There has been an ongoing debate about whether the mobile web would ultimately prevail over apps, with web partisans in disbelief about the persistence and growth of apps. Flurry Analytics famously reported last year that apps were consuming more time than the PC. Now comScore confirms what Flurry has been saying: mobile users spend far more time with apps than the mobile browser.
The reason is simple: it's a better user experience. Publishers don't like being captive to app stores but consumers have clearly expressed their preference for apps. According to comScore:
Analysis of the share of time spent across apps and browsers revealed that even though these access methods had similar audience sizes, apps drove the lion’s share of engagement, representing 4 in every 5 mobile media minutes. Analysis of the top properties also revealed widely varying degrees of time spent between app and browser access methods. On Facebook, the top ranked mobile media property by engagement, 80 percent of time spent was represented by app usage compared to 20 percent via browser.
Among all measured sites/apps, according to comScore, Facebook saw the greatest engagement among US users, with people spending 7 hours with Facebook's mobile site or apps in March. The chart measures average mobile minutes spent on popular social sites/apps.
Source: comScore, March 2012