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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : June 26, 2017

Study finds uptick in time spent in-app

As mobile technology has improved, so has the amount of time many people spend on their phones - both in-app and via browsers. One recent report shows a significant uptick in the time consumers are spending in their apps - but it also shows an uptick in ad fraud.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Time spent in-app has always been high, but new data shows most mobile time is spent in-app now - what is driving this pattern?

Rich Kahn, CEO & Co-Founder, eZanga: There are many websites that people visit throughout the day on their desktop, and now on apps while "on the go." Whereas in the past, apps -- if the existed -- were clunky and not user friendly, today, apps are catered and customized to give consumers the perfect experience on mobile. Apps are now robust, and in many instances, perform better than mobile-optimized websites.

Apps offer a custom experience that allows you to get the information you want, when you want it. Plus, it's easier. For example, I use Coinbase to monitor my bitcoin value. If I log in though a desktop, it's a 2-step authentication process - first my password, then waiting for a text message with my identification code before I can login. Now, if I use the app, it's fingerprint recognition. All I have to do is touch it, and I'm in. That makes for a much easier user experience. Now, I find myself checking the app more often to see how my investments are fluctuating throughout the day.

Kristina: Along with customers spending more time in-app, app fraud is also seeing a strong uptick - what is driving this?

Rich: If you are an app developer, where are you going to spend your time? Five to six years ago, the average person spent most of his or her time on a desktop. A person would head to work and their desktop machine was likely Windows so the developer would build tools for Windows specifically, and at the time, some of these would have fraud issues.

Now, the majority of internet traffic is all mobile-based, so developers have shifted to where the demand lies. Naturally, where the demand lies is where the fraud will go to. Fraudsters create relatively simple apps or games that appeal to the consumer, and they download them. This perpetuates fraud within apps and onto mobile devices, which is likely why we're seeing such a strong uptick.

Kristina: How does app fraud effect not only consumers, but advertisers and publishers? ?

Rich: The publisher, in the app world, may be someone pushing the installs on these apps. They may not know any better as they are getting paid every time someone installs an app. But of course there is still publisher fraud, where some try to skirt the system to make it look like publishers are getting all these installs when in reality, they're not.

The brands are most affected. They are the ones spending big money to be where the people are, and people are generally in apps on mobile. For instance, say you are a brand that wants to attract the attention of consumers that read specific fashion blogs. A brand that is known in the fashion world will want to advertise on apps associated with that blog because they know their advertising will be seen by the right type of buyer. So when a fraudulent version of an app is created and directed towards these same demographics, brands may see this as a viable advertising target, and appear here, but in reality the true audience doesn't exist here.

More from Rich and eZanga later this week, including tips to prevent app fraud.

Tags: appvertising, eZanga, in-app trends, mobile app trends, mobile marketing

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