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NUMBER OF MOBILE-ONLY
For the first time in March, the number of mobile-
only adult internet users exceeded the number of
desktop-only internet users in the U.S.
While the share of mobile-only users has climbed
over the past year to 11.3%, the desktop-only
population has drastically declined to just 10.6%.
Of course the vast majority of the digital
population (78%) is multi-platform and goes
online using both desktop and mobile platforms.
Even still, smartphones and tablets (particularly
the former) have already become — our primary
access point to the internet.
Read more at ComScore.
ON MOBILE THAN
In May, Google confirmed that mobile search
queries (including mobile browser-based searches
and those coming from Google’s mobile search
apps) overtook desktop queries. More Google
searches take place on mobile devices than on
computers in at least 10 countries including the
US and Japan.
Google groups tablets with desktops. So this is
just smartphones and does not include tablets.
Mobile should be right now the “primary screen”
also for search marketers.
Read more at Google Inside AdWords.
Mobile DAUs were 934 million on average for
December 2015, an increase of 25% year-over-
year. This is 89,8% of all DAUs.
Mobile MAUs were 1.44 billion as of
December 31, 2015, an increase of 21% year-
over-year. This is 90,6% of all MAUs.
Mobile advertising revenue represented
approximately 80% of advertising revenue for
the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 69% of
advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014.
51,7% of Facebook users access the social
network only from a mobile devices!
Read more at investor.fb.com.
THE DISRUPTION OF
In 2015 video become mobile ﬁrst.
6 out of 10 people watch videos on mobile
devices on a daily basis.
Millennials are spending more time than ever
watching short-form video content on their
smartphones, and players like Facebook and
Snapchat are reaping the benefits.
These platforms — which capture billions of
video views each day (8B on Facebook, 6B on
Snapchat) — are competing to capture growing
mobile audiences and challenging the
historical dominance of YouTube. The ensuing
bout will create a new set of opportunities for
content creators and advertisers looking to cash
in on the mobile video craze.
Read more at Business Insider.
• YouTube overall, and even YouTube on
mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49
year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
• The number of hours people spend watching
videos (aka watch time) on YouTube is up
60% year-over-year, the fastest growth we've
seen in 2 years.
• Once users are on YouTube, they are
spending more time per session watching
videos. On mobile, the average viewing
session is now more than 40 minutes, up
more than 50% y/y.
• The number of hours people spent watching
videos on mobile is up 100% y/y.
• More than half of YouTube views come
from mobile devices.
• YouTube’s mobile revenue is up 2x y/y.
Current statistics are available here.
SHORT VIDEO ON THE RISE
• With iPhone 6S and 6S Plus came Live
Photos. A Live Photo is a way to bring a
photos to life by capturing a 3-second video
when one’s taking a photo on their iPhone.
It also captures audio at the same time.
• In September, Giphy, the search engine for all
things gif, released a Giphy Cam app that lets
users create their own gifs to send or share on
• In October Instagram launched a new app,
Boomerang, which allows users to create and
Boomerang takes a burst of five photos and
stitches them together into a one-second. The
video loops, much like a gif, plays the images
backwards and forwards.
• The new trend is beginning to stick with
dedicated short video apps, rapidly gaining
popularity. Instead of just taking picture, you
can capture a moment, without actually doing
anything more than pressing the shutter
button. image source
LIVE VIDEO STREAMING
ON THE RISE
• Periscope is a live video streaming app for iOS
and Android developed since February 2014,
acquired in January 2015 by Twitter and
launched on March 26, 2015.
• In August, it was announced that Periscope had
surpassed 10 million accounts, just 4 months
after it was launched. It was noted that over 40
years of video was being watched per day.
• In December, Apple named Periscope as the
iPhone App of the Year. The competing app
Meerkat may have hit the market first, but
Periscope really captured the zeitgeist.
• It became a standard in 2015 that big
companies such as ING, Wendy’s, T-Mobile,
among others started to broadcast live their
media conference calls, show company’s life
behind the scenes, etc.
Read more at Mashable.
THE ERA OF VERTICAL
It started with Snapchat, where more and
more of us are shooting video the way we
naturally hold our phones — vertically. On
Snapchat Discover, the default content
formatting is vertical.
