually way more social just about throughout the board). On the skin, it could appear glaring that women and men are rather completely different with regards to app utilization. It’s also revealing that completely different building methods would absolute best be utilized for various apps, no longer essentially concentrated on against one gender or the opposite, however taking completely different utilization patterns under consideration as a part of the general construction technique.

  • Ladies set up forty% extra apps than males, purchase 17% extra paid apps, and pay 87% extra for these apps
  • The highest app classes for girls are social media, information, productiveness, way of life and books
  • The highest app classes for males are industry, video games, navigation, trip, well being, and health
  • Males lead in mobile gaming and in-app spending. They use industry-associated apps eighty five% greater than ladies, navigation apps forty% extra, video games sixty one% extra and well being and health 10% extra.
  • Ladies use social media apps a whopping 600% greater than males, information apps ninety% extra, productiveness apps 89% extra, way of life apps sixty four% extra, and books 10% extra.

The social side of app downloads, together with gender engagement patterns, leads us to the logical conclusion that the weighted affect of a person inside their social circles counts for greater than that of a model of a website online. Suppose again to the ultimate time you downloaded an app, visited a hyperlink, or checked out a video. Perhaps, you probably did so on the advice of a chum – no longer essentially directed straight at you, per se, however you noticed it on their social networking “move” and made the acutely aware resolution of taking their phrase for it that that content material used to be price enticing with. Social engagement is in response to each authority and relevancy; in truth, suggestions out of your friends raise extra weight on task customers interact with on apps, the Web, and in actual lifestyles than the rest.

So, who’s the clownfish and who’s the anemone within the symbiotic instance I used previous to delineate the connection between social media and app engagement? Both one would match; however neither you could in reality exist profitably with out the opposite.