Does mobile advertising really put people off smartphones?

We've all experienced the frustration of loading an article to read on a webpage on our smartphones, only to be delayed by a pop-up advert that obscures the screen. 

However, new research from Nielsen suggests that despite this, the adverts are not frustrating enough to prompt us to change our habits. 

It could be that we do not find advertising too irritating after all, as people seem to be happy to continue browsing content with ads in place. 

A study carried out by Nielsen on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that Australians continue to spend more time browsing websites and apps on their smartphones than on any other device, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. 

More than 28 hours per month is spent online on mobiles for the average person, which compares favourably to the 24 hours browsing on traditional desktop and laptop computers and less than 20 hours on tablets.

Stuart Pike, head of digital audience measurement for south-east Asia, north Asia and Pacific at Nielsen, said he expected smartphone browsing habits to be characterised by a lot of short sessions. He added that this could have indicated people are annoyed by mobile advertising early on, but that this trend simply did not appear. 

He claimed the data showed no evidence of advertising being particularly disruptive to web browsing. 

“The mobile experience must be quite acceptable for the majority of people because we are seeing a lot of people heavily involved on their mobile device with the way things currently are,” Mr Pike remarked. 

In terms of which particular apps smartphone users go online with, the biggest audience increase was the photography category. 

The popularity of apps such as Google Photo and Samsung Photo Editor, which allow people to edit their snapshots to their liking from their smartphone and post them to their social media profiles, helped the photography app category double in size compared to the last time Nielsen carried out the study. 

Despite this spike, researchers expressed more surprise at trends in the communication category, which cover apps such as Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and WhatsApp. 

Nielsen's digital product manager for south-east Asia, north Asia and Pacific Alex Smith said: “It was really in those instances where we have publishers or apps with such a strong mobile presence that we saw just how large they have grown. 

“Things like Snapchat which has come into the mix, which are mobile-only applications that have got huge amounts of time being spent on them and huge levels of engagement.”

Written by Mazuma

Mazuma Mobile is Australia's most trusted mobile phone recycling service.

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