Social media and chat apps dominate the mobile journey
Social media and chat apps are where the majority of iOS and Android consumers first turn to on their smartphones, according to a report from Verto Analytics.
Nearly half of all smartphone sessions start out with a social media or chat app once the device has been unlocked.
Meanwhile, only 5% of device sessions begin with an entertainment app as the first app in their mobile device session, and only 4% of device sessions begin with a mobile gaming app. This is significant considering mobile games accounted for roughly 82% of global app revenue in 2017.
Here are three key takeaways from the report:
- Consumers’ early engagement with their smartphones are with social media and chat apps, regardless of the mobile operating system used. Forty-six percent of all smartphone sessions include a social media or messaging app as one of the first three apps launched.
- Practical apps and utilities are typically the second and third destinations in a consumer’s mobile journey. More than 16% of consumers’ device sessions include a web browser as the second task, and roughly 10% of device sessions launch utilities and tool apps as the third task.
The report suggests that it’s now more important than ever that businesses have a presence on social media and chat apps. As the mobile ecosystem continues to enter into a post-app era — where 85% of users’ time spent is within their five-most used apps — brands and businesses must follow where users are spending their time. Because social media and chat apps are the two categories that largely control the beginning of mobile users’ journey, it could provide the best opportunity for organizations to reach consumers.
In 2009, Apple coined the phrase “there’s an app for that,” and within six years, its prophecy had been fulfilled.
Apps had become the primary way people navigate the internet, overtaking mobile and desktop web browsers. And now they account for the vast majority of time spent on mobile devices.
But, despite this dominance, an intensifying engagement crisis is putting the ecosystem at risk. App usage is consolidating and once they’ve tried an app, users mostly aren’t coming back for more.
This shift could usher in a “post-app” era, which could transform the way consumers access the internet and digital services. Mobile tech giants Apple, Facebook, and Google have each put in motion strategies that best ensure they emerge not only unscathed, but ahead of their competition. At stake is the dominance of an industry projected to reach $102 billion in value globally by 2020.
Laurie Beaver, research associate for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has written a report on the end of apps that assesses the evolving app landscape, examines how the existing app model is threatened by the decline of broad app usage, profiles the promising new tech in the space across Apple, Facebook, and Google, and explores barriers standing in the way of user adoption.
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