22 May

Boredom, Smartphones, and the Importance of Being First

By Jon Jackson, Founder and CEO of Mobile Posse

Device behavior has changed. Mobile users no longer only reach for their smartphones to complete a specific task — increasingly, smartphones have become the device we turn to when we want to kill small amounts of time. Think about it: Once upon a time we turned on the TV when bored. Now we turn to our phones when we’re bored by TV.

 Our recent report on the “First Dibs Opportunity” shines a light on this phenomenon. The trend that people unlock their phones more than 70 times a day (and two thirds of the time these sessions are less that 60 seconds) puts a huge emphasis on a meaningful first screen experience. If I’m waiting to pick up my kids from school, in line at starbucks, or waiting for my Uber — unlocking my phone to stare at a bunch of icons isn’t really going to occupy that time.

 Think about how we use Facebook today. While the social network used to be about engagement with friends and family, the majority of users now open the app just to “newsfeed” — semi-mindlessly scrolling through to consume content, proving that even Facebook, with all of its resources, isn’t designed perfectly for the 60 second or less experience. Unless presented with the right piece of content right at the top of the feed, the burden to find interesting and relevant content falls on the shoulders of users participating in these “micro-sessions,” giving them more work and less reward. And as Facebook’s algorithms continue to change, users are not always presented with the right piece of content customized exactly for their viewing pleasure; instead, they typically consume something bite-sized and fun — like a cute dog video or some human hijinx — but not something super-personalized.

 That’s why it’s imperative for newsfeeds to provide value within these micro-sessions. We are consuming more information faster than ever. Think about how many times you consumed a piece of news simply from reading a headline rather than clicking and engaging.

 Mobile Posse’s First Feed™ platform is designed with this in mind. To capture those fleeting moments of boredom during the day and provide users with a compelling first screen experience that is fun, bite-sized, and right after unlock. So yes, device behavior has changed due to changes in human behavior, furthering the importance of a meaningful first screen experience. Today’s connected, and occasionally bored or curious consumer, would prefer to see interesting content that grabs their attention first, before anything else, opening the door to a big opportunity for mobile carriers and OEMs; that is what is at the heart of our “First Dibs” report.


About Mobile Posse

Mobile Posse is a leader in mobile content discovery solutions that help wireless carriers and device manufacturers capitalize on the mobile advertising economy. Our carrier-grade First Feed™ platform powers a premium content experience that engages millions of mobile consumers from the moment they first unlock their phones. With industry-leading ad optimization and nearly 1.5 billion monthly First Feed views, Mobile Posse enables carriers to create brand loyalty and tap into new revenue streams – without any out-of-pocket expense. Mobile Posse, founded in 2005, is headquartered in Arlington, VA. For more information, please visit mobileposse.com.