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Popular Mobile Apps Struggles To Maintain User Engagement

Smartphone users are installing and using an increasing number of apps than before. A recent study from App Annie shows that smartphone users now have 93 apps on their smart devices by the end of 2019. Also, they had 85 apps by the end of 2015. And now, they use 41 apps each month, which is slightly more than 35 in 2015. Concerning this rise, mobile users are now spending more hours each day using apps. The time spent each day on apps increased to 3.1 hours in 2019, from 2.1 hours in 2015, across the globe.

Reports also say that with an increased number of apps, there is also remarkable diversity amongst top apps. So, what does this mean? Users spend a small proportion of time in top apps when compared to 5 years ago. Facebook authorized this report. The study aims to ascertain how the expansion plays out in the context of trending app categories, among the top publishers, and how rapidly the latest successful apps are accomplishing massive growth.

In the past, Facebook produced this kind of market research data with the help of its Onavo VPN application, now closed due to privacy concerns and such other efforts.

Seeking help from App, Annie’s data team is a new approach for the company to receive a similar kind of information.

App Annie’s market observations, to some extent, are similarly determined by the method of third-party apps. In 2014, the company acquired Distimo, and as of 2016, has operated the VPN app phone Guardian under its label. In 2015, it also acquired Mobidia and had run by My Data Manager. Both these apps reveal their relation with App Annie and clarify that the apps are getting used for market research reasons, with particular instances of the sort of information gathered.

The latest finding may not be profitable for Facebook and other famous apps publishers. As the app market transforms, consumers can now spend their time on smartphones anywhere they like.

Global Downloads

Over the last five years period, installs continually rose to reach a record of 120 billion in 2019, with many countries now leading to this growth, including India (10%), Brazil (9%), Indonesia (8%), & Russia (7%).

Installs in developed economies also hit records in 2019, including the United States (12.3 billion), Japan (2.5 billion), U.K. (2.1 billion), South Korea (2 billion), France (1.9 billion), and Germany (1.9 billion).

Newcomer Mobile Apps Rise and Shine:

Moreover, the audience increased their time in apps to 3.1 hours/day and started using various apps. As per the report, 35 out of 100 top apps were new ones in 2019, which is up from 27 in 2016. This includes categories such as social, photography, entertainment, video, communications, and others.

This is somewhat problematic for famous publishers, like Facebook, which has maintained a top app suite for years now, not just its flagship apps, but also Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp. As the competitive pressure rises, these popular apps make up a smaller fraction of the time spent on smartphone devices as audiences have an urge to try out new apps as well, especially categories like entertainment, gaming, and videos.

In 2016, the 30 most trending non-game apps accounted for 69.4% of the States users’ total time spent. In 2019, that ratio dropped to 65.5%, which is a 4% decline. In the gaming zone, there was a 10% decline from 49% to 39%.

Consumers are not just more willing to try new apps, but as per the studies, the latest apps can achieve app store success rapidly. For instance, in the U.S., beyond 60% of apps can reach the Top 30 category in their initial six months.

This is possible with the massive marketing techniques in the initial phases and optimization in terms of user’s gadgets, such as more processing power and storage capacity, thus encouraging more installs.

Achieving 1 Million MAUs

There are more apps equipped with accomplishing the once achievement metric of 1 million active users (MAUs). In 2019, beyond 4600 apps observed 1 million active users, even those outside of communications and social platforms like Roku, Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, CBS, Target, Chase, PayPal, DoorDash, Uber, and Starbucks.

As per the data observed from 2015 to 2018, apps are accomplished 1 million installs more rapidly. In the finance, social, communications, entertainment, and photo categories, 67% of mobile apps achieved the 1 million install milestone only in their initial 12 months.

Therefore, there’s a lot of competition amongst top apps. At present, smartphone users will often select and use various apps within and across categories to fulfill similar requirements, even on social, as per the study. For instance, in April 2020, 89% of Snapchat audiences also used Youtube in the States, and 75% also used Instagram.

Top Gaming Apps

Top gaming apps are applying social features, including Top 50 games such as Clash of Clans, Fortnite, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Golf Clash, Township, New Yahtzee with Buddies, and Slotomania.

More than 2/3rds of the top 50 gaming apps have included at least one social feature, whether that’s inviting a buddy to play, social support for progressing, guilds or clans, or in-app chat. Therefore, this has led gamers to spend more hours in games and connect with their buddies.

Suggested: 9 Best Employee Recognition Apps To Improve Productivity


Wrapping up

The entire findings also depend on the nation-by-nation breakdown but, in general, saw that almost all the countries saw record installs in 2019 and similar trends in the context of apps consumption frequency rise and time spent.

Another thing to point out is that the States have more app downloads than other countries but less useful than them. They spend fewer hours each day in apps than the global average at 2.7 hours vs. 3.1 hours.

This article has made it clear that with the increasing competition in the mobile app industry, it has become crucial to be innovative in whatever you create. App developers are continually trying to make efforts to maintain their position with rising competition.

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Harnil Oza
Harnil Oza is CEO of Hyperlink InfoSystem, a mobile app development company in New York and India, having a team of the best app developers who deliver the best mobile solutions, mainly on Android and iOS platforms. He regularly contributes his knowledge on leading blogging sites.

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