Vervid was launched in the App Store on July
15th and is the self-broadcasting platform for
the mobile era, with an audience that rarely —
if ever — rotates their phones. Vervid wants to
be 'the YouTube of vertical videos’.
Vertical video is now becoming a format
media outlets can no longer ignore on mobile.
That’s a clear sign that our industry must
develop creative content for this format.
Read more about Vervid at journalism.co.uk.
Since March YouTube is serving up videos that
let you look in any direction, not just where
the camera is pointing. As long as you’re
using a Chrome browser, you can tap and
drag to look around. Or, with the YouTube
app, you can pan by simply moving your
phone or tablet - it is easier on mobile.
In September, Facebook unveiled its first
collaboration with its Oculus division, bringing
360-degree videos to the News Feed on the
web and Android devices. In November this
feature was available on iOS as well. Now
Facebook is testing 360-degree ads.
360-degree format is a gateway to the fully
ﬂedged virtual reality platforms, which
seem to be the future of social networks.
Read more at YouTube Blog and The Verge.
EVOLVED INTO HUBS
Messaging has become a core hub of
social activity. Messaging apps have now
evolved into ecosystems for users to conduct
payment transactions, consume rich-media
branded content, partake in artificial
intelligence and even play in-app games.
The innovation in this messaging experience
first started in Asia-Pacific (LINE and WeChat).
In 2015 Facebook Messenger has achieved a
growth spurt thanks to its laser-focused
strategy which added new layers on top of the
core messaging platform.
Messaging is not just about connecting with a
circle of friends. 2016 promises to herald
exciting innovations in how users will use
these apps as a hub for their everyday activity.
Read more at Cnet.com.
You might think there's no need for yet
another messaging app. But, Jared Allgood,
CEO and co-founder of Jott, said 31% of U.S.
teens don't have text messaging abilities at
school. The app's AirChat feature allows users
to send data and texts without a
connection to the Internet. Jott uses
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios to create a closed
network with other devices that are within 100-
feet of each other.
A white-hot new app for instant messaging,
Jott has nearly 500,000 monthly users and one
million app installs after just three months on
Read more at money.cnn.com.
BUY BUTTONS IN MOBILE
SOCIAL MEDIA APPS
Instagram announced a Buy Button in June of
2015, allowing anyone to click Shop Now, and
purchase from their device. Pinterest also
announced their Buy Button on their mobile
apps in June. Google’s buy button, called
“Purchases on Google”, arrived in July and it
lets one buy directly from a search result page.
Before them, Facebook began testing their
buy button in July of 2014 as well as Twitter in
September of 2014.
The reason why all these large companies
have announced buy buttons is because
mobile eCommerce is a pain. These buttons
will help improve mobile conversion rates,
and they will only increase in popularity as
they create less friction in the entire mobile
Read more at Feedonomics.com.
Twitter Facebook Google
BLIK - NEW MOBILE
BLIK is an innovative payment method and a
milestone in the development of mobile
payments, enabling millions of mobile phone
users to make cashless payments in shops,
withdraw cash from ATMs , make payments
over the Internet, as well as to make mutual
settlements between themselves (so called
P2P payments), all using their mobile phone.
Since February 2015 BLIK is available in
mobile applications of 6 founding banks:
Alior Bank, Millenium Bank, Bank Zachodni
WBK, ING Bank Śląski, mBank and PKO Bank
Polski. This is expected to cover more than
60% of Poland’s banking customers.
Read more at Bank Innovation.
In November Facebook rolled out a new app
called “Notify” specifically to send users
mobile notiﬁcations from publishers they
care about, like BuzzFeed or CNN or The
Weather Channel. Facebook wants to
dominate their users lock screens.
Facebook believes that mobile notiﬁcations
are their own medium, separate from
Facebook or any other news consumption
platform. “People have different ways they
want to consume information. Search is one
way. Social is another way. And we think push
notifications might be yet another. We see
that as an evolving medium and want to be a
part of that.” - said Michael Cerda, product
director at Facebook.
Read more at Re/code.
- MOBILE SEO UPDATE
On April 21, 2015 Google began globally
rolling out their mobile-friendly update.
