Average app usage may not be what you think it is

Post By Hannah Downing

App Annie recently released a report detailing app usage in different countries. This report breaks down apps by category and details how many apps the average user engages with each day and each month, while also including how much time average users spend in apps.

App Annie reports that 2016 saw an increase in total time spent in apps with nearly one trillion hours spent and 2017 is set to follow the same trend, after considering the results of the first quarter. Considering these findings, App Annie writes that, "mobile apps have become vital to our day-to-day lives." The number of apps used each day and the amount of time spent in apps shows how central they are to the way we live our lives.

When noting the centrality of apps to our lives, many people would probably guess that the average user spends most of their time in the most popular apps. However, this report found otherwise. App Annie writes, "There is plenty of user time to go around that is not dominated by major apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp." This is because, of all the time users spend in apps, 80 percent of that time is spent outside their country's top app, the report states. This is important for app developers and mobile marketing companies to know because it means that, with a good app and strong marketing strategy for that app, there is time out there to be won from users; it is not as impossible as one may guess, considering the intense popularity of multiple apps, especially those in the social media category.

Similarly, while many people may use the top apps in their country, the average user still uses about ten apps a day and thirty apps a month, according to App Annie's report. This again shows how there is still room for other apps in each user's time, not solely the top-ranked apps. These statistics become even more important when considered alongside game apps, which App Annie says make up 75 percent of app store revenue. Mobile app games prove the possibility of success for apps who may not be the highest-ranked, even with the presence of other time-consuming, non-gaming apps, such as the aforementioned Facebook and WhatsApp. There is still time for apps outside the popular "social" category.

While it is encouraging to hear that such a large percentage of users’ time is spent outside the most popular apps, mobile marketing companies and app developers still must win time from users, no matter how much our total time spent in apps increases. This is due to the countless number of apps readily available to users, many of which have similar functions. What these statistics really point to is the importance of user retention because, without frequent engagement, the app in question will not make it to the thirty apps the user engages with each month. Companies like Oplytic can help publishers win this time from users through increased retention and engagement rates, helping to make their app more successful.

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