Category Archives: Mobile

Fast, popular and bigger than social media

Think for a second about the apps on your phone. Take another second to think about the apps you use on your phone. We bet that one of the (very few) apps you’re using is an Instant Messaging one (IM or simply messaging app).

Most probably, it’s one of the apps you use the most, more than your social media apps (How many times a day do you open WhatsApp vs. how many times for Facebook?).

Quantum_Blog_Fast_Popular1

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and QQ (China), LINE (Japan), KakakoTalk (South Korea), Kik and Telegram are all popular IM dedicated apps. But the phenomenon of instant messaging is alive and kicking on other platforms as well – Snapchat’s chat, Twitter’s DM (Direct Messaging) and Instagram’s Direct. Viber, Slack, Google Hangout and Skype are used to send and receive direct messages by hundreds of millions around the world every day.

Latest quarterly report from Facebook - 1.2 billion MAUs on Messenger and 1.2 Billion on WhatsApp

Latest quarterly report from Facebook – 1.2 billion MAUs on Messenger and 1.2 Billion on WhatsApp. Photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook account

Bigger than social media

In 2015 IM apps caught up on the amount of monthly active users (MAUs) with social networks. The gap is growing since then and although our intuition might imply something else, there are more users on IM apps than on social. The numbers, according to Business Insider (see below image) show 3 billion MAUs on the 4 most popular messaging apps vs. 2.5 billion MAUs on the 4 most popular social networks.

Business Insider

One to One communication

The answer to the question in the title could’ve been email*, and no doubt that email is still huge (and will be for a while…). However, it seems that IM is going to take over in the next few years. It’s enough to observe young people and their relationship with emails vs. direct messaging to understand.

*In general, what is called “dark social”, the category which to both direct messaging and direct emails belong is an interesting part of digital which we’d love to get into, but unfortunately, not in this article :)

One of the major differences between IM and communicating via a feed to a large audience is that IM is a completely direct communication, where you have the user’s full attention. Further more, as it’s private and personal, you can adjust your marketing messages according to the user viewing your message. 

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 6.57.50 PM

Exponential growth in message traffic Source: statista.com

Bigger than text

The messaging apps’ foundations started with SMS – plain text messages but they evolved into so much more than that: audio, files, links, images, GIFs, contacts and videos all form part of what people send to each other every day via these apps.

If you spend some time with kids, you probably recognize the different pattern of the way they use messaging apps. WhatsApp for them is an actual social network. They’re members of many big groups and transferring huge amount of information among each other, whereas the rest of us manage their communication mainly via private conversations (one person) or small family/friends groups.

If you want a hint into the future of messaging apps, you don’t need a time machine, simply check out what WeChat can do – ordering food, recommending a service and paying online are a quick view into the app’s massive capabilities.

What it means for businesses

The trendiest word in the past 12 months or so, since Facebook opened its messenger app to chatbots is, well… bots. We talked a bit about bots and their 2017 context here but if to bring it into the messaging context: it’s not only about opening an easy way for clients/potential clients to communicate with the business. It’s also about enabling easy and fast financial transactions, improving customer satisfaction and increase sales by having a machine that solves problems, “knows” how to talk to users in a human way and can work nonstop.

You don’t need an app for this – one of the biggest advantages of chatbots is that they’re an added service. They can be integrated into existing platforms, saving the need in another (unused) app.

Further more – where there are users – there’s attention and where the attention is – there are ads. No more busy feeds, instead – direct and personal message. You’d probably be able to customize your personal message according to past interaction, interest and engagement. Client retention will be easily achieved, as it’s a one-on-one conversation and it’s saved on your chat inbox.

Direct messaging is definitely going to be one of the main ways to communicate with clients and as it’s a new territory from a business perspective – should be learnt, tested and then tested again, optimized and then optimized again… until the next best thing will come.

We’re curious to know where it all takes us.

