On-Demand Vertical and Personalized APPs are Favored
SHENZHEN, CHINA - Media OutReach - Oct 28, 2014 - Millions of Chinese mobile Internet users are making the shift from web browsers to mobile apps, creating an opportunity for smaller search companies looking to expand their market share. Mobile app users are more loyal than browser users, so capturing users during this transition will be vital to the future success of search companies.
According to "China Mobile Search Market Research Report" from iiMedia, an Internet research company in China, there are 467 million mobile search users, 56.7% of them searching via browsers, whereas 37.2% via mobile apps in the first half of 2014. Frank Wang, the president and CEO of Easou, China's second largest mobile search engine, predicts mobile apps will have more users than browsers by the second half of 2015.
Wang says search apps are the future trend for mobile Internet and provide better experience to users. Apps are better at recognizing personal information and search habits, and can provide more personalized results to users. Also, in areas with slower Internet connections the experience with apps is better than with browsers. Also, the user interface on apps is better than on browsers.
Driven by the future trend, mobile search companies will be faced with challenges as well as opportunities. Wang said that the key is to target users' needs and keep the app "small and beautiful." Apps might not necessarily cover all the needs of the users, but can focus on just one aspect. For instance, Easou has focused on entertainment content, with most of its users coming from 3rd and 4th tier cities.
If the app providers start with good positioning, they will not have a lot of difficulty in maintaining the loyalty of the users. "Once you find the niche market, you'll naturally have the loyal user base," Wang said. The most important thing is to keep providing users with the content they need, capture users with word of mouth marketing, and evolve with them.
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