I have been promoting the use of LinkedIn within my organisation for various marketing activities. One thing I have noticed is that those who are not active do not have the right tools to keep them engaged on the social channels, and by tools I mean the mobile apps.
The practice of using our web browsers to login and check our profiles and see what updates are there on the various social channels has slowly faded out in favour of the mobile apps that most of us have by default on our phones. It does not matter if you are using Android, Windows, or iPhone. The Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and +Google plus apps are available across all platforms. The question is, why so many choose not to install them?
My attempt to answer this question is not scientific or based on research, so please feel free to post your own version. I think some of the apps do not cover all the required changes that most of us need and as such we tend to go back to the website for more control. One example is checking the sent messages in LinkedIn. The Android and iPhone apps mainly show the inbox and there is no option to check the sent items. The Facebook app for example is divided into two apps. So you have one to check your profile and the updates from the network, while you need another for the messages. Not sure who thought of this odd setup.
Another reason for not using the apps is privacy. I think many are cautious about installing phone apps and providing the automatic permissions to access personal data. Although we tend to do that on our personal and office computers and happy to save the passwords on the web browser for faster concurrent access. The issue with the phone apps permissions is that some publishers request more access than what is actually required. For example, why does the LinkedIn app need permission to “read the call log”. The app is not meant to call or use the phone feature. The Skype app should, but not LinkedIn. Why the option to limit the permissions is not available on the Play Store or the App Store? With so many laws set to protect the privacy of the consumer, more laws are required to force developers to provide such options.
So how does this relate to being active? Well, we are in the mobile age. So if we don’t have the apps we don’t get the automatic notifications. We don’t get to quickly browse through what our connections have posted as we sit in the morning drinking our coffee. We also don’t have those nice widgets that are more common on Android and Windows phone that are displayed on the main phone screen without having to open the apps and dynamically change to show latest updates that we can subsequently interact with. If you are not worried about privacy, and not missing the few features that are not available, then install the apps and see how active you will be.