Mobile Publishers Need To Watch Weekend Traffic

Business Insider is famously transparent with its audience and traffic data. Our Editor-In-Chief Henry Blodget believes that nothing terrible will happen to media companies that share this kind of information

At BI Intelligence we’ve been digging through the data, and discovered one major trend: mobile traffic doesn’t slow down nearly as much on the weekends as desktop traffic does.

This fact carries at least one important implication for Business Insider and online content publishers in general. Mobile properties shouldn’t be left on auto-pilot during the weekends. Mobile audiences don’t take the weekends off, like office-linked desktop audiences do. Mobile viewers visit seven days a week. 

For context, Business Insider has about 23 million unique visitors a month overall, and 30 per cent of our traffic is now mobile. 

The chart below shows the percentage drop in traffic from Friday to Saturday during the final 17 weekends of 2012, with mobile and desktop separated out. The mobile drop in traffic averaged 14 per cent. On desktop, the traffic decline was much steeper, averaging 43 per cent. 

Mobile traffic only dropped more than 40 per cent during one Friday to Saturday interval, between Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, but that was an outlier due to an unusually high-traffic Friday, when the U.S. vice-presidential candidates debated on live TV. The following Saturday was ho-hum, so that translated to an unusually large traffic drop, across mobile and desktop. 

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