Mobile apps outrank search engines, social media as traffic driver: study

Watch out, Google. Apps and news sites have overtaken search engines as the first place readers look for news. In other words: if you don’t have a mobile app, your readers will look elsewhere for news.

According to a new study from Pew Research, search engines rank at number two, followed closely by aggregation apps such as Flipboard. It also found that social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter are becoming less important than news sites and apps when it comes to driving traffic, with less than 9% of readers reguarly clicking links in their social feeds.

Pew’s State of the News Media 2012 report measures the health of journalism in America. It looks at data from eight different media sectors, and includes a survey of 3,000 web users. This year there was also special reports on the impact of mobile tech and social media on news.

Pew discovered that more than a third of consumers are getting their news from mobile apps — and nearly a quarter use at least two platforms (i.e. computer and tablet).  They tend to go for the brands they recognize, which is why media companies should ensure they’re supporting content on all the platforms readers use.

‘A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism,’ the report notes.

‘Our analysis suggests that news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives,’ Pew Director Tom Rosenstiel said. ‘But it remains unclear who will benefit economically from this growing appetite for news.’

Here at ScribbleLive, we want media companies to be the ones making money off their content — not social media companies. We empower our clients to build custom mobile and tablet apps that push real-time coverage out to their readers.

We’ve also created comprehensive guides for clients looking to build applications against our rest API, without having to do much heavy lifting (take a look under the “API” tab on your ScribbleLive dashboard). Our sales engineer Matt Mccausland has even built some apps for you — an event notifier and a recent posts widget — with instructions on how to customize them. Try them out! There’s more to come, so check this blog for updates.

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