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Trends on Tuesday: The Rise of Mobile App Super Users?

Shopping cart filled with app icons on a mobile tablet.

A recent Trends on Tuesday post cautioned against becoming another statistic in the treacherous, desolate wasteland known as the App Graveyard. Thankfully, there is some research that shows the likelihood of your app being banished to its grave is receding. Trends indicate that not only are app retention rates rising, user engagement is increasing. According to data collected by Flurry, the number of times apps are launched per day have increased significantly.

The number of users who open apps more than 60 times a day are categorized as “mobile addicts.” These users increased 123% from March 2013 to March 2014, or from 79 million to 176 million users. In addition, the number of “super users,” or those who opened apps between 16 and 60 times per day, grew by 55%.

In addition, Yankee Group, predicts mobile app downloads should continue to grow steadily, increasing from 134 billion in 2014 to 341 billion in 2018. If the rising trend of mobile app engagement continues, then these apps will continue to be used. While none of these articles give a specific reason for the increase, the trend seems to be driven by the increased smartphone adoption and users spending more time on these devices than PCs.

A word of caution though because there is some research providing evidence to counter this trend. This article, by Tim Ferguson, states there has been some drop in the number of regular or loyal users. The only way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that developers understand “user behavior, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of apps, so they can tweak their products to improve engagement.”

Federal agencies starting out with their mobile products should use the Mobile Application Development Program and learn from other agency practices by joining the Mobile Gov Community of Practice.

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