According to the update, mobile-friendly
pages ranked higher in mobile search results
and, as a result, pages that weren’t optimized
for mobile experienced a drop in traffic from
smartphones. Now searchers can more easily
find high-quality and relevant results where
text is readable without tapping or zooming,
tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the
page avoids unplayable content or horizontal
To help developers make their sites mobile-
friendly Google released a set of guidelines
and a simple mobile-friendliness test tool.
Read more at mobiForge.
FLASH’S FINALLY DEAD
Google officially killed Flash advertising in its
browser. As of September 1, any advertising
that uses the technology requires the user to
click it to play — it’ll otherwise remain frozen.
A new setting, enabled by default in Chrome
automatically optimizes plugins to save
battery power and CPU cycles and specifically
targeting autoplaying advertising.
The change comes as Google AdWords now
makes it possible to automatically convert
advertisements created using Flash into
HTML5, a friendlier and safer format for
Read more at TheNextWeb.
GOOGLE APP STREAMING
Read more at Marketing Land.
With app streaming, Google will effectively
broadcast what you’re looking for within an app,
without requiring you to download it at all. If it
works as promised, you’ll be able to browse within
apps with the same type of experience that you
browse web pages.
In November a pilot test was started with nine
publishers in the US, which are: Hotel Tonight,
Daily Horoscope, New York Subway, Weather
Channel, among others.
Major companies like Google, Apple, Facebook
and Microsoft are supporting “The web of apps”
and that’s why over the past 2 years or so, they’ve
all been pushing things like Google App Indexing,
Apple Deep Linking & Universal Links, Facebook
App Links and Bing App Linking. Google App
Streaming is the next big step.
AMP is an open-source architecture for fast
mobile-optimized content. It’s based on AMP
HTML, a restricted subset of HTML, and a well-
based components. The result is an incredibly
fast browsing experience that loads minimal
data over the network.
AMP pages may be loading 4 times faster and
using 8 times less data than traditional mobile-
A better, faster mobile web is better for
everyone, including users, platforms and
Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat,
Parse.ly, BBC, Adobe Analytics and LinkedIn are
among the first group of technology partners
planning to integrate AMP HTML pages.
Learn more at AMPhtml blog.
BEACONS FROM GOOGLE
Read more at TechCrunch.
In July Google introduced a number of new
products around Bluetooth Low Energy
(BLE) beacons in an effort to challenge
Apple’s iBeacon ecosystem.
These new products include a new open
beacon format, tools and APIs for building
apps and services on top of beacons, and a
new developer-centric service for managing
and monitoring large beacon deployments.
The first of Google’s new beacon products is a
BLE beacon profile named Eddystone. What’s
interesting, one of its frame type is used by
the Physical Web project.
Chrome for iOS and Opera now feature
beacon scanners utilising Google’s Eddystone
standard (as opposed to Apple’s iBeacon).
Beacons arrived in the browsers!
FREE BUSINESS BEACONS
In June Facebook began mass rollout of free
bluetooth beacons for business owners.
This project is arguably Facebook's biggest
dedicate hardware effort to date, aims to
realize goal of massive localized data mining.
The beacons will offer:
• Prompts to like the business's Page
• Check in reminders
• Recommendations from your friends
• Posts from the business's Page.
Read more at DailyTech.
AD BLOCKERS WENT TO
THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA
Ad avoidance isn’t really anything new but it
went to the mainstream media in 2015.
It happened mainly due to the fact that Apple
added support for content blockers in
iOS9. Up until then, while possible, it was less
straightforward to block ads on Apple’s Safari
browser for iPhones and iPads. And thus, the
popularity of ad blocking in 2015 soared
’Google has the web, Facebook has its
app, and Apple has the iPhone.
This is the newest and biggest war in
tech going today.’ (TheVerge)
Read more at imore.com.
IPHONE 6S AND 6S PLUS
Read more at TechCrunch.
Apple launches two new iPhones, the iPhone
6S and the iPhone 6S Plus.
As expected from an ‘s’ year, the next-
generation iPhones don’t look all that
different from last year’s models.
For the first time in years, Apple added more
megapixels to the iPhone camera, offering a
Apple introduced a feature called 3D Touch,
which shows an extra dimension to the screen
you’re used to. Using Force Touch, which is
already available on the Apple Watch and on
new MacBooks, users can hold down on
various apps to both ‘peek’ and ‘pop’.
