Desktop Users Still Rule Engagement

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More than a few online marketers are ready to declare desktop search to be dead, as the internet works to integrate platforms more than ever. But while mobile traffic is becoming an ever more important part of the search world, ignoring desktop internet usage could be a huge mistake.

One of the most important metrics for many online businesses are marketers is engagement. When you share something on your site or through Facebook or Twitter, the goal is naturally to interact with others. Sure, plenty of people spew out content without ever actually interacting, but anyone who takes social media and online interaction seriously knows that real engagement is what happens after you’ve shared.

Publishing and sharing content has tons of benefits, but users gain a better idea of who the company they are interacting with through commenting, messaging, and truly engaging a discussion. Consumers have shown more and more that they are looking for brands with a face, or at least a Twitter personality.


However, if you are marketing directly towards a mobile users or you are writing up a death certificate for mobile search, you likely aren’t getting as much as engagement as you could. A new study has shown that desktop users are the dominating force behind content sharing and engagement around the world.

The mobile share of total engagement has been increasing, but the latest data from AddThis still shows a 65%-35% advantage for desktop. There are many possibilities for the cause behind the disconnect. Martin Beck suggests the driving force is publishers who haven’t optimized content and engagement services for small screens, but that doesn’t explain away the differences observed on mobile optimized platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

More likely, the differential is created by different usage patterns across platforms. Mobile users are more likely to look up brief facts and information, but content that calls for engagement also often necessitates more thought and time to read. Quite simply, most people are more likely to do their reading, bookmarking, sharing, and commenting from the comfort of a desk.

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