A report recently released by Flurry found that mobile app usage for 2014 increased 76 percent compared to the previous year. Several categories like lifestyle and shopping; utilities and productivity, and messaging/social had triple-digit growth over the same period of time.
Flurry is a San Francisco-based analytics company that tracks mobile use trends and was acquired by Yahoo in August 2014. For the purposes of the report, it limited the definition of usage to include only those sessions where the user did something meaningful with the app. Bounces were not included in the results. The data includes over two trillion sessions that meet that definition.
Lifestyle and shopping was the category with the highest growth with a total of 174 percent more usage compared to 2013. Android (News - Alert) use within this category increased 220 percent over the same time. Sales data from Amazon seems to corroborate Flurry’s findings. In 2014, the online retailer giant set record sales with over two billion items sold globally. This growth came after the company introduced its seller app and after more than one-fourth of Login and Pay with Amazon payments were made with mobile devices.
App usage for utilities and productivity increased 121 percent while messaging/social increased 103 percent. Of the nine categories Flurry defined, games had the lowest rate of increase at 30 percent. When all nine categories are combined, the aggregate increase comes to 76 percent.
Anyone with a basic understanding of math knows how quickly numbers can grow with only a few repetitions of doubling. The three categories that had over 100 percent growth, by definition have more than doubled. These sectors of the market were previously unchartered territory from a mobile app standpoint.
The rate of growth in these areas will not be able to continue to double for too long, because there only a finite number of users use a finite number of apps. Data showing what percentage of mobile users used these apps compared to the total number of users would give a basic idea of how long such rapid growth is sustainable.
As for the lower categories of growth, these sectors would seem to be more established territory. The growth rate is not as dramatic, but with the worst sector still growing at 30 percent it’s very respectable.
Mobile app usage is going to continue to grow, but it won’t grow at 76 percent annually forever. The market is in its infancy, but will eventually level off in terms of growth. It won’t be enough for a company to provide an app that drives sales, because eventually all companies will more or less have those apps. Well-designed apps that provide a better user experience will be a key differentiator in the future.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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