Social media, messaging apps usage grew by 394 percent in 2016

Flurry, an analytics platform for apps from the Yahoo Developer Network has released its annual State of the Mobile report for 2016 and has some interesting insights. Flurry has been doing this since the last eight years.

The mobile app usage has grown by 11 percent on an average with social, messaging and sports related apps showing a growth in excess of 40 percent. Flurry has tracked around 940,000 apps across 2.1 bn devices and over 3.2 trillion sessions. Flurry defines app usage as “a user opening an app and recording what we call a “session,” as well as the amount of time spent in the application.”

Games, news and magazines, personalisation app categories saw a decline in terms of app usage, with music, media and entertainment showing a miniscule 1 percent rise.

The increase in the app usage of the social media and messaging apps has also led to the stupendous rise in the time spend on the these apps. Thanks to a 394 percent increase in the time spent on social and messaging apps, the average growth in time spent on apps rose by 69 percent. A lot of the credit for this goes to social media and messaging apps adding features such as voice calling as well as video calling on some.

Business and Finance and Sports, which are categories that are heavily time dependent, saw an increase in time spent by around 43 percent and 25 percent respectively. “We anticipate further growth in these categories as users continue to shift daily habits away from traditional media channels, i.e., watching live sports, market reports and the morning news on their TVs, to the apps on their phones,” said the report.

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Gaming did not see a massive growth in 2016 thanks to the lack of popular titles. Pokemon Go was a star game of 2016 no doubt, but it also saw a consumer interest fading fast. Super Mario Run, which was released towards the end of the year, was not able to affect the overall numbers in the gaming apps. In fact, Super Mario Run, has itself been struggling to sustain the growth momentum that it had seen in the launch week.

Shopping apps saw a rise by 31 percent and according to this Adobe report, Amazon amassed 38 percent of the holiday sales transactions in the last two months of 2016.

In terms of device form factors, the phablets dominated the numbers, with Q4 2016 showing a 41 percent uptick over last year.