Skift Take

It looks like Airbnb is experiencing a huge upswing in mobile adoption. But traditional search engines and social networks are still driving consumers to travel sites on desktop, too.

The competition for mobile users remains fierce among travel brands. While traditional online booking sites remain popular for most consumers, more are making their search queries and bookings on mobile channels.

A new report from Hitwise on mobile travel trends shows that Airbnb was the most-installed mobile app in September in the United States across both Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The data was obtained using Hitwise’s AudienceView over four weeks ending Sept. 23. had the second-most installs on both stores, followed by United’s app. Priceline Group’s investment in promoting’s app has paid off in 2017, according to Hitwise, while install growth has tailed off for the Priceline.con app itself.

Here’s a breakdown of installs for the top 10 travel apps on each store:

App Store Total Installs Google Play Store Total Installs
1 Airbnb 250.3k Airbnb 169.9k
2 222.4k 166.4k
3 United Airlines 201.2k United Airlines 116.1k
4 American Airlines 158.8k Expedia 113k
5 Expedia 150.8k Fly Delta 100.2k
6 Southwest Airlines 150.6k Southwest Airlines 97.1k
7 Fly Delta 148.5k American Airlines 94.6k
8 Hopper 123.5k trivago 94.4k
9 108.1k 94.2k
10 TripAdvisor 102.7k Hopper 91.8k

Hitwise took a look at the profiles of travel app users compared to general travelers. Travel app users are 59 percent female, compared to 53 percent of travelers in general being women. App users are also more likely than general travelers to take two or three short trips instead of one long vacation, which is good news for travel marketers.

Travel marketers love app installs because if users keep using apps than there is little cost for new customer acquisition.

Hitwise’s analysis of the travel clickstream across desktop and mobile is also revealing.

“Most traffic to mobile sites are new sessions, meaning that people tend to go directly to the travel site they intend to use,” reads the report. “This could be because they are coming from within an app, or simply because people are more task-focused on mobile— they go to one travel site intending to complete a single goal. Supporting a simple, task-oriented experience is essential when designing the mobile web experience.”

Most desktop users tend to begin their activity before visiting a travel site from Google, Gmail, or Facebook instead. YouTube is the fifth-most popular starting point for desktop users, an interesting takeaway for travel marketers.

Another interesting aspect of the Hitwise data was that among the top 10 travel apps, all had a greater number of downloads from the Apple App store than from Google Play.

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Tags: airbnb,, mobile

Photo credit: The Airbnb app on iOS. Airbnb was the most-installed travel app across both major app stores in September ,according to Hitwise. Airbnb

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