One year is an eternity, at least in social media time

One year is an eternity, at least in social media time. In an environment where 140 characters or a seven-second video are king, the world can turn over completely in 12 months.

Or can it?

A recent study by comScore seems to indicate that, even as the U.S. smart phone market accelerates at light speed (three-fourths of digital media growth in the past two years is attributable to mobile apps), smart phone users aren’t morphing their mobile app preferences at nearly the same pace. In fact, according to the comScore 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report, the top mobile apps have hardly changed at all in the past year.

Indeed, 21 of the 25 top apps, as ranked by comScore in June 2015, were exactly the same as their June 2014 rankings. And, eight of the top 10 were also the same; Facebook, YouTube, Google Search, Google Play, Google Maps, Pandora Radio, Gmail, and Instagram.

Does this mean that, while the smart phone market is booming, the mobile app market has reached some form of stasis?

Well, that’s all relative. It’s not as though there haven’t been any changes, although it may be surprising that the changes have been relatively few. And maybe that shows that the heavy hitters; the Facebooks, You Tubes, Googles (in all of its manifestations), and Instagrams are both exceptionally sensitive and reactive (and  proactive) to potential changes in their market. Still there are some up-and-comers.

Facebook Messenger jumped to third place from 12th in 2014, showing the importance of messaging as a mobile activity.

Another big gainer was Pinterest, which jumped from 20th to 15th, and which reigns as the most popular app not owned by a public company. Private Pinterest’s app audience, according to comScore, has increased by two-thirds since 2014, to more than 40 million.

That’s a lot of recipes and crafts. Or, is it? Does Pinterest have interest for the higher education market?

Pinterest can be an interesting platform for higher education marketing, and not solely because it’s a coming player in the mobile app market, though that certainly doesn’t hurt. Used as a student recruitment strategy, the ability of a college or university to set up separate pins on this highly visual medium, pins for topics like; campus life, athletics, residence hall life, the arts, campus scenes, visuals from individual events like Homecoming or freshman orientation, and even photos of popular administrators and faculty, can give prospective students a chance to see specific aspects of an institution, and an opportunity to boost student recruitment efforts.

Maybe Pinterest is worth looking into for your social media menu as part of your enrollment management strategy.

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JPL Administrator,