 

Care and Share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

8 Quick Tools To Test Your Website’s Performance

05-12-2016-performance

A well designed and into-the-details planned website is definitely a good place to start off when building your website. But there’s another important aspect that at times seems to be left aside: the user experience. One of the main issues for example, is how fast your website loads. We won’t elaborate in this post further about the meaning of UX and its consequences when it’s a bad one as we’ve done it several times before. Instead, we wanted to share with you some of the tools we know and use to run tests on website’s performance and its UX.

  1. Google’s PageSpeed insights tools

Google offers a free tool to test your website in terms of loading time, user experience, mobile vs. desktop and more. The tool grades your website on a scale of 1-100 and granted that the higher the grade the better your website is performing. Given that you got a low grade (which is not so rare :) as it’s considered to be one of the most “strict” tests), Google will give you recommendations on how to improve your website on different aspects. The main thing you should remember is that Google also owns Google Analytics, which means it “knows” everything about millions of websites across the web, so as strict as it might be, you should run your website through it and see what it has to say…

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-12-01-09-am

  1. GTmetrix

GTmetrix is another popular tool to test your website’s performance, once you type a URL you’ll receive, similarly to PageSpeed insights, a percentage grade (1%-100%) for your overall website and also immediate-easy-to-read stats about your website such as its size, its load time and more. The report it retrieves contains a lot of parameters that are graded by GTmetrix and for each parameter that is below 100%, it offers ways to improve in the specific area. Another interesting feature is a comparison tool where you can insert a URL of 1 or more websites you’d like to compare your website’s performance with.

GTmetrix's score for Quantum's blog. Easy dashboard and much data that is analyzed.

GTmetrix’s score for Quantum’s blog. Easy dashboard and much data that is analyzed.

  1. GeoPeeker

If you’re targeting overseas audiences GeoPeeker will be a very interesting tool for you. What it does is simply showing you how fast your website loads in different countries. Whether you knew it or not, the location of your hosting server makes a difference geographically. So an ideal situation will be to host your website in the nearest physical place possible. GeoPeeker was actually used by one of Google’s representatives while we were talking to them and this is how we were exposed to it.

GeoPeeker shows you how fast your website loads from different countries. In the screenshot: results for lexpress.mu

GeoPeeker shows you how fast your website loads from different countries. In the screenshot: results for lexpress.mu

  1. Google’s mobile friendly test

We’re quite certain, without checking your website’s Google Analytics, that your website’s traffic consists of 50% mobile. We’re not know-it-all, we simply “listen to the news” :) And in a world that is going mobile, you should pay a lot of attention to how your online assets are experienced on the small screens. Google helps you, once again, with a free tool that simply tells you whether your website is mobile friendly or not. If not, it offers improvements. Do take into account that Google started a while back to not only penalize websites that are not mobile friendly but also tagging the ones that are in the search results.

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-12-12-41-am

  1. Pingdom

Going back to speed tests, pingdom is a user friendly tool that you can use to test your website’s speed, share its results and automate the test to get it directly to your email! (well, a 14 days trial is given for free and credit card is not a must) Another nice feature is that you can easily choose a location among a few locations around the world that you’d like to test your website from. That’s (kind of) a nice combination of the speed tests we mentioned in #1/#2 and the GeoPeeker in #3 above.

Pingdom - easily choose your location and test your website's speed

Pingdom – easily choose your location and test your website’s speed

  1. Screenfly

Going back to different screen sizes – don’t forget that there’re not only many different mobile and desktop screens but also tablets. How do you monitor your website in this insane amount of screens? Well, it’s not easy, that’s for sure but Screenfly can help. It is a tool that simulates how your website looks on dozens of different devices. It’s easy to use and very user friendly. As much as Screenfly is great we suggest to not use only this simulator but also check your websites “manually” on the devices that you have access to around you.

Screenfly enables you to test dozens of different devices in mobile, tablet, desktop computers and even TVs.

Screenfly enables you to test dozens of different devices in mobile, tablet, desktop computers and even TVs.

  1. Nibbler

Nibbler is an extremely helpful-user-friendly-beautifully-designed tool. On top of the grades that the previous tools provide, it grades your website’s marketing channel strength, its popularity compared to the rest of the world’s website, its meta-data, amount of content and so many other interesting aspects!

