What’s Your Mobile Loop?

November 17th, 2015

One thing that is true about internet visitation habits and even more true about mobile visitation habits is the loop. The loop is the sequence of places you visit when you sit down at your computer or pick up your phone. What’s so interesting about the loop is how short it is for most people. With billions of web and millions of apps, most people’s loop only consist of a select few destinations. So, if you’re building an internet business, to be successful, you need to become part of quite a few users’ loops, or find a way to inject your content into the destinations that are in their loops. For example my mobile loop generally looks like this:

Gmail app (only if new content pushed there)
Feedly app
Twitter app
ESPN website
Amazon Kindle app (currently reading Sapiens)

My web loop looks like this:
Gmail
Feedly
Twitter
Quibb
Pinterest
ESPN
some niche sites for music

If you’re capable of becoming a part of people’s loop, you have what I call destination appeal. You are where people want to go to when they are bored. There is another way to have destination appeal, and that is to be very successful at branding, or to have a frequency not at the level of “I’m bored”, but still pretty high e.g. searching. I set the barrier there at monthly. For the former, Airbnb might not be in any of my loops, but it is the first place I go when I need a place to stay. For the latter, I don’t check Google unless I’m searching for something, but I search for things very frequently. See here for more musings on mobile apps and frequency.

If you are not in many people’s mobile loops, even if you can build destination appeal, you probably need to focus a lot of attention on injecting your content into apps that are commonly in people’s loops (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest). For some of these apps, this can be done organically, but much of it comes in the form of arbitrage i.e. paying less to be in front of users on that site than you will make from getting in front of them.

So, examine your loops. Is your company in your loop? If not, are you injecting your company’s content into your loop effectively?

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