This article is part one of a series. Part two is here.
Google has a mobile problem, and it goes beyond the fact that people are searching differently on phones than on computers.
Fast-growing smartphone apps from Snapchat to Yik Yak are being born every day, occupying bigger slices of people’s time. Google hasn’t built or acquired any of them other than navigation app Waze, which the company bought mainly to get off the market, according to people involved in the deal.
More is at stake with these apps than buzz. Mobile apps are the new honey pots for digital ads, especially native or video ads that require people to spend time within an app.