I caught this piece on MoCoNews.com (great site, btw) earlier today, with Yahoo claiming that they see the beginnings of App Fatigue setting in, specifically in the mobile arena, and are building their mobile offerings around that observation. I definitely want to start by saying that I don’t really think Yahoo has ever been 100% clued in when it comes to mobile. Their Yahoo Go! service is confusing to try to figure out which phones can use what, and they completely missed the boat on mobile email, for sure.
Another thing that I don’t agree with *at all* from Yahoo is Adam Taggart’s statement that ‘our identity has been confused, but we want the portal to be the starting point for the internet’. Yeah, I remember portals with the desktop web – AOL, etc. The only people who use them are the ‘disconnected’ among us who use Internet Explorer because it’s labeled as ‘Internet’ on their computer, and use MSN as their homepage because that’s what it was already set to. Hardly the type of folks that Yahoo should be trying to reach, specifically with mobile in mind.
That being said, I do feel like I agree with Yahoo! in the area of App Fatigue, as described here:
Taggart said aggregation will be vital as people are constantly managing more information and more accounts. The problem is somewhat compounded on mobile because users may have several applications. Taggart: “We believe there is ‘app fatigue.’ You may download 10 to 30 applications, but then only use two.”
While immediately I think of the latest iPhone App Store stats that I’ve heard, I can also think of a number of applications in the S60 community that are installed and used heavily, but then forgotten. In my mind, I’m seeing App Fatigue as what would happen if all of my internet bookmarks were displayed as icons on my desktop. No thanks.
I wonder what type of research they did into this ‘App Fatigue’ phenomenon? Are they just going off the latest iPhone App Store stats, the ones that said most people only use like, 1 in 5 applications that they download, or did they actually do some market research with non-iPhone users?
Another thought in this conversation is, while portals ultimately failed on the desktop, I think we can all agree that the mobile internet is a whole different beast. I even use a portal, keytoss.com (check it out, it’s awesome) as the starting page for most of my mobile devices. The ability to pull up a single webpage and get to wherever else I might want to go is certainly convenient on my phone, where I have limited bandwidth and restricted input mechanisms. Could Yahoo! be on to something with this idea of a mobile portal? Furthermore, as most ‘normob’ (normal mobile) users likely have a carrier-branded handset, aren’t they already being served a portal to begin with, from their carrier?
What do you think?