Read more at The Verge.
iOS 9 is the ninth major release of iOS,
the mobile operating system by Apple Inc.
It is the successor to iOS 8 and focuses
less on new features and more on under-
the-hood optimizations, as well as battery
iOS 9 is a much more stable experience than
iOS 8 was when it launched, and there are
a few new features here that are genuinely
During 5 days after its release iOS 9 had been
installed on more than 50% of "active" iOS
devices as measured by the App Store,
making it the fastest adoption rate for
a new operating system.
Read more at The Verge.
Apple Music is a music streaming service
released in June 2015. It is free for the first
3 months of usage. After that, Apple Music
subscription would cost US$9.99 per month.
Apple Music has to compete with the likes of
Spotify, Rdio, and Tidal. Luckily it gained 10
million paying subscribers just half a year
after launching. Apple Music just did in 6
months what took Spotify 6 years.
In November Apple Music came to Android
phones. It’s the first user-centric app that
Apple has created for Android.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S6
AND S6 EDGE
After 7 straight quarters of revenue decline,
Samsung finally managed to post a revenue
increase in the 3Q of 2015. Its Galaxy S6 and S6
edge ﬂagship smartphones marked a return to
form for its stagnating product line with their
impressive design and hardware characteristics,
and success did come, even if modest.
The price adjustments and timely release of the
Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ that followed,
along with the introduction of the price-
conscious Galaxy A series, made a significant
contribution towards Samsung's solid 2015
The company is still the single most profitable
Android device maker. Samsung has 23,8% of
the global device manufacturers' market and still
it’s the number 1 vendor.
Read more at PhoneArena.
Microsoft's Project Astoria was the codename
for its Android app porting.
In November Microsoft confirmed that its
initiative to bring Android apps to Windows
10 is "not yet ready”. Microsoft points
developers to other tools that will allow them
to bring their apps to the Windows platform.
Read more at The Verge.
The BlackBerry PRIV, BlackBerry’s FIRST
Android handset, was one of 2015’s most
surprising and exciting releases.
In BlackBerry’s statement, company CEO John
Chen said that its BB10 operating system
will take a back seat in 2016 as the
company intends to launch two Android-
powered devices to accompany the
Despite the shift in direction, BlackBerry will
continue to offer the BlackBerry Classic with
the BB10 operating system, however, new
phones won’t receive it.
Read more at Mashable.
CONSUMER ADOPTION OF
WEARABLES TOOK OFF
The wearable market increased almost 223% in
21% Americans now own a wearable device -
a number that is expected to double in 2016.
Since Apple Watch release, Samsung, Pebble
and Motorola have released new flagship
smartwatches of their own, while fitness-focused
companies such as Fitbit and Jawbone have
also been busy getting new devices out to
According to Forrester's report, Fitbit is leading
the charge, with 36% of the total number of
wearables in use. The Nike Fuel Band and the
Apple Watch are tied for second at 16%, while
the now-discontinued Google Glass still
accounts for 15% of wearable devices in use.
Read more at ReadWrite.
THE APPLE WATCH
Apple has been selling its smartwatch since
April, and already the company has sold
7 million units, according to data from
Canalys. That’s more smartwatch sales than
all of Apple’s competitors combined,
over the previous five quarters. According to
data provided by Strategy Analytics, Apple
has 74% of the global smartwatch market.
One of Apple’s closest smartwatch
competitors is Pebble, which released the
Pebble Time Steel watch in the third quarter.
The new watch was a relative success and
helped Pebble sell 200,000 total units.
Canalys said that Apple was the only vendor
to sell more than 300,000 units in IIIQ.
Read more at Slideshare.
In January Microsoft revealed an early version
of an augmented reality headset called
HoloLens that creates interactive holographic
imagery in the wearer's field of vision.
Shaped like a pair of chunky wraparound
sunglasses, Microsoft HoloLens is a cordless
headset with transparent lenses – intended to
offer a mixed reality where digital objects are
laid over the physical world.
Rather than creating an entirely virtual universe,
like the Oculus Rift headset, HoloLens conjure
high-definition digital holograms in existing
spaces as if they are really there.
Microsoft HoloLens devices will begin shipping
in the ﬁrst quarter of 2016.
Read more at dezeen.com.
SAMSUNG GEAR VR
Samsung Gear VR is a mobile virtual reality
device developed by Samsung Electronics in
collaboration with Oculus VR. The Gear VR
was first announced in September 2014. At
that time the device wasn't yet ready for the
The first innovator edition of Samsung’s Gear
VR was released in December 2014 mainly for
Finally Consumer Edition was released on
20 November 2015. Pre-orders for the
device went live on Amazon, Bestbuy and
Samsung on 10 November 2015 and the
device was sold out on the day of release.
Read more at Engadget.
NETFLIX WITH OCULUS VR
Netﬂix is heading into virtual reality.
The streaming giant started partnering with
Facebook-owned Oculus VR to release a
virtual reality version of Netflix. It is available
since September 24, on Samsung's Gear VR
Netflix will also head to the Oculus Rift,
Oculus VR's headset, when it goes up for sale
in early 2016.
Read more at TechInsider.
Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR)
platform, released in 2014, developed by
Google for use with a fold-out cardboard
mount for a mobile phone. It is intended as a
low-cost system to encourage interest and
development in VR and VR applications.
This year on November 8, The New York
Times included a Google Cardboard viewer
with all home newspaper deliveries.
Readers can download the NYT VR app,
which displays journalism-focused immersive
Virtual Reality starts to go mainstream!
Read more at NYTimes.com.
VR PHOTOS WITH
In December Google launched Cardboard
Camera app for Android. The app turns the
smartphone into a virtual reality camera.
It’s simple to take a photo: just hold out your
phone and move it around you in a circle.
Later, when you place your phone inside a
Google Cardboard viewer, you'll get to
experience something new: a VR photo.
VR photos are 3D panoramas, with slightly
different views for each eye. You can look
around to explore the image in all directions,
and even record sound with your photo to
hear the moment exactly as it happened.
Since the app launch users have captured
more than 750,000 VR photos.
VR experience is for everyone!
Read more at Google Official Blog.
NOW ON TAP
Read more at Bloomberg.com.
Google announced a new feature 'Now on
Tap’ within its Android OS which allows the
Now service (a dashboard of notifications
focused on your life and interests) to plug in
as a layer that essentially hovers above any
app running on your phone or tablet.
Activated by the home button, it's always
there. This means that you can get contextual
search information around almost anything
you're doing, provided there is text and data
that Google can pull from the app itself.
Developers won't have to make any changes
to their existing software to allow the new
service — dubbed Now on Tap — to bring
search and context into the user's view.
RankBrain is an artiﬁcial intelligence system
that’s being applied to and used with
Google’s current search engine algorithms to
provide better results to user queries.
Over time, RankBrain will learn more about
how to appropriately handle different types of
queries, correlating certain ambiguous
phrases with more concise terms to better
understand user intentions.
These changes are significant to the average
relevance of a search results page, and could
dictate the future development of search
Read more at Forbes.
VIRTUAL ASSISTANT ‘M’
What can Facebook do for you today? - that’s
the premise behind “M,” a new “personal
digital assistant” that lives within Facebook’s
standalone messaging app, Messenger.
Unlike Apple’s Siri, Cortana or Google Now,
you’ll primarily interact with M through text
(although you can send M a voice recording).
The assistant is powered by artiﬁcial
intelligence, the advanced technology
Facebook is developing to help its products
think and act more like humans.
Users can text “M” to ask for restaurant
recommendations and make reservations.
With the introduction of personalized
recommendations and increasing relevancy
for users through machine learning, the
monetization strategy through tie-ups with
retail and small-medium businesses is huge.
Read more at Re/Code.
MOBILE PHONE ROAMING
CHARGES WILL BE
Members of the European parliament voted
through new rules that will scrap mobile
roaming charges and increased costs for
calls, text and data while roaming with the EU.
Mobile phone users who travel within Europe
will only have to pay the same prices as they
would at home, curbing the cost of continued
mobile connectivity while abroad.
Data roaming charges are set to be abolished
within the European Union by June 2017.
Read more at BBC News.