Nobbler, a beautifully designed tool that will also provide information about your data

Nobbler, a beautifully designed tool that further to the standard information, provides stats about marketing, meta tags, amount of content and many more.

  1. WebPageTest

Its design is old fashioned but its technology and reliability is recommended among developers. WebPageTest does exactly what its name indicates :) The results are not so user friendly but if you have a data person, you can learn much about your website’s performance

WebPageTest. The design is old fashion but the data is very useful.

WebPageTest. The design is old fashion but the data is very useful.

Bonus: Malware scanners.

If you want to check your website for any malware, website errors or out of date software here are two tools to do just that:

Sucuri – simply enter your website and in seconds receive information about your website – whether its blacklisted, if it has a firewall and more.

Virustotal – oriented more to the ones who can read a lot of data, Virustotal will provide free information about your website’s malware status, listing relevant aspects and providing their status.

And here’re some tools that Google offers to run malware checks with (mainly for your windows computer).

Take it to a test drive

Your website is one of the most important assets you can own for your business. Checking it frequently, testing and refreshing are processes that should be a regular thing. After all, don’t forget that in 2016 (soon to be 2017) people live online, and that’s where YOU are being tested first and foremost.

Know other tools that are helpful for website’s performance and can enlighten others including us? Do share in the comments section below!

Care and Share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Google Penalizes Non-Mobile-Friendly WebSites

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is going mobile. And going strong.

2014 was the year that officially the number of mobile devices exceeded the number of humans in the world. In three decades, mobiles went from zero to more than 7.2 billion. And this number is growing more and more every year. Not only the amount of devices but also their usage by the people who own them. That is, us, you, your clients, your potential clients, basically – everyone.

Cisco Forecasts 24.3 Exabytes per Month of Mobile Data Traffic by 2019. Source: Cisco.com, Cisco VNI Mobile, 2015

Cisco Forecasts of Mobile Data Traffic by 2019. Source: Cisco.com, Cisco VNI Mobile, 2015

But this is not news. What should interest you in this context is, are you and your business prepared to a world controlled by mobile?

Is your website adjusted to mobile? Are your marketing materials responsive to different screens? Do you think about marketing for mobile in a different way then the way you think about desktop marketing? Does your business need an app? If yes, when are you planning to launch it?

So, yes, you should be prepared. You need to think about your online assets in a way that is also mobile oriented. Actually, you MUST think about it.

Google, as the most popular website and search engine in the world, has already started a process of mobile thinking and acting. A change that has already been made is adding a “mobile friendly” label next to search results on Google. The purpose is to give users a better search user experience.

quantummobilefriendly

Another change Google is about to do in their algorithms is to affect, badly obviously, the ranking of websites that are non mobile friendly and improve the ranking of those labeled mobile friendly. This change will be officially online April 21st  2015.

Screen shot from Google Webmaster Center Blog

Screen shot from Google Webmaster Center Blog

If you’d like to know if your website is mobile friendly and if you’re protected from a deranking in Google, you can check your website in this link.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 8.22.58 PM

Quantum Media Mauritius website in Google’s Mobile Friendly test

If you realize/know that your website is non mobile friendly, this is the time to change it.

It’s not only about Google and your site’s ranking, it’s also, mainly, about user experience on your website. A user that comes to your website and needs to zoom in to read your text, resize the screen to focus and out of focus for content, tried to click a link and clicked another because of too many links close to each other, is not a happy user. In fact, it’s a very bad user experience and most likely that this user will not visit your website again (not from mobile, at least).

In our daily work, here in Mauritius, we see many websites, some are brand new, that are not designed and planned for mobile or any other screen size. You’d be surprised to know that even the biggest Mauritian companies’ websites are still non-mobile-friendly.

Think mobile. Changing your website is just the first phase, but it’s a good place to start.

 

Did you know that…?

Before making an in-store purchase, 50% of search users begin their search with a mobile device 

 

Care and Share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone