Mobile Apps in 2016 = The Sum of its Participants

Post By Janet Arvia

What do 2.1 billion mobile devices, 3.2 trillion mobile sessions and 940,000 applications add up to? Metrics. And if analytics experts show marketing strategists anything, it’s that the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the behavioral preferences of last year’s mobile app users.

Rising to the Occasion

Flurry Analytics reports that overall mobile app usage increased by 11% from the previous year. The number seems almost paltry compared to time spent in apps which jumped by 69%. According to a new report from Adobe, time spent in shopping apps rose by 31% thanks to Amazon’s impressive 2016 holiday performance.

Bittersweet Victories

As the large screens on phablet devices become more popular (they received 41% of the global market last year), medium- and small-screened phone purchases will continue to plummet. Also down is time spent in mobile gaming. Its 4% decline comes as a bit of a surprise considering 2016’s phenomenal Pokémon GO success. Equally disheartening are the findings from Liftoff’s most recent study that state North America’s gaming cost-per-install is 260% more than Europe’s 20% CPI. On the upside, the report reveals women are the market to target in 2017 since female gamers cost less to acquire and are more engaged consumers than men.


With a year over year (YoY) session growth of 44%, messaging and social apps are sitting pretty since the 2016 increase is up by 394% from 2015. Yet for every YoY ying, there’s a YoY yang. And the rise of social media applications affected time spent on music, media and entertainment mobile apps (which rose by a mere 1% YoY) while the personalization category experienced a massive 46% drop in session usage growth over the year. Whether 2017’s YoY stats and other mobile app user behavior patterns will yo-yo up or down remains to be seen